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Older Female Guppy with Bent Spine

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by vio88, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. vio88

    vio88 Fish Fanatic

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    My guppy is about 8 months old (I got her from a friend so I don't know for for sure how old she is) she developed a bent spine and I don't know why. Any ideas? She is eating and acting normal it has been this way for a while at least a few months. It looked like she got tired of holding her tail or back half up and so let it droop and now it seems stuck that way. Another guppy I have the white clearish one with the orange tail she too is at least a year old and I am starting to notice the same thing happening to her.
     
  2. vio88

    vio88 Fish Fanatic

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    sorry here are the pics, computer goofed up
     

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  3. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    Bent spines can be a symptom of fish TB. It’s being diagnosed a lot in guppies these days.. You may want to read up on it. I’m sorry to say but the best thing to do would be to euthanize her if that’s the case. Good luck!
     
  4. vio88

    vio88 Fish Fanatic

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    How can I tell for sure? I have looked at TB before but if bent spine is a symptom she has no other symptoms whatsoever except maybe white poop, but isn't there many reasons for that? I just watched this video: and I am more convinced it is NOT TB because she has no other symptoms and has this for a while so wouldn't there be other symptoms? Also I am sure I have gone in with cuts on hand before and never got sick. Wouldn't that also rule out TB? So what are other causes of a bent spine in an older guppy?
     
  5. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fish Addict
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    If you’re 100% convinced that it’s not TB. Which is usually caused by the fish living in poor water conditions when they were younger.

    The only other thing I could think of, is that this is a genetical disorder. I could be wrong though, it’s just a thought.

    Unfortunately this beautiful species have been inbred too much over the years. It naturally makes them more weaker and prone to illness.

    Keep us posted, and do let us know if you see any other symptoms.

    Best of luck.
     
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  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    A bent spine in fish can be caused by anything growing inside the fish that puts pressure on the back. It can be TB, a tumour, a cyst, or baby guppies.

    With old age the fish can develop weaker bones if they are not kept in hard water with lots of minerals, a bit like osteoporosis in people. This can contribute to a curved back if there is something growing in them.

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    I am not convinced some of the fish in that video have TB. The danio at the start was suffering from anemia and gill flukes and possibly worms. It might have had TB too but it should have been treated for other things.

    The rainbowfish spinning around in the video was more likely to have a protozoan or bacterial infection in the brain. However, rainbowfish do get TB.

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    Fish can be infected with TB for months or even years before they show any signs. The most common symptoms include: the fish swelling up overnight, breathes heavily (usually at the surface or near a filter outlet), stops eating, does a stringy white poop, dies within 24 hours of showing these symptoms.

    Fish Mycobacteria (TB) is a very slow growing bacteria. Most common bacteria can double every few hours. Mycobacteria takes days or weeks to double.

    In cold water, TB grows slower and goldfish can carry the bacteria for years before it affects them. In warm water, the bacteria grows quicker, but it's still a slow growing disease.

    If fish are big, it takes longer for the bacteria to build up in numbers and kill the fish. A small fish has smaller organs and less bacteria are needed to damage it.

    The bacteria kill the fish by destroying internal organs and causing organ failure. Basically a fish becomes infected by eating TB contaminated food or ingesting the bacteria with contaminated water. The bacteria settle into an organ somewhere in the fish's body and start growing. They grow slowly and build up over time. Eventually the bacteria damage the organ they are growing in and the fish swells up and dies.

    People with a healthy immune system are less likely to develop a fish TB infection. If you wash your hands and arms with warm soapy water after working in a tank, you are less likely to contract the disease.

    People with a weakened immune system (heart disease, lung problems, cancer, HIV, etc), are more likely to develop localised TB infections.
     
  7. vio88

    vio88 Fish Fanatic

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    I am careful to always wash my hands after working in my tank. I read else on the internet that it could just be old age not any sickness. The gh in my tank has always been like 120 or 180. Is that not enough? I know the food I feed them could suck. I feed flakes and occasionally blood worms and/or if they eat shrimp pellets or algae wafers I give my cories.

    Baby guppies could definitely be that she has been pregnant a few times lately and might be again now. Otherwise there isn't anything I could do about a cyst or tumor right? So no reason to worry about that. I will say something if there is any new symptoms.

    On occasion I see white poop but missed who is came from just see it on its way to the bottom.
     
  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails) need a GH around 200ppm. Mollies need a GH of 250ppm.

    If it's a tumor or cyst there is nothing you can do.

    If the fish suddenly bloat up, do a stringy white poop, stop eating and die shortly after, then it's possibly TB. Other than that, just monitor the fish and see how they go.

    Fish can do a stringy white poop if they have intestinal worms. Fish with heavy worm infestations can become fat and look pregnant. Heavy worm infestations can cause a curve back too.
     
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  9. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    What a great explanation, Colin! Thank you for your help. I had nodded off for a bit after a very early morning. :)
     
  10. vio88

    vio88 Fish Fanatic

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    What can I do about worm infestations? As to the Gh the highest my test strips measure Gh to is 180. Do you have a recommendation as to test strips that are affordable? I use API 5 in 1 test strips (GH, KH, Ph, NO2, NO3).
     
  11. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    API makes a test kit specifically for Gh/KH for around $10. Good luck
     
  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    If the GH is 180ppm, then leave it there.
    If the GH is 120ppm or less than 180ppm, then you need to buffer it a bit. You can use Rift Lake water conditioner for African Rift Lake cichlids, to buffer the GH of the water.

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    You can use Praziquantel to treat tapeworm and gill flukes. And Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms.

    Remove carbon from filters before treatment and increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.

    You treat the fish once a week for 3-4 weeks. The first treatment will kill any worms in the fish. The second and third treatments kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs inside the fish's digestive tract.

    You do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment. Clean the filter 24 hours after treatment too.

    Treat every fish tank in the house at the same time.

    Do not use the 2 medications together. If you want to treat both medications in a short space of time, use Praziquantel on day one. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate on day 2 & 3. Treat the tank with Levamisole on day 4 and do a 75% water change and gravel clean on day 5, 6 & 7 and then start with Praziquantel again on day 8.

    The water changes will remove most of the medication so you don't overdose the fish. The gravel cleaning will suck out any worms and eggs that have been expelled by the fish. Repeating the treatment for 3-4 doses at weekly intervals will kill any worms that hatch from eggs. At the end of the treatment you will have healthier fish.

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    To work out the volume of water in the tank:
    measure length x width x height in cm.
    divide by 1000.
    = volume in litres.

    When you measure the height, measure from the top of the substrate to the top of the water level.

    There is a calculator/ converter in the "How To Tips" at the top of this page that will let you convert litres to gallons if you need it.
     
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  13. vio88

    vio88 Fish Fanatic

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    A lot of info there had to read your instructions over a few times. Ok so using one medication or both I would treat once a week for 3-4 weeks, right? Then you said to change the water a lot if doing both medications how much water should I change if only doing one? Is there a way to know which parasite my fish have? I doubt its round worms because it looks like when they have roundworms you see this red pokey thing sticking out of them. Gill flukes don't make sense either because I would see lesions or something wrong with their gills right? Which leaves tapeworms. Also if my guppies have worms of any kind could they have had them for months perhaps a year and not died nor gotten ill? All I really know is the bent spine some weird white poops and not a single other symptom. It seems like all these diseases and parasites have more symptoms. I know the size of my tanks if that is what you mean. I have a 20 gallon and a 10 gallon tank.
     
  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Yes.

    75% water change and gravel clean 24 hours after treatment.

    Nope. Fish can have tapeworm, thread/ round worms, or both.
    Threadworms only poke out of the fish's butt when there are lots of them. Fish can have a low level infection and show no signs at all.

    You only see damage on the gill filaments if you cut the gill filament off the fish and put it under a microscope.

    Fish can be infected with worms for years and show no symptoms. It depends on how many worms are in the fish's digestive tract. If there are only a few worms, they only take a small amount of blood from the fish and the fish can live its entire life with them.
    If there are lots of worms, the fish loses lots of blood and becomes anemic and dies from low blood pressure or secondary infections caused by lack of blood.
     
  15. vio88

    vio88 Fish Fanatic

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    Ok couple more questions. When you say clean the gravel you don't mean to take it all out and rinse it right? Just to use a siphon or gravel cleaner on it right? Also I looked on Amazon for Praziquantel and Levamisole but only saw stuff for cats or other pets not for fish. Is there a different place to look or what brand do you recomend and how do I know what dose to use? So I think my guppies have worms but idk about my cories would these medications affect them or my plants?
     

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