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Thread: Goldfish has 'bent' body

  1. #1
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    Goldfish has 'bent' body

    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.
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  2. #2
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    Pieter van Westervelt
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  3. #3
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    Thanks. When I googled 'bent body' I don't think koivet came up.
    Anyways according to their website... its possibly Scoliosis??

    She definetely wasn't born with it. I've had her since 2005 and she just got this way now (last time I saw her was Fall before the pond iced over).

    If its from "nutritional deficiencies"... well none of the fish were fed because of the winter.
    Also my decier has worked fine (never shorted out), and is in the deep end, meaning that the fish are well away from it (I could see them at the very bottom sometimes through the hole (which mean's they are at least 3ft down). Besides if my heater was faulty then she probably wouldn't be the only one affected.

    Maybe its a combination of the first two? Aside from starting to feed her the wheatgerm food, I guess there isn't much that I can do.?

    She's otherwise healthy looking (no spots, no uclers/scrapes, no bumps... etc). And she is swimming around... (not lethargic or not acting sickly).

  4. #4
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    broken spine probably due to some stray electrical current

  5. #5
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    Copied From Koicrisis.com

    Kinked Back - Spastic Swimming.
    If this has shown up suddenly, there are several possible causes, but usually this is caused by a lightning strike or electrical discharge into the water from a damaged electrical appliance. Sometimes you get lucky and the appliance causing the trouble identifies itself by "kicking the breaker" and is off when you simultaneously discover the fish with this symptom. When you see a fish with a kinked back swimming spastically, don't dispair. If they have been electrically shocked, here's their prognostic information (chances):

    Big fish, kinked, right side up, normal buoyancy: Kinking may worsen and curvature can become more severe over time. These fish have more mature musculature and are growing more slowly. They recover more slowly.
    Small fish, right side up, normal buoyancy: Kinking almost always resolves to 95% of normal, swimming will probably return to normal. Recovery times are normally six to eight weeks. You can see improvements within a week, but it's gradual.
    Big fish, laying over, sinking: Prognosis is extremely poor. These fish do not equillibrate and they end up being unable to support their body mass nutritionally and they end up beating the "downside" eyeball out of the socket as they try to swim.
    Small fish laying over, sinking: Still a poor prognosis. These fish may be able to eat enough to survive for a time, and perhaps equillibrate.
    Big fish, right side up, on the bottom: These fish will sometimes have a swim bladder full of water. There is a procedure with these "right side up" sinkers wherein the bladder can be tapped, guided by Ultrasound, and the water removed from the air bladder and a mixture of air and antibiotics inserted. Repeated several times it is possible that these fish can be remedied.
    Small fish, right side up, sinkers: 25% of these fish will die or disappear from the pond. 75% will scurry across the bottom and find sufficient food to survive long enough to recover from the condition on their own. Smaller fish are probably easier to 'swimbladder tap' but they are also somewhat more fragile.


    I found this info on Koicrisis.com while searching for an answer to a problem of mine. I thought of you. Graham was exactly right in saying an electrical problem. I guess if you search more on the web you can find out why one fish and not others. Perhaps it just depends on the fish as to how their bodies react.

    Good luck, and I hope you can find the problem. Let us know how it goes...Vicki B.

  6. #6
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    Most likely it was the poor fish closest to the cause of the electrical charge. I would check all the electrical items (pump, lights) in the pond for stray low voltage leaks.
    Pieter van Westervelt
    2011 Pond Builder of the Year
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the great information. That website didn't come up in google either. I'll definitely bookmark it for future reference.

    Well now that I had time to clean and pack away my Thermopond deicer, 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. But there is a tiny bit of water in it. So I guess that must be 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. 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.

    My husband says that if it did short.. it would have either shocked all the fish, or the breaker would have popped. But I guess its possible to shock only those that are unlucky enough to be nearby or right beside it?

    Wierd.. but I guess thats what caused it. From the website, I glad to read that some fish do eventually recover. Mine seems to be okay and even slightly straighter than a week ago, 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. I've had this one for two winters and it worked great. I'm surprised that it had leaked this year. It was less cold, but more snow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Northern New Jersery
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    jcjcjc -

    I am really glad to hear that your fish is doing well and starting to straighten out. Even if he doesn't go back to normal, perhaps he is past the danger zone now. I hope he live a long happy life!!!

    Don't order a new deicer, search this site for postings on Tote Box heaters... I made one last fall (my first fall) on the advice of folks on here and it worked great!!! I made it exactly like the specifications in the pictures and info provided. Most people already own the dark colored rubbermaid containers, I just went to Lowes, or you could use any hardware store. I bought the supplies and used two old pool floaties that I had also, (you'll know what I mean when you see the pictures). They really are easy to make and if anyone in your house is a little handy they shouldn't have a problem. I set a small pump that I bought for a water fountain on some concrete blocks that were already in my pond for a large potted plant. Had was bubbling just breaking the surface for gas exchange directly under the heater and had the heater floating on the surface. Since the 60 watt lightbulb is suspended at the top of the box, there is no way the water can reach it and as long as the water isn't splashing too much, it fine. Also, I used a rubber coated safety bulb incase it did break it doesn't shatter, so there was not harm to any fish. You can hold the tote box in place anyway that is easiest for your pond. We happen to have trees on each side and just ran cable my husband had to tie it off over the pond so it stays put when the wind blew.

    The ice got over 1 inch thick but the large hole under the tote box NEVER froze. It was amazing that a 60 watt bulb could do all that. Mind you, I never stopped looking out my window to make sure that I could still see the light throught the holes I put in the tote box (for gas exchange to escape) and one flap large enough to lift up and get my hand into it to change the bulb if needed (I never had to).

    If you are curious at all about this and have any questions, let me know. Plus, I know there are a lot of people on here who use them and can answer questions I can't.

    Look forward to hearing the progress of your little guy!
    Vicki B.



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