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Old 02-17-2020, 03:13 PM   #1
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Fish with bent spines and trouble swimming, please help!

Hello, I think I may have a pretty serious illness that's started in my tank. So far I've seen it in 2 fish, a dwarf gourami and a swordtail. It started in my gourami, I noticed a bend in his spine that looks almost like an S-shape from above. He seemed fine for nearly 2 weeks after I first noticed this, but eventually he started having a difficult time swimming. About a week later he is basically laying on the floor of the tank and only moves to get a gulp of air, only to sink back down like a rock. The guy at my local fish store said it looked like a gut infection, so I've been treating the tank with Metro MS for about a week and a half and I haven't seen any improvement.

I noticed my swordtail has developed a very similar bend in his spine, which I only noticed about 2 days ago. He is still swimming around and acting perfectly normal, however I am worried he will start to go downhill too if I don't figure out how to treat this. I've had both fish for nearly 2 years in the same tank. I haven't changed my maintenance habits at all. It's a 30gallon tank with an aquaclear filter, I do water changes 2-3 times a month (I replace about 5 gallons each time) and I use half tap water half ro water since I have very hard water where I live. I have lots of plants and have never had any sort of diseases be a problem before. I can't find anything like this online and am at a loss. I attached some pictures of how they look from above and from the side. I don't see any skin afflictions or redness, it's just the spine bend and the trouble swimming.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:21 PM   #2
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Sounds like it could be TB. Very contagious, you should quarantine them. Make sure you wash your hands well after being in the tank. I hope it doesn't spread to your other fish.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:41 PM   #3
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All of the pictures I've seen for fish TB have looked completely different though. The thing about this is that the spine bend is exactly the same for both fish and it's a lateral bend, whereas with TB it's usually a vertical one. I had considered TB but I don't see any skin issues or anything else like that.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:47 PM   #4
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You might want to quarantine to be safe. It could be poor breeding that didn't show up until they were older.
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