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Old 06-26-2012, 09:46 PM   #1 
Blue Fish
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
Unhappy Fish with body curvature/kinking/Z-shape??

Question...I just got back from Petsmart this afternoon...went in for a stresscoat refill and some new silk plants...and came out with a 10 gallon and two new bettas...of course... ;)
Up to four now...this is the end, no more, no more! ;)
Anyway, I saw something pretty disturbing while I was there, and I wondered if there were any other causes for this particular deformity...?

Two fish, both Double Tail Males, good size, light in color but it looked like that *was* their natural color, both had large stress stripes, and they were crooked. Very, very crooked.
One was pink bodied, red on his fins, stress stripes, but fins flared out fully, floating in the bowl, not lying on the bottom or top, somewhat fast breathing but not too bad (about normal for living in what was not the cleanest cup of water in the world...), followed my movements and seemed normal till I picked up his cup, and he started flashing around, head near the bottom sill of the cup, fins flipping all over, enough that it was hard to see where any part of him was as he flipped back and forth. At first I thought he was just feisty, then I looked again and noticed that his spine was bent into a Z shape. He seemed to be able to straighten out for the most part, but not completely, and he always returned to the Z pattern. After seeing his bending I wondered if the flashing was more like flailing?
A second had the same issues, but less of a bend, more just a kink about 3/4 of the way back in his body, but same flared fins, breathing, flashing/flailing?, same small amount of bubblenest bubbles in the top.

They looked healthy except for that spine kink. I don't want to say the T word, but is there some other reason a fish can be bent like that?
Do they ever have fish scoliosis? Other animals can, wasn't sure about fish. I also wondered if since they were pretty good size, could they have been housed in too small a container for too long, and as such have curves in their spines or musculature that's more developed on one side than the other, causing a curvature?

I didn't say anything to Petsmart because I didn't want to freak anyone out before I had more information. So...I came here.

Information of any type will be so welcome! I want to let Petsmart know if it's something serious, but I also don't want to be crying wolf because I'm uninformed.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:49 PM   #2 
Blue Fish
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Location: East Tennessee
Also...I went on ahead and purchased two fish today, one because he's been there for two weeks and did the puppy eyes on me...and his water was low and his bowl was filthy...and I couldn't leave him...And the other because he was close to the "kinky" fish but seemed healthy...and I was worried for him. If this is something serious, they will be continue to be completely quarantined, but in the meantime, should I treat them with anything? They will both be staying in QT tanks/rooms until I know that they are safe, but if I need to treat them, any suggestions/directions will be most welcome. :)
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spine curvature, z-shape body

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