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Dying Guppy

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I’m very sad to admit this but one of my all time favorite fish I ever had is going for a fact to die. I don’t really know what to do. He is a yellow guppy that I had for about 9 months. I got him from more of a “fancy fish store” then like a normal petsmart or Petco. I have researched for hours and I can’t find anything that describes fully what sickness or disease that he has. Like some sort of magic devolved a curved spine overnight. And it isn’t really a “s” or “c” shape it looks more like a “<” shape. And that’s it. No other symptoms. Eating fine. Acting as normal as a fish could be looking like a sideways “v”. It can no longer swim right and I know it’s near impossible for a fish to recover from that so if it somehow survives the night I am thinking about euthanizing it since it won’t be able to function properly.
Water parameters: Nitrate:15 Nitrite:0 Ammonia:0 Chlorine:0 gh: 150 ta:80 kh:120 ph:7.8

The guppy lives in a 15 gallon tank with another guppy, 5 plates, and two African dwarf frogs

There’s a smooth rock cave big enough that nothing gets stuck in it. Gravel, air stone, water pump, sponge filter, and crushed coral. The tank is cycled and has been for 4 months. If someone can please explain what has happened and what to do it would be tremendously appreciated. I know it’s almost certain that it’s too late for my yellow guppy, but  if there’s anyway to prevent it or cure it if it happens again would also be greatly appreciated.

One more thing to add the water temp is 78° F

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First, I would like to say I sympathize and I'm very sorry for what you're going through.  It's not easy when this type of thing happens and not having an answer for why isn't a great help either.

Usually spine issues result from a few things:
-Self-damage (like hitting the glass lid)
-attack from another fish
-nutrition deficiency
-mineral deficiency (low GH)
-too much flow/filtration issue

I would start by double checking that your GH is high enough for the guppies.  From an online source (seriouslyfish) the recommendation is Hardness: 143 – 536 ppm.

In terms of your feeding for the fish, what foods are you using?  It's best to rotate 2-3 different foods if possible.

A photo may help indicate a certain disease, but I can understand not posting one given the situation.

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On 7/16/2023 at 6:42 AM, iwanttostayanonymous 92074 said:

feed the fish fluval color  enhancing bug flakes, I also feed them frozen brine shrimp once a week.

Try to see if you can find a "nano community" type of food.  Something like xtreme's mix of flake would be an awesome addition to your feeding for the tank.  It's called: Xtreme community crave flake.  Another one to consider is the xtreme nano pellets.

Yeah, from the photo it looks like a fluke accident and the fish either got sucked into the filtration or it tried to jump and hit something.  It could've happened during maintenance too.  I'm very sorry.  I think the fish may have a broken back.

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I had this happen for no apparent reason in an Indian glass fish years ago. I don’t believe there is a way to reverse this, unfortunately. I don’t recommend this lightly, but given the photos and my own experience with this issue, I think the humane thing to do is to move forward with euthanization, as the fish is not going to have a good quality of life otherwise.

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On 7/16/2023 at 3:25 PM, iwanttostayanonymous 92074 said:

Is there any way I can still help the fish? 

Unfortunately, I think the damage is permanent from what we can see.  I'm very sorry.

If you need any help verifying filtration, hardscape, etc. didn't cause harm or anything like that we can help out via photos.  It looks like a fluval spec or flex tank which would have the build in filter with overflow box?

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Meanwhile.. I read that inbreeding of guppies can cause the back issue. Which, with guppies, they produce a bunch of fry and the fry start mating with each other- so easy to have that happen. It may very well be nothing you did, but rather something in the breeding before you got them. @Guppysnail told me the other day fry can mate even when they are several weeks old and before you even know which is male and which is female.

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That does look and sound more like an injury but not having the right nutrition can predispose them to injury.  A variety of foods does help minimize risk of improper nutrition but the food you’re using is a good quality food.  I would add a general, community type food like @nabokovfan87 recommended, though, just to be on the safe side for the rest.  There can definitely be a genetic component too, and there’s nothing you can do about about that other than not breed the fish from that line.

I do think humane euthanasia would be the kindest at this point as recovery would be incredibly unlikely.  Here is the recommended method if you don’t have access to a veterinarian to help you.  Excuse the format, it’s how it copies over from “Notes”.  I’m sorry you’re faced with such a difficult decision.

Euthanasia solution with clove oil:

For 100 mg/mL stock solution mix 1 part clove oil with 9 parts of 95% ethanol (Everclear, 190 proof), (in the USA, over-the-counter clove oil is ~1 g eugenol/ml clove oil).  Then mix to 40-120 mg/L bath - around 1 ml/L to make it simple.  You can add the clove oil mixture gradually to transition the fish into sleep more gradually.

Example: 0.1 mls clove oil into 0.9 mls Everclear (190 proof ethyl alcohol) = 1 ml stock solution to add to 1 liter of tank water (per quart is close enough).  For larger fish, 1 mls of clove oil into 9 mls alcohol for 10 liters of tank water (2.6 gallons).  For a 10 gallon tank, you will need 4 mls clove oil into 36 mls alcohol.

The alcohol is what lets the eugenol (the active ingredient) dissolve into the water.  Otherwise the clove oil just floats on the water surface and may not be effective.  Keep the fish in the clove oil mixture until at least 20 minutes past any gill movement, then remove the fish from the water, place in a plastic bag with as minimal air as possible, then freeze as quickly as possible for a full 24 hours or more before disposal.

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