Why are my fish bent?

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noodle created the topic: Why are my fish bent?

I know these are not oscars but figured you know fish so may be able to help.

I have a tank with some Endler's livebearer (and guppy crosses who get removed whenever I spot them), a while ago the water parameters got a bit off and the temperature was borderline lethal for a few weeks. Not long after that I noticed one young female fish bent almost 90 degrees. To give an idea of what I mean her tail was facing the right way but her head was facing the top of the tank. She seemed to navigate around the tank easily enough.

I left her alone and she survived for several months. Then I started to have more female fish bent, some had two bends and it looked like they were swimming up stairs. I then worried that the original female may have bred so got rid of her and all the other bent fish. It is always the females. I first notice them when they are tiny so I assume it is not happening long after they are born. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures

What could be causing this? Is this a genetic issue, is it due to poor water quality, is it due to the extreme temperatures, or is something else afoot here? I have tried asking people locally but only get the awesome and helpful response of "Your fish breed?!? I have never heard of that before. You must be doing something right".
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ehh replied the topic: Re:Why are my fish bent?

We'll have you tested the water? If the water is params are where they should be then that'll eliminate one variable. But for constant deformities I would blame genetics.


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purplecandle replied the topic: Why are my fish bent?

Perhaps fish tuberculosis? That can cause a bent spine and its contagious (even to humans).
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Rogue_Violetta replied the topic: Re:Why are my fish bent?

ehh wrote: We'll have you tested the water? If the water is params are where they should be then that'll eliminate one variable. But for constant deformities I would blame genetics.


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I'd have to agree. A lot of fish you buy like these are horribly inbred. One LFS has actually admitted they started with two pairs of guppies, and kept breeding them, and letting the children breed and so on.

IIRC Endler's are very very closely related to guppies, to the point of easy interbreeding. And nothing can stop a pair of guppies breeding. Pure Endler's are hard to find in some areas too- mostly they're crossbred.

We have two tanks that contain baby guppies here at the moment. One of the tanks contains the offspring of an experiment I am conducting in regards to the genetics of guppies, the other houses Buckley, Murphy, and their parents (they're about to get siblings soon too /sigh But Mr Rogue has claimed that tank as his, so he can deal with them- good practice) Buckley and Murphy were found during a water change after a parasite treatment, and are twice the size of the aforementioned offspring. That were born on November 20, and are 3 weeks old today. M and B are a few months. We're suspecting Dwarfism, as the pair in there are very close in colouring, and are probably from a brother/sister line and brother and sister themselves. It's amazing how inbred they can get, and that's when the deformities start cropping up. Even if you buy from different suppliers, both are probably very much inbred, and recessive genes start showing up... you get the drift.

Purple: You might have a point with the TB, but that would require an autopsy to confirm/deny. And, uh, they're not very pleasant to do.

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Throw yourself in- use the wrong words, try different foods, kiss random fish. It's an adventure!
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  • Darth Nandopsis
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Why are my fish bent?

Genetic deformities from bad line breeding. Go look in a tank of feeder guppies....you'll see tons of bent fish.

THOSE WHO REFUSE KNOWLEDGE ARE DOOMED TO FAIL.

WATER CHANGES ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS HOBBY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE SO OR SIMPLY DON'T FEEL LIKE DOING THEM, RE-HOME YOUR FISH, SELL YOUR AQUARIUM & FIND ANOTHER HOBBY, AS YOU WILL FAIL UTTERLY, COMPLETELY, & MISERABLY.
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noodle replied the topic: Why are my fish bent?

Thank you all for your replies!

I suspect that all of my endlers all have some guppy blood in them. I get rid of any that are noticeably not endler or even have less vivid colouration but guppy offspring keep popping up so it kind of indicates that most/all of them have guppy in their heritage. Unfortunately I don't know of anyone with anything a bit more pure withing a few hundred km of here.

We don't have feeder guppies where I live. The cheapest guppy I have seen in a pet store here was $6. Fish do not seem to be terribly popular pets out this way unfortunately.

Do you think that hard culling will fix this or is it likely to keep happening? I started with a colony of about 40 in the hopes that genetic issues would not arise but it appears that this is not the case.
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Lammergeier replied the topic: Why are my fish bent?

It's so strange seeing John Endler's name popping up in convos like this because I know the man :lol:

Anyway, the fish lab where I'm working at the moment has some 10000 guppies in it and the bent spine phenomenon is (sadly) fairly common. In the lab it's caused by a genetic deformity, although it did occur more often in the early days (long before I joined) before they got the water hardness up. The lab population was seeded by 300 - 400 wild guppies, and even that wasn't enough to stave off inbreeding depressions/deformities.

Sadly, it's likely to keep happening. All you can do is cull any that have it, and perhaps isolate pregnant females to determine which ones are producing these bent offspring, then not allow them to breed in the future.
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Rogue_Violetta replied the topic: Why are my fish bent?

^^^ What Lamm said.

I always separate my guppies when it seems time to give birth- I want to see numbers, and size for control reasons. Also, they stay in a separate tank (or fry trap), and the males and females are divided as soon as possible. We even bought a paint pen and have written which guppy, date of birth, and number of fry on the tanks.

For example, my guppy Mirtai had 15 surviving fry. The date she gave birth, her name, and that number is on the tank she gave birth in (Mirtai Nov 20 15 Fry). One of Lady's babies is in there now, as it turned out that they were boy and girl, so Gordon isn't Gordon anymore, lol. Barney is Gordon and Gordon is Alyx now.

Lady also gave birth almost on Mr Rogue's birthday, but by the time we had counted and got everything settled it was after midnight, so we say they were born then. She was still giving birth at 11:30pm. Written is 'Lady XX December 14 Fry'. Which I have nicknamed The Doctors, and if you don't get it, there's technically 14 of them...

But the reason I'm telling you this is because I also know who the father is. I keep track of my lines. Last thing I want is inbreeding when part of this is an experiment...

Separate the females before they give birth. Get a bunch of floater tanks if you have to, or make fry traps. You might find the results interesting.

Keeper of the Food Pellets of Malekith the Never Accursed, Lover of Bubbles and Airstones, and Beloved of the Rogue Violetta.

Throw yourself in- use the wrong words, try different foods, kiss random fish. It's an adventure!
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