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What causes my fish to get
a crooked spine?
okay here's a question you don't see much. But here lately
I have had a problem with my fish. What causes a perfectly
formed and healthy fish to all of a sudden appear as if it's
been broken in half then put back together all crooked.. In
other words... it looks like it has a crooked spine. Will
anyone be able to answer my question?
- Curt could probably help you out more. I have had platys
that never reached full size and looked really weird because
they were stunted. They were very healthy and active though.
I think from your question though you are saying this developed
in your tank? Is your fish eating properly and healthy except
for the way it looks? Also what kind of fish is it? How big
is the tank and what are the water parameters?
- hello..as Joyce asked what kind of fish are we talking about?...Spinal
curvature can be caused by a number of reasons(scoliosis:horizontal
curve)(lordosis:vertical curve)...old age...genetic abnormalities,injury,disease(like
parasite pleistrophre in neon tetra disease)...or nutrient
deficiencies...mycrobacteriosis can lead to distortion the
spine....so you see type and history of the fish can help
diagnosis this...and hearing from curt will help too...
- two fish affected so far... one female black molly... one
female green sword... 30gallon tank...these appear to be the
only fish that have the crookedness. The molly looks the worst.
She isn't eating much and swims only when chased, otherwise
she just Hovers around the top. Green sword eats like a pig
and swims all over. Not quite sure about my levels. I do know
that this particular molly seems to have a problem with the
ich disease. Could ich be the cause of the crooked spines?
Did ich treatments and they seemed to of cleared up. It's
a community tank, would this also be a reason for it?
- p.s. Variety of fish is as follows:
could it be that I have too many fish?
- 8 cory catfish
- 3 black molly's
- 3 orange swords
- 3 green swords
- 2 platy's
- 1 pleco
- 15 guppy's (5 males, 10 females)
- 8 baby guppy's
- 4-5 live plants (small but somewhat new)
- 1 huge rock
- You have WAY too many fish. If I count only 2 inches for
each excluding your baby guppy's I come out over 30. Also
I have had swords and 2 inches is really stretching it they
are more like 3 inches. I think the same may be true for the
size of Mollies. Sounds a little like dropsy. I had a sword
with that once and looked a little bent. It also would not
eat. If more than one fish has I would certainly lean towards
disease or a bacterial infection rather than injury. Do frequent
water changes, cut down on your feeding, add another hang
on filter and try to get another tank soon. Jeff may have
a better opinion on what he thinks it is and how to treat
it. You really need a test kit ! I am sure your levels have
to be way up there. This may be a pretty nasty situation with
that many fish. When you transfer some you will also have
to worry about cycling.
- If you just treated for ich this may be a secondary bacterial
infection that sometimes follows an ich outbreak. Ich doesn't
cause bent spines, but can weaken the fish's system and leave
it prone to illness. I would definitely do two small water
changes per week until you remedy the fish load. Swords get
to be 4-5 inches per my book (it's been a long time since
I had them) and they will eat baby fish.
- hmm..well I agree with alot of Joyce points..way too many
fish..quite possibly a poor water problem and weakened fish
now getting secondary disease..the bent spine thing still
is unsettling and and could very well be caused by microbacterium
this is a real bad thing I hope it isn't because it can be
a killer..it can present differently in many species..try
kanacyn...get the fish out.. dying in the tank will spread
it...I hope I am wrong on this..also be sure you wash up clean
after as well..
- Sounds like good suggestions to me from both Jeff and Joyce.
Many times fish, especially those that breed very freely in
peoples small undiverse tanks (such as livebearers), have
many problems with genetic malformations. This is simply due
to the lack of genetic diversity, and can appear at any time
the fish is still growing. A more common problem, often caused
by a mycobacterium, is piscine tuberculosis. Very often this
a disease that will localized in bone, especially in the spine
(but also in other organs)...it is not effectively treatable
as far as I know, and is generally caused by poor water quality.
This would be my guess....
- I have no suggestion to offer to this, but I did have a
Dalmatian molly that gradually grew into a 45 degree angle
and finally died after about 1 month. It is very odd! Mandi