Something Wrong With Fish? Bent Spines - Fry

Lilee

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Hello

So, I've had fish for a year and a half now - I think my information is outdated, but I have some mollies, platys, neon & glowlight tetras, panda corydoras, and 2 plecos (a gold seam nugget, and a bristlenose) - my tank levels have been checked and confirmed to be okay by 2 local fish stores, and 1 local pet store (who sells fish). //edit; the tank is 55 gallons

However, I have noticed that we keep finding fish with bent spines, or dying randomly with seemingly no problems. But this ONLY happens with the fry, and not all of the fry. It happens once they are about 1-2 inches, and have been alive for about a month. None of our adult fish are sick, and the issue is only observed in the molly and platy fry/youngsters. We haven't had an adult fish death in over 6 months.

Is this just a genetic defect, or should I be concerned about another issue or disease in the tank?

Thanks!
 

CanadianFishFan

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It is just a genetic defect, sadly in these more common fish it is very likely to happen. Sometimes you cant see it until they get older. It will never get better and gets worse the bigger they get. This is why we Cull baby fry as its inhumane for them to live.
 
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Lilee

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I'm not so upset as long as I know it's definitely a genetic defect. We have been euthanising any fish as soon as we notice the bent spine or difficulties spinning - because after the first couple of fish ended up dying, I didn't want to leave the others to suffer until they died.
 
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I'm not sure if this is true but i was watching a video from aquarium Co-op earlier and he said a bent spine might be from a calcium deficiency. If it's not genetic that might be the cause. But I entered the hobby a couple of weeks ago so I might be thinking zebras instead horses.
 
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Lilee

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I think that if it was a calcium deficiency, the adults would also be showing signs - they all get fed the same food and some of the fry have grown up into adults and continued on to breeding with no issues. And they remain in the same tank.
 

chromedome52

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Lilee said:
I think that if it was a calcium deficiency, the adults would also be showing signs - they all get fed the same food and some of the fry have grown up into adults and continued on to breeding with no issues. And they remain in the same tank.
Yes, but fry are still growing, and need more nutrition and minerals than the already grown adults. Spinal deformities are often blamed on genetics, but are rarely cause by them. If your tap water is extremely soft, this could easily cause the calcium shortage. The livebearers are from hard water regions, and are quite susceptible to this deficiency.
 

Goldiemom

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Are your babies in the same tank as the adults? They need a lot of protein. I feed fresh baby brine shrimp and Hikari First Bites to my fry and never have issues. Good nutrition designed specifically for fry is extremely important. I also feed 3 times a day.
 
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Lilee

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I don't know how to quote but;

chromedome52 - Our water is extremely hard and always has been.

Goldiemom - yes, the fry are in the same tank as the adults because (as horrible as it sounds) we don't exactly want them to survive... we're overrun as it is (not for the tank size, just for our personal preference) and none of our local fish stores will take them as babies, they will only take them as adults. We used to have an adult molly who would eat the fry, but she passed away of old age. Doesn't seem like any of our current adults eat them though. The fry are fed a livebearer fry powdered food that we were recommended. Not sure what it's called and I'm nto at home. I'm not the sole owner of the fish and I am not financially responsible for them, and my mum wont buy frozen or fresh foods like brine shrimp (I also just find shrimp extremely creepy). There's also the fact of, why would we feed something expensive and time consuming for fish we don't want?

For every 1-2 fry that die, 6-8 survive. I would be very surprised if this was down to food or water quality.
 

Goldiemom

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Hatching baby brine shrimp is just about the cheapest and easiest thing to do. I wouldn’t do it though if you aren’t wanting them. I was just trying to help you get a healthier bunch. What does it really matter why their spines are bent if they are just fish food? I wouldn’t worry about it then.
 
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