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Old 06-12-2019, 12:32 AM   #1
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Unhappy Molly has twisted spine

a couple hours ago i noticed that my orange Mollie's spine was bent and her skin was a little bit rough. I quarantined her immediately. my tank was moved from a neighbors house and hadn't been properly cared for for about 2 weeks. Before the move one of the tetras in the tank had a bent spine, too. I euthanized him because he couldn't swim very well and didn't want anything to spread. the fish looked fine for the week I've had them at my house. I didn't think to change the food I was using so it could have spread that way. i cleaned all decor and filters ect. before putting them back in the tank after the move

1~What type of fish is afflicted? molly

2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)?

Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:0
pH: 6.8
temp: 72F

3~ How large is the tank? ~ 30 gallons
How long has the tank been set up? about a week
4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number a sponge filter ~20 gal and a tetra 20 gall filter, i think?

5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?

-4 black mollies 1 1/2 to 2 inches long
-5 orange mollies 1/2 inch
-2 glass catfish 2 inches
-~7 Cory catfish 1 1/2 to 2 inches
- 2 adult Plecos (3 inches) and about 10 1/4 inch babies
-8 neon tetras 1/2 inch
-3 black tetras 1 1/2 inches

6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel?
this morning
How often do you do this? this is the 1st time since i got the fish
How much water do you remove at a time? ~ 10%

7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?
1 week, i got them from a friend

8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
i added a decoration, a different filter, and a heater

9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish? fish flakes
have you changed their diet recently? no
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:34 PM   #2
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I have a feeling that your tank isn't cycled. You should be noticing at least some nitrates. You also seem slightly overstocked to me. You should be doing larger water changes.
Sometimes mollies can get bent spines from either difficulty giving birth or it being a birth defect. However if a tetra had it before the molly then I wouldn't rule out tuberculosis or another disease like it.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:09 PM   #3
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thanks for the information. My tank was not properly cycled. the people i get the tank from needed it out as quickly as possible so i didn't have time for good bacteria buildup. I will do larger water changes. another person told me that quarantining my Molly would be worse for her but if it's a communicable disease like neon tetra disease,i wouldn't want it to spread. what do you think i can do to make it safely cycled? do you think i should keep the molly quarantined?
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:45 PM   #4
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I reccomend looking at the the article on cycling a tank. It will do a much better job of explaining than I can.
Since the fish will be a source of nitrates you need to test frequently for ammonia and do water changes according. Your tank will be cycled when you have a reading of ammonia 0 nitrites 0 and nitrates between 5-10. Up to 20 on the last number is ok but not reccomend.
In the meantime I would keep her quarantined until you know for sure if she is sick or if it was a complication from her giving birth. Can you upload a picture of the fish?
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:31 PM   #5
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The Molly didn't give birth, sorry about the miscommunication. i can't get the photo uploaded to this post.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:55 AM   #6
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If I had to guess I'd say you are dealing with Tuberculosis. Being that TB causes curvature of the spine and the fact that it appears a lot in tetra's and mollies which are two fish you now have seen physical deformity in.

The fact your tank isn't cycled and it's crowded, it's not going to help any infected fish with a healing process. I'd immediately euthanize any fish with physical deformity in the case it is TB because it's highly contagious. Even contagious to humans. If you wanted to try and treat for TB, use a bacterial med such as Kanaplex or Furan 2. There's several out there that will work as well.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:33 PM   #7
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Do you think that the spine could be bent from stress? I was looking around and found a few cases of mollies spines bending from bad water quality,overstocked tanks, and harassment (2 males have been constantly chasing her around, so..). She doesn't show any other signs of TB, she's energetic, no sores or scale loss, i haven't offered food yet though. and doesn't the spine bend years into the disease? she's not even that old.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:08 AM   #8
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It could be bad genetics or lack of nutrients in the water. Not sure that stress causes curvature in the spine. Just beware that TB is common in tetra's and mollies more so than other fish.
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