Guppy Bent Spine?- Why It Happen And Is it Untreatable?

Guppies are tough by nature, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need attention. If you neglect your guppy’s health and well-being, it’s likely that the fish may develop a life-threatening ailment. Guppy bent spine is an example of this, and it is not rare. Let’s look at why this happens and how to avoid it.

What Causes A Guppy’s Spine To Bend?

Guppies may be born with a bowed spine, which can develop abruptly or gradually as they grow older. It’s identified by a spine curvature that resembles the letter S. Scoliosis or fish tuberculosis are the two causes of a guppy’s twisted spine, both of which are incurable.

Let’s take a closer look at the two illnesses stated above, as well as some prevention strategies.

Guppies with Scoliosis

The sideways curvature of the spine is referred to as scoliosis. This condition affects guppies at their larval or fry stages when the spine develops an S or C-shaped curvature. Female guppies are more prone to scoliosis in the postnatal phase because they are under a lot of abdominal strain during giving birth.

What is the cause of my guppy’s scoliosis?

Heredity and inbreeding are the most prevalent causes of scoliosis in guppies. If the female parent has a curved spine, there’s a good chance that the fry will inherit it. Scoliosis may also be caused by other causes such as a bad diet, a lack of light, and a faulty filtration and heating system.

Inbreeding is a result of inbreeding

If your guppy got scoliosis at a young age, it was almost certainly the result of inbreeding. Because young guppies have a small gene pool, this is a very tragic reality for them. Guppies, like dogs, are often inbred for desired traits such as brilliant colours, larger fins, and distinctive patterns.

During the life of the fish, the curvature of the spine may worsen or remain unchanged. To prevent scoliosis in guppies, it’s critical to diversify the gene pool and avoid inbreeding at all costs.


The second most prevalent cause of a guppy’s twisted spine is heredity. In fact, reproducing scoliosis-affected guppies is a sure-fire way to have a guppy with a twisted spine. If a parent has a bowed spine, his or her children are likely to have the same fate. Furthermore, approximately 90% of fry born to females with scoliosis are expected to acquire the disorder from their mother.

Allow her fry to live with the adults if you have a pregnant guppy with a twisted spine. Because guppies devour their own offspring, the fry will not survive to maturity in a painful state.

Unhealthy Tank Conditions

When it comes to a guppy bent spine, inbreeding and heredity are two elements you can’t control. A terrible tank environment, on the other hand, is something you can entirely change. Scoliosis is common in guppies grown in tight aquariums with inadequate amounts of oxygen and light.

See also  Can Guppy Fish Live In A Bowl? - Complete Info By Pets Bent

Low oxygen levels in a tank affect guppies’ respiratory processes as well as their general health. It weakens their immune system, rendering them vulnerable to diseases like scoliosis.

Lighting, on the other hand, may have a direct effect on the spine. Guppies need roughly 8-10 hours of light every day to help them develop their spines. A prominent cause of guppy bent spine is a lack of enough natural and artificial light.

Dietary Issues

For starters, guppies are omnivores that need a variety of foods. High-quality flakes and pellets, frozen blood worms brine shrimp, and even vegetables should be part of their diet. Calcium, phosphorus, and protein are the most important nutrients for guppies.

If they don’t eat enough, their immune systems deteriorate, allowing disorders like scoliosis to take hold. Swimming will be very difficult for guppies with scoliosis. Their development is also slowed.

As a consequence, the guppy’s foraging and mating skills have been severely harmed. Bullying, harassment, and fights in the tank will almost always be directed towards them. As a result, if you have a guppy with a bent spine, they should not reproduce.

Guppies with Tuberculosis

Another cause of guppy bent spine is fish tuberculosis, which is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium Marinum. It is very infectious and, if not treated promptly, will swiftly spread to other fish in the aquarium. Tanks that are overcrowded and poorly maintained are particularly vulnerable to an epidemic.

Assume that the oxygen level in the tank is low. In such instances, additional hazardous gases such as ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites would rise, increasing the guppy’s chances of acquiring TB. A tank with a poor filtering system, a sluggish heating mechanism, and limited size performs as well.

Let’s say you have a guppy with fish TB. If that’s the case, you should move it to a quarantine tank and clean the communal tank right away. Within the tank, the bacteria may multiply rapidly, infecting numerous guppies at once.

However, TB isn’t merely a disease of a contaminated tank. Unfortunately, a new fish may already be infected with the sickness when you bring it home. Always make sure you’re getting fish from reputable fish retailers that keep their fish in the best possible conditions.

How Can I Tell If My Guppies Have Tuberculosis Or Scoliosis?

While a bent spine is a common sign of TB, it’s easy to mistake it for scoliosis.

Other TB symptoms in guppies include:

  • Abdomen, fins, and tail area discolouration
  • Spots and lesions
  • Appetite loss.
  • Eyes that protrude and are crimson
  • Scales are missing.

Keeping the tank clean and enriched, where guppies may have a healthy and interesting existence, is the most efficient strategy to avoid fish TB.d

See also  How Long Can Guppies Live Without Food?

What Is The Best Way To Treat Tuberculosis In Guppies?

There are a few therapies for tuberculosis-related guppy bent spine, however, they seldom succeed. Antibiotics are often prescribed by veterinarians, however, they are ineffective in treating the condition. Similarly, several conventional treatments, such as adding salt or boosting the temperature, are ineffective.

Antibiotics such as isoniazid, kanamycin, and neomycin are available and are routinely suggested by veterinarians. While medicine may help slow the progression of sickness to some degree, it can’t fix a guppy’s twisted spine.

Similarly, some old approaches promise to be effective, yet they often do more harm than good. Adding salt to the tank and changing the temperature, for example, may accelerate bacteria development, exacerbating the fish’s problems.

As a result, the only reasonable course of action is to immediately place the fish in a quarantine tank until you can determine what to do with it. It’s not an easy choice to make, but it’s the best one for your fish. Tuberculosis is a very contagious illness, and the only way to combat it is to avoid it.

How Can Tuberculosis Be Prevented In Guppies?

To prevent TB and a guppy bent spine, make sure your fish has a strong immune system and eats a nutritious, nutrient-rich diet. Aside from that, keep TB at bay by maintaining a safe and healthy tank environment with optimal settings and space.

Simply providing a stress-free environment may go a long way toward keeping a guppy from being ill. Also, always quarantine new fish before putting them in the aquarium. It may seem unlikely, but you never know what illnesses they could be harbouring. At the very least, keep them in a fresh tank for two weeks.

How Do You Put A Guppy To Sleep?

Because there is no solution for a guppy’s twisted spine, the only alternative is to euthanize the sick guppy or its tank companions. The most merciful approach to euthanize a guppy is to put clove oil in the water, which knocks them comatose and causes a painless death.

After transferring the ill guppy to the quarantine tank, use a high concentration of clove oil. Clove oil starts off as a sedative before knocking the guppy out. It causes hypoxia, which is defined by a lack of oxygen, and the guppy dies within 10 minutes.For a quick and painless outcome, combine 400mg of clove oil with one litre of water. This oil is readily obtained from a neighbourhood chemist.

Before pouring the clove oil into the tank, dilute it with a little warm water and mix it well. Make sure you do it gradually since a drastic change in water conditions will only frighten your fish. You may monitor your guppy’s gill movement after around 10-12 minutes. By that time, your fish will most likely have died.

See also  Are Guppies Tropical Fish - Info By Petsbent

Remember to use protective gear like masks and gloves while disposing of the deceased guppy’s corpse, since TB is extremely contagious and may be transferred via even minor scratches or bruises. We often see fish parents who euthanize their fish by submerging them in very cold or extremely hot water, flushing them down, or even employing carbon dioxide.

All of these ways, however, are cruel, and your guppy does not deserve any of them. As a result, we highly advise using clove oil to euthanize a guppy with a bent spine.

Related Posts You May Like:

Why Is My Guppy Laying On The Bottom Of The Tank?

Are Guppies Freshwater Fish? (Complete Answered) By Petsbent

Conclusion About Guppy Bent Spine

Scoliosis or TB may create a guppy’s twisted spine, which is a dangerous and life-threatening ailment. These disorders may affect people at various periods of life, but they are not curable.

The best you can do to avoid a guppy bent spine is to assess the situation and take the required precautions. Inbreeding and genetics are the main causes of this painful illness in guppies, although tank health is also important.

A guppy’s chances of acquiring scoliosis or TB are greatly increased if the tank is poorly maintained (low oxygen level, lack of room, poor filtration, and heating mechanism).

Unfortunately, since these are incurable diseases, you will have to euthanize the ailing guppy, who would otherwise suffer. You may euthanize your pet fish by putting clove oil in the tank and rendering it asleep before taking its breath away.

Jack Benz

Leave a Comment