Goldfish has 'bent' body

jcjcjcxApril 3, 2008

Has anyone ever seen this? All my goldfish made it through the winter. However I noticed that one of my white goldfish has a 'bent' body. She barely straightens it out when swimming. Mostly its bent and definetely when she is resting.

Why is this? Is this part of any kind of condition? Could she have been cramped too long in the wrong position in the cold winter water? Last year I brought her inside for the winter into an aquarium to treat for fungus which has been cured more than 1 year ago. Was she somehow spoiled and forgot how to rough out the winter in the pond?

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txgdnr(7TX DFW)

I don't know what causes that condition or what it is called, but I have seen it before, in pondfish as well as some aquarium fish. If you google "goldfish bent body" you will find a lot of answers. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 9:07PM
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    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 9:21PM
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I don't know about goldfish, but I used to have guppies that had this same problem. I thought that maybe it was similar to scoliosis in humans.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 1:17PM
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Thanks. She's otherwise healthy looking (no spots, no uclers/scrapes, no bumps... etc). And she is swimming around... (not lethargic or not acting sickly).
She only got this now this spring (I've had her since 2005). So perhaps, according to the above link, maybe she wasn't getting the right nutrition (but then again none of them would have been fed over the winter).

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Fish are different just as humans are different. All are not affected by the same things. I have one that I have some kind of trouble with every spring. Different things, but he is the one more prone to things. Glenda

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 3:14PM
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I've seen the bent-body syndrome in my indoor aquarium. My rainbow fish would get that a month or 2 after purchase and die a month or two later with no other external sypmtoms. The other species didn't seemto be affected but they weren't living as long as they should have and often had an enlarged liver. After lots of reading, I found a mention that Rainbow fish are affected by mycoplasma and that many of the fish in the aquarium trade have it. There's apparently no cure for mycoplasma. I've managed to control it in the aquarium by using a UV sterilizer and the rainbows are living several years now. I would suspect that is what your goldfish has. Probably goldfish are usually more resistant to mycoplasma but this one became susceptible because of a weaker immune system (maybe because of the fungus, maybe genetically weaker). I'm not sure if mycoplasma is indigenous, but it is certainly affecting the rockfish in the Chesapeake Bay now. I would remove this fish from the pond to minimize the exposure to the others.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 7:51AM
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Thanks for the info. I couldn't find much googling 'mycoplasma', but eventually it lead me to its other name 'Mycobacterium Marinum'.

Wow.. this sounds like scary stuff. I'm always tinkering around in the pond and recently my hands were chapped, so although I didn't have any open sores, I did have tiny cracks on my knuckles. Apparantly humans can get this easily from aquariums and ponds. Also one of my cats loves to drink from the pond (which is how I got started cat loves running water.. so thats how the waterfall/stream/pond started). I'm not sure anymore if its safe for him to drink from it. He's a 'senior' at 15 years old, with early kidney disease. Would be almost impossible to stop him, unless I keep him indoors, and he's used to coming outside with me when we are outside.

Have you heard if there is any place to test the water for this bacteria? (its definetely not something my vet would do). Do places like Big Al's test water samples for bacteria?

I feel bad to have to remove this fish. Unless tested, how can I ever be sure that my water is safe? I just noticed that another fish also had a problem, but something different. It had a chunk of flesh missing right by its gill (like something took a bite). I know the raccoons have already been by. The 'missing' spot looks like its nicely healing.. so its possibly that this happened prior to winter or over winter.

My white goldfish in the photo above, seems to be slightly straighter now... IF, she straightens out, even almost fully, then does that mean that it was something else, and that I don't have to worry about the mycoplasma bacteria?

Now.. you've got me really thinking here... and worried.
(Thanks for the info though... better to know what could possibly be going on... then to not and then one day blow up in your face)...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 9:32PM
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ccoombs1(7B SC)

If this fish was normal before and now is bent, the most common cause is she was shocked. Either a close lightning strike or something like a submerged pump leaking electricity could very easily cause this.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 7:41AM
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Hmmm. as I was about to clean and put away my Thermopond decier, I noticed that there was some water in it. I don't see any cracks or breaks in the seal, and can't get the water to come out no matter which way I rotate it. There's very little water in it, but still I guess its enough to cause a possible short? The deicer was working fine all winter. Since the last few days the decier was in the pond, the area around it was thawed anyways, so I don't know if it shorted then.. or sometime earlier in the winter.

My husband says that if it did short.. it would have either shocked all the fish, or the breaker would have popped. Is it possible for it to shock only one fish? (Maybe this fish was the unlucky one that swam too close to it just before I disconnected it?) I can't see that any fish would swim by it in the middle of winter... The decier is suspended over the 40" deep area, and the fish were always at the bottom. So it must have happened recently?

Wierd.. but maybe thats what really happened. Will my fish eventually recover? She seems to be okay and ever so slightly a bit more straight.. but the 'bend' is still there.
I guess I now I'll have to throw out the decier, and order a new one for next season.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 2:30PM
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ccoombs1(7B SC) is possible for only one fish to be affected. This is actually pretty common. Lightining strike is more common, but stray electric can and does cause this type of injury all the time. Is the deicer plugged into a GFI? A regular breaker won't normally trip unless it really gets grounded out (like from you touching a short) but a GFI would have. She may straighten out some, but might never be normal. I know of a breeder who has a beautiful koi that was bent from lightning and she's been bent (much worse than yours) for years.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 5:17PM
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aquawise(zone 4 Utah)

This is usually caused by a lack of vitamins in the diet. causing bone deformation. Don't know if this is the case with yours but it is the usual cause. More specific vitamin C.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 10:56PM
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The decier was plugged into a GFI. Being winter, there really wasn't any thunder or lighting since fall. Must have been the 'stray electric current'.

.. learn something new every day...

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 8:26PM
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The symptom 'bent positioning' is typically caused by high nitrate levels or supersaturated gases.

Your pond looks to have plenty of algae; which feeds off nitrates keeping them at safe levels, but I would definately test your pond water and possibly your tap water too. Rural areas on well water often have high nitrate levels. Readings over 20 can be deadly to humans and goldfish.

Do you change out your pond water regularly or top it off with the garden hose? Supersaturated gases can also cause this bent position. These gases must be released from the water by means of agitating the surface with a fountain or a water fall; which I see your pond has very little of.

Here is a link that might be useful: Goldfish and the water they live in

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Strange that this post came back up today. Today this fish "Flowie" passed away. She was fine yesterday and all last week. She was fine, eating, swimming, looking healthy all during the year. Her back eventually straightened out almost completely, probably 80% better.

The photo, by the way, was taken when she was in my old pond back in April before spring cleanup. Since then she did well in my rebuilt pond. Water quality tests are all excellent with no ammonia, no nitrites, no nitrates, no phosphates.
I'm not sure what killed her. The water has dipped down to only 6 C now. The rest of my fish are doing okay.
I've lost a few baby goldfish, but that seems to be natures's way of thinning them out each fall.

Well, its really sad to see this fish gone. She was one of my first and the only one to die like this... 3 originals still remain, and 4 originals have disappearred suddenly probably due to racoons or a heron. She is also the one I first posted and asked questions about white fungus, which I was succussfully treated indoors 2 winters ago.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:37PM
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I'm really sorry you lost this special fish. RIP pretty Flowie. Many people saw and talked about you kindly.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 12:10AM
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So sorry to hear about that neighbour. I know many just consider them just fish but they really are our adopted gilled kids complete with individual personalities. Anyway you did all that you could to help her through it all. You are a good person to feel the way that you do about one of God's little creature. RIP Flowie.

Take care, my friend.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 6:19AM
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