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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am I a glutton for punishment or what. Nothing but problems with my fish. First velvet, now this. It's like I'm non stop treating my fish.

Now before I jump to TB, i'd like to just say, everything about the fish seems fine except for it's curved spine. No sores, no loss of color, no loss of apatite. The fish seems reasonably healthy other than the curved spine.

Now it is a juvenile rainbow. it was in a 10 gallon tank with 6 other rainbows while I was treating the velvet. These fish were fish i ordered before I noticed the velvet, and as to not cross contaminate i put them in a 10 gallon i had. They were starting to get really skittish probably because they had outgrown the tank. They would constantly swim and slam into the walls and whatnot. Could it possibly have just hurt itself?

Since I moved them into my 90 gallon they seems really friendly and happy to see me, unlike in the 10 gallon.

What do you guys think i should do?
 

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I have a swordtail that does the same thing. He has been fine for 2 years but about 6 months ago he developed one single spot on his tail and began to act like he was scared all the time so I dosed a natural organic med that helps the fishes immune system since I never had luck with meds. After 2 doses the spot went away and he began to act normal again.
Now 6 months later he is acting scared again and swimming into the tank walls. He does not flash though. So I did a small water change and cleaned the tank filter but he got even sicker. I dosed the organic med again and he has improved but some heavy breathing and running scared continues.
I mentioned this because he is one of a group of 3 swordtails that were in a qt tank together and the other 2 died from diseases after keeping them for about 6 months. Could have been internal parasite since they wasted away.
I also felt maybe TB was involved also. Now it may look like this one last fish will die soon since he has gone off food. His spine may look a little off but I cannot be sure.
What are the reasons why fish run and hide when they see humans? Obviously they are sick or injured.
Sorry if I have not answered your question about fish TB but a just wanted to share my experience since I am wondering myself.
I was dosing peroxide as an experiment to rid algae in this tank which has worked wonderfully. I suppose that I did get a build up and it may have caused harm to the fish.
My theories are: chemical poisoning,ex: peroxide , bacterial infection, organ failure, Fish TB. Leaning more towards peroxide OD.
In your case , fish TB can not be verified unless further symptoms appear. Like further spine curvature and or open sores and wasting. only autopsy can be 100% conclusive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a swordtail that does the same thing. He has been fine for 2 years but about 6 months ago he developed one single spot on his tail and began to act like he was scared all the time so I dosed a natural organic med that helps the fishes immune system since I never had luck with meds. After 2 doses the spot went away and he began to act normal again.
Now 6 months later he is acting scared again and swimming into the tank walls. He does not flash though. So I did a small water change and cleaned the tank filter but he got even sicker. I dosed the organic med again and he has improved but some heavy breathing and running scared continues.
I mentioned this because he is one of a group of 3 swordtails that were in a qt tank together and the other 2 died from diseases after keeping them for about 6 months. Could have been internal parasite since they wasted away.
I also felt maybe TB was involved also. Now it may look like this one last fish will die soon since he has gone off food. His spine may look a little off but I cannot be sure.
What are the reasons why fish run and hide when they see humans? Obviously they are sick or injured.
Sorry if I have not answered your question about fish TB but a just wanted to share my experience since I am wondering myself.
I was dosing peroxide as an experiment to rid algae in this tank which has worked wonderfully. I suppose that I did get a build up and it may have caused harm to the fish.
My theories are: chemical poisoning,ex: peroxide , bacterial infection, organ failure, Fish TB. Leaning more towards peroxide OD.
In your case , fish TB can not be verified unless further symptoms appear. Like further spine curvature and or open sores and wasting. only autopsy can be 100% conclusive.
He's fine now, he comes out when i'm around, and he is active. He doesn't seem like he's in distress. He was in a tank way too small for him and I do believe that that is why all 7 of the rainbows were scattering. Now they don't because they are in the proper size tank. The only time they scatter is when I walk around the corner and frighten them, then they all group up and come visit me at the glass.

But as you said, there are no other symptoms at the moment, so it's hard to tell.
 

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I am happy that your fish seems better. Keep an eye on his spine. Rainbows like a lot of livebearers can get fish TB.
I am going to stick to egg layers myself from now on. I feel they are hardier and I have had better luck with them.
 

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Did the fish have a deformed spine when you first got him?

If not, how sudden did it go from normal to noticeable?

How severe is the deformity (slight bend or major)?

What med did you use when treating for velvet?

How stressed was the fish during the velvet infestation and during the med use?

Was the fish kept in little to no light (darkness) for extended periods of time?

Has it had poor nutrition?

Lack of calcium or vitamins?

Answer what you can. TB (mycobacterium) isn't as common as people believe. But since TB is a serious danger as it is contagious, even to humans! I would be very careful (literally use gloves, even if you don't see any cuts on your hands, there usually is small ones - hang nails, etc, even the water itself can possibly be contaminated). If you have a separate container, separate it if you want to not chance infecting the other fish. I don't recall their being a real successful cure. I have heard of using some combination of meds, I recall it being Seachem Neomycin and something else (I believe Kanamycin/KanaPlex). I can look it up again, but answer some of the questions and we can try and determine what the deformity may likely be.
 

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I must be a bit heartless, but if I had a swordtail that suddenly developed a curved spine I would cull the fish immediately and bleach treat any equipment that had been in that tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did the fish have a deformed spine when you first got him?

If not, how sudden did it go from normal to noticeable? I'm not really sure when he developed it.

How severe is the deformity (slight bend or major)? His head is tilted about 45 degrees to the one side

What med did you use when treating for velvet? These fish were not treated for velvet, they were never infected

How stressed was the fish during the velvet infestation and during the med use? Null

Was the fish kept in little to no light (darkness) for extended periods of time? got 6 hours of light daily, now 7

Has it had poor nutrition? I feed NLS pellets, peas on occasion and bloodworms or brine shrimp on occasion

Lack of calcium or vitamins? Possibly?
See above
 

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Swordtails, like most live bearers, are not long lived (3-5 years per some references). For a curved spine to show up at 2 years old suggests that old age might be a factor. That is a bit young, but it could be.

Rainbows are generally longer lived fish (5+ years, depending on the reference). For a young one to show a curved spine says something is definitely wrong. Answer Waterlife's questions, see if these lead to any conclusions. All these are valid possibilities, though some are hard to prove (such as past diet: who knows if it was out-competed for food when it was very young?)
His head is tilted about 45 degrees to the one side
Severe, and following a possible impact to the side of the tank, this could be the problem.

Fish can have a low level of Mycobacteriosis and not really show symptoms of that. But they are subject to other infections and less able to throw off parasites, and in other ways just not thrifty. So they die of 'something else'. The chronic and variable diseases Hardstuff mentions is typical. A friend of mine had a similar episode with Melanotaenia praecox. She got 3 juveniles and put them in quarantine. 2 grew pretty fast, 1 did not, and seemed to show a hollow abdomen. Not a lot, just enough to look different, and that 'failure to thrive'. She used a medicine for internal parasites. At the end of 30 days after the treatment (typical quarantine duration) there was still something obviously wrong with the one (smaller than the others), but it seemed to be getting better. So she kept them in quarantine. The turn around was temporary, it quit growing and started showing a deformed spine. Finally she euthanized all 3 and sterilized the tank and all the equipment.

I also have read about cures with a couple of medicines, and Kanamycin was one of them. I do not know if the risk is worth it. Takes a long time to cure, and while the fish is infected everything about that tank needs to kept in strict quarantine. Gloves, separate tools, etc.
The other treatment was keeping a UV sterilizer on all the time. I am not sure if the infected fish were actually healed, but it stopped the spread. Very reputable source.

http://www.bookmasters.com/marktplc/00388mycoarticle1.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Swordtails, like most live bearers, are not long lived (3-5 years per some references). For a curved spine to show up at 2 years old suggests that old age might be a factor. That is a bit young, but it could be.

Rainbows are generally longer lived fish (5+ years, depending on the reference). For a young one to show a curved spine says something is definitely wrong. Answer Waterlife's questions, see if these lead to any conclusions. All these are valid possibilities, though some are hard to prove (such as past diet: who knows if it was out-competed for food when it was very young?)

Severe, and following a possible impact to the side of the tank, this could be the problem.

Fish can have a low level of Mycobacteriosis and not really show symptoms of that. But they are subject to other infections and less able to throw off parasites, and in other ways just not thrifty. So they die of 'something else'. The chronic and variable diseases Hardstuff mentions is typical. A friend of mine had a similar episode with Melanotaenia praecox. She got 3 juveniles and put them in quarantine. 2 grew pretty fast, 1 did not, and seemed to show a hollow abdomen. Not a lot, just enough to look different, and that 'failure to thrive'. She used a medicine for internal parasites. At the end of 30 days after the treatment (typical quarantine duration) there was still something obviously wrong with the one (smaller than the others), but it seemed to be getting better. So she kept them in quarantine. The turn around was temporary, it quit growing and started showing a deformed spine. Finally she euthanized all 3 and sterilized the tank and all the equipment.

I also have read about cures with a couple of medicines, and Kanamycin was one of them. I do not know if the risk is worth it. Takes a long time to cure, and while the fish is infected everything about that tank needs to kept in strict quarantine. Gloves, separate tools, etc.
The other treatment was keeping a UV sterilizer on all the time. I am not sure if the infected fish were actually healed, but it stopped the spread. Very reputable source.

http://www.bookmasters.com/marktplc/00388mycoarticle1.pdf
I got all 7 as juvies. they were 3/4 inch when i got them and he is is in the middle range for size. He looks perfectly healthy other then the curved spine. I've also probably touched the water in the time that i've noticed the curved spine as well. So that might be a problem, i'll look up some fish TB in humans.

I'll try to get a picture of him when my light timer comes on.
 

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Look up Mycobacterium marinum. There are several species of Mycobacteriosis, but I think M. marinum is the one that causes problems in humans.
'Fish Handler's Disease' is one of the common names.

Be ready for some gory pictures.
 

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TB or no TB, when you are dealing with a curved spine, there is nothing more you can do for the fish.
I know guppy females often go curved during birthing, and I have never seen one heal... but I think that is unrelated.
Lure it to the top and scoop it up with something... not your net, you can not disinfect TB in the traditional ways we use...
The safest option for you, the other fish and your family is to immediately cull any fish which even remotely look like they could have TB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Look up Mycobacterium marinum. There are several species of Mycobacteriosis, but I think M. marinum is the one that causes problems in humans.
'Fish Handler's Disease' is one of the common names.

Be ready for some gory pictures.
Should I be pro active and go to the doctor? :p
 

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Per a vet's recommendation, here is how to sterilize against MB:

1) Throw away anything that will not tolerate this treatment, or cannot be guaranteed to be fully treated, or is so cheap it is not worth treating. (plants, substrate, any material with little hollows, pores, pockets, sponge-like texture such as wood, or lava rock)

2) Chlorine bleach. If you use common laundry bleach (the oldest, basic one, not the 'splashless' or any scented variety) maximum dilution is 50% bleach + 50% water. Soak everything well. The bleach breaks down the organic layers, the bio film on all the surfaces, and kills a lot of things, but not Mycobacterium organisms. By breaking down the bio films it is exposing those resistant organisms to the next step.
Rinse well. Adding dechlor is optional- you can simply leave things out to dry. Chlorine evaporates rather quickly when exposed to warm air.

3) Rubbing alcohol. In the US, sold as Isopropl alcohol, 70%. (stronger is OK) do not dilute. Wipe down all surfaces really well. Allow all the surfaces to dry. This evaporates the alcohol. Rubbing alcohol kills MB, but it cannot break through the bio films where it hides (that is the job of the bleach).

This treatment was in a post from someone who had actually treated the fish for some internal parasites, and worked closely with the vet to diagnose MB vs other problems (the fish had very low level of internal parasites after the treatment). Some of the fish actually had MB, as diagnosed by the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Per a vet's recommendation, here is how to sterilize against MB:

1) Throw away anything that will not tolerate this treatment, or cannot be guaranteed to be fully treated, or is so cheap it is not worth treating. (plants, substrate, any material with little hollows, pores, pockets, sponge-like texture such as wood, or lava rock)

2) Chlorine bleach. If you use common laundry bleach (the oldest, basic one, not the 'splashless' or any scented variety) maximum dilution is 50% bleach + 50% water. Soak everything well. The bleach breaks down the organic layers, the bio film on all the surfaces, and kills a lot of things, but not Mycobacterium organisms. By breaking down the bio films it is exposing those resistant organisms to the next step.
Rinse well. Adding dechlor is optional- you can simply leave things out to dry. Chlorine evaporates rather quickly when exposed to warm air.

3) Rubbing alcohol. In the US, sold as Isopropl alcohol, 70%. (stronger is OK) do not dilute. Wipe down all surfaces really well. Allow all the surfaces to dry. This evaporates the alcohol. Rubbing alcohol kills MB, but it cannot break through the bio films where it hides (that is the job of the bleach).

This treatment was in a post from someone who had actually treated the fish for some internal parasites, and worked closely with the vet to diagnose MB vs other problems (the fish had very low level of internal parasites after the treatment). Some of the fish actually had MB, as diagnosed by the vet.
So a little update. I've been pretty busy that past couple days, so i haven't been able to check the forums.

But anyways, i looked at my crooked fish today, and he's not so crooked. his heads at about 10 degrees down instead of 45. Do I still assume TB, or could it just have been an injury from being in that 10 gallon a little longer than I had hoped to keep them in there for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think it is an injury, and he is getting better.
I'll keep an eye on him, that will be awesome if it's not TB. Spending months on end treating velvet and the money i spent just to destroy everything because of TB would have been probably the end to my hobby.

Thanks for the help.
 
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