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What happened to my Harlequin Rasbora?

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I posted a similar question on Yahoo! Answers, but got only one sort of vague response, so I figured I would ask it on a site dedicated to aquariums and general fish keeping. I've been meaning to join this forum anyway, since I have a planted tank and use information from the site often! Anyway, everything was normal when I turned on the lights this morning. Everyone was happy and hungry (I feed my fish once per day). I suppose I should start with my stock:
(55 gallon)
-1 Angelfish
-9 Neons (I know that Angels can be aggressive to neons, but there haven't been any problems in all the months he has been kept with tetras, and the tank has quite a bit of free space)
-4 Rasboras (used to be 5, I'll get to that)
-3 mystery snails
-4 ghost shrimp
Okay, sorry for the long intro there, getting on to the situation that has me panicking. So, everything was perfectly normal when I turned on the lights this morning and fed them. Everyone ate normally and nothing was left over. I had to go out most of the day, so I wasn't there to monitor the tank. After getting home I went to check on my tank and I noticed one of the rasboras looked in really bad shape. REALLY bad shape. His back was all crooked and he wasn't schooling as he normally does with the rest of the rasboras. His coloration looked a bit off, a little pale, but not so much that it was alarming. I didn't notice any bulges on him. He was also staying near the top of the water, but not gasping for air at all.
After a while of watching him, I could see his condition was worsening and worsening, so I decided to humanely put him out of his misery (the whole freezer deal) :/ What could this have been? Please help me. I don't want my other fish to catch it if it is contagious. What astounds me is that everything was perfect 7 1/2 hours prior to finding him like that. Thank you for your time.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Could be a multiple of diseases or infections.. Have you cleaned the filter recently or done anything to moderately+ disrupt the bacteria in the tank?
Not at all. I have a Marineland 350B filter (HOB), and the cartridges have been in for about 1 1/2 weeks. Do you think my other fish could be infected? The lights are off right now and they are all acting perfectly normal, no one was distressing or acting strangely before/after I took the fish out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Uhhh a crooked spine sounds suspicious and I would suspect some kind of physical trauma. Maybe aggression from another fish caused it to swim into something or it might have tried jumping and hit something.

I agree. None of my other fish look even remotely sick or are behaving abnormally. It's now about 22 hours later, and everyone is healthy as ever. I think perhaps he could have had a run in with my filter intake tube or hit the glass hard. The rasboras I have are kind of skiddish.

The slight lack of color could just have been that he was stressed because, well obviously he had had a traumatic experience and was in pain.


Have you done that water change and tested the waters yet?

How are your fish looking today? Any change?
I did the water change early in the morning before I turned on my lights, about 4 hours after I posted that reply to your message. Water parameters are all in check, and everyone is behaving normally. I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on things, but the lack of bloating or redness does lead me to believe that it was some kind of physical trauma, rather than a pathogen. :icon_neut
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Happening that fast also makes me think of injury, not disease.

Yeah, I guess I'll just have to play the waiting game if it is actually a bacterium in my tank, but after over a day I would think I would have started to see some kind of behavioral changes in at least one fish if it actually was a pathogen. Thanks guys, you have brought me a lot of relief hah, both for my health and the health of my fish. :fish:
 

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I agree with the injury or trauma. There is no physical deformity disease that I know of. Diseases are caused by organisms. What areas in your tank are small enough to get stuck or wedged. Fish tend to venture into the smallest of cracks. Alot of fish only have one gear, forward and not backwards to steer away from danger. I have had multiple fish wedge themselves in my CO2 reactor outlet and in some of the holes in my driftwood. Every single time I am too late once I notice. Once finally freed it seems as though they spent so much energy trying to free themselves when really whats going on its that they are further injuring themselves or lowering their immune system.
 

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There are issues that can caused curved spines - nutritional deficiencies and fish TB come to mind. But you would usually see other symptoms ahead of time. I've had fish with curved spines before and I will say that it's something I may have noticed slightly a first and just kind of blew off as my imagination until one day I realized that there was, in fact, a serious issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
*UPDATE*

Thank you everyone for your helpful responses. In the days after the incident, none of my other fish show any signs of deformity or poor health. They all have great coloration, and are active as ever. I think it was just a fluke thing; the rasbora must have gotten startled for some reason and gotten caught between the filter intake and the side of the tank. Within 2 weeks I'll be getting a canister filter, both to avoid that problem and for better filtration. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Why so few rasboras? You could support a pretty nice school in there.

You bring up a good point. I would get more, but the problem is that the store I buy fish from only has very young ones as of the moment, and I would be afraid my Angelfish would make them into a nice snack. I'm going to wait a few weeks and see if they are still there/the store has gotten a new shipment.
 

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The fish could have been injured by the Angelfish in a failed attempt at eating it.
Have seen these fish slip up inderneath fish at night and either outright gulp em up, or injure them in the attempt.
Would not be so trusting of the Angelfish with smaller fish /shrimps were it me.(natural foods)
Has nothing to do with fish personalities as some who attempt to place human qualities to their fish try to do ,but more about natural instinct's.
 
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