Disposing of goldfish the right way

Disposing of goldfish in the toilet? (© madscinbca / Adobe Stock)

How to dispose of dead goldfish? Neither live nor dead goldfish should be flushed down the toilet. Compost pile or residual waste garbage can is one way to dispose of dead goldfish. Before final disposal, live goldfish must always be killed.

Where to put surplus live goldfish? Live goldfish can be purchased at pet shops. The goldfish can be given to pond owners – provided they give their consent! Goldfish should not be released into any body of water under any circumstances! It may also help to release a natural enemy in the fish pond.

Goldfish are not a native species

Goldfish are very popular in Germany and are present in many garden ponds and aquariums, but they are nevertheless not a native species!

This is often forgotten, but has practical implications for possible disposal: If goldfish are simply released into the wild, the native fauna will be disrupted. For many other pond dwellers like frogs. Newts can wreak havoc on goldfish! Therefore, the release of goldfish is to be avoided at all costs – and in many cases also prohibited.

Often, the release of garden pond animals in the wild can be fined. In case of doubt, the owner of the private water body can be consulted as to whether the release of goldfish is possible and permissible.

Well-meaning nature lovers who simply release their goldfish can bring already endangered species even further to the brink of extinction.

Give goldfish to pet stores or pond owners

A sensible way to dispose of surplus goldfish is to hand them in at a pet store. However, not all dealers agree to accept foreign fish because they fear the introduction of diseases or similar difficulties.

There is currently no obligation for the trade to accept surplus goldfish from private farming.

Private pond owners can also offer goldfish a refuge, but should of course be asked for their consent before releasing the fish.

Particularly annoying is the abandonment of goldfish, because the owners want to go on vacation and find no one to take over the feeding – such questions should always be clarified before the purchase of the animals bindingly.

Dispose of dead fish via compost heap and residual waste garbage can

It is still very popular to flush goldfish down the toilet, both dead and alive. This should be absolutely refrained from.

In the sewage system the dead fish can lead to an increased rat infestation. A single dead fish can be disposed of in the compost – but it should be lifted underneath and not simply placed on top of it.

Otherwise, the goldfish can also be wrapped in paper or foil and disposed of in the residual waste. For larger quantities this is of course not permitted, for these the public animal body collection point must be used.

In any case, goldfish must be killed before disposal if transfer is not possible. It also helps to add natural enemies and spawning predators to the water body – these predators provide a natural solution to the problem.

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