Kuhli loach "bent" in half

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
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Cape Cod
#1
I have a newish kuhli loach, that looks like he is bent in half. He has a very distinct joint about halfway down his body, that stays bent like an elbow noodle. He swims very awkwardly (sp?), but can move all around the tank.

I just got him on last Tuesday, and he is in a 20 gallon with only 5 other kuhli loaches (which look completely healthy). I originally bought 6 kuhlis, and 3 died within 2 days... he is one of those original loaches (I got 3 more later). He was fine 2 days ago... I'm not sure how suddenly this was. He's in a room that a lot of people can go into, so I don't know if someone else might have moved something and squished him with a rock or something... although nothing in the tank looks moved.

Is this something that anyone has heard of before? Is it possible that he will get better? What can I do for him or add to the water to help?
 

Stevie

Large Fish
Apr 2, 2005
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Sunny Ireland.
#2
Sorry to hear that CAPSLOCK. Unless there was some visible damage on the loach I doubt anything could have fallen on him hard enough to hurt him on the inside and yet not leave a mark on the outside.
Is he farm stock? I read some where once that farmed stock of some fish can have spine problems develop as they grow older ( has anyone else heard of that?) it did not mention anything about kuhil loaches.
If it is a spine problem I dont thinking there is anything you can add to the water to mend it, although I may be wrong........... let me know how it go's.
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
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#3
He was still alive this morning... I was surprised. He's not that old... he's still about 2 or 2.5 inches, and I don't think it could develop in the space of 2 days. He flails about when he tries to swim long distances or quickly (like when he's scared), but he does pretty well moving slowly along the bottom (like looking for food/shelter). Hopefully it will either get better, or he'll get used to it and get better control.
 

Sandtiger

Large Fish
Mar 2, 2005
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Simi Valley, CA
#5
Sounds like a vitamin/calcium deficiency dude. I had a neon tetra with a crooked spine so I talked to one of the people at my lfs and they told me that's what it was. What kind of food do you feed your Kuhli? I had to get a flake food with higher percentige of calcium and my fish seemed okay after that.
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
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#6
They were getting sinking catfish pellets or flake food (alternating) at the time. Out of the 6, only one did this, so I don't think it was a diet problem. Now they've been moved to my home tanks, and they get sinking catfish pellets and whatever other food the other fish let fall to the bottom (and the catfish don't get first).
 

#9
disfiguration

Hi there!

Sounds like it could be an internal bacterial infection, maybe. Do you have any pictures? I've seen fish that get weird 'humps' on their backs that change the shape of their bodies and bend their tail downwards. I think it's caused from swelling from internal infections. I'd take him back and get a replacement if you just bought him, or get your money back. Make sure you bring in a water sample too, a lot of stores want you to 'prove' to them that it wasn't your water that caused the problem. Either way, I'd get on the phone with them right away and tell them what's going on and see if they can help you out.

Poor fishie. *SICK*
 

Jan 25, 2004
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#10
A bent spine is usually a deform, or a cause of a lack of nutrition.

DO NOT EUTHANISE the fish, unless you can tell he is struggling, and in pain/cant move.

Humans have deforms, and we dont kill them.

I have a serpe tetra, with a bent spine, and he has been fine for over a year now.
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
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#11
He actually seems to be doing a lot better now. The bend is no longer noticable. He still swims a little different than other kuhlis. He's been doing fine in my 10 gallon and is growing.

I'm still not sure what caused it. It seemed to me like a sudden trauma, like something physically hurt him. I would think if it was nutritional or parasitic, it would have developed slowly, but this was in the space of less than 2 days. It was a sudden dramatic change that didn't ever get worse.
 

bree

New Fish
May 18, 2006
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#12
Bent Kuhli Loach Seems to Need an Anti-Bacterial

Hi everyone,

I have one of those also. Apparently it is a bacterial infection that is known as "crooked spine disease". I just now found this on the Web; check out page 37 of this Adobe PDF:
http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/CA256F310024B628/0/F297AF7EDD85400BCA25714C00372832/$File/Scoping+Study+of+the+Potential+Spread+and+Impact+of+the+Exotic+Oriental+Weatherloach+in+the+Murray-Darling+Basin+Part+I+2002.pdf
Next step is to find out what to do about it.
 

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CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
3,682
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Cape Cod
#13
Mine seems completely fine now... I can't even tell which of the kuhli loaches in my 10g was the "bent" one anymore. Maybe it's something that just goes away with enough time?
 

May 9, 2005
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#14
possibly rough netting? I just got 2 khulis the other day for my 10 gallon, it was a pain for them to catch them, so possibly damaged then? BTW, side note I put them in the 10 gallon they completely disaperaed upderneath the java moss clump. They have not come out or moved much in a day or two. Do you know when theyll start coming out? Do I need 6 or something for them to be active? I can't really fit 6 in my tank though, at most 1 more? The tank is pretty heavily stocked along the bottom feeder section, iv got an ADF and 5 corys.
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
3,682
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Cape Cod
#15
The 3 in my 10g have taken up residence under a rock (not in the cave like intended). You can usually see a head or tail sticking out, but that's about it. They are nocturnal, so if you've got bright lights they may hide out from those. I doubt one more will help, and it sounds fully stocked or overstocked as it is (I know my 10g is overstocked).

I realize it's too late now since you've got them, but are they the striped kind or the black kind? The ones in my 10g are all striped, and they hide constantly. Out of the ones in my 37g, half are striped and half are black. The black ones are out almost all the time, and much more visible around the tank. The striped ones like to stay in the cave more, and when they are out they seem to be more subtle and skittish than the black ones.
 

May 9, 2005
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#16
Yea, i saw both black and striped for sale, i liked the striped much better so I got those. That sucks, they aren't active in the day at all? Yea I usually see a head of tail sticking out, how do they eat? One of mine has a slightly damaged tail, instead of looking normal and even its slightly ragged and worn, this isn't anything terrible is it? will it improve under good water and food? Im thinking it may have been damaged through the rough netting (they are so hard to catch!)
 

May 9, 2005
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#18
Ugh. one of mine was found dead this morning, with a whispy white covering over its body. I feel so bad, im almost certain its due to stress. I've only got one left and it nveer comes out the java moss, i don't even know if its alive. Its got me thinking, what gives? Kuhlis are supposed to be easy fish. It was a tramautizing transfer though since their so hard to catch.
One thing- When I got home from the store they bagged the catfish, tetras and khulis together all in one bag. The water smelled def. like it was medicated, and since 2 of the catfish had fin deteriation I'm thinking it was most def. melafix? Could this have caused any problems with the loaches? I did not put any of that water in my tank.
 

CAPSLOCK

Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
3,682
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Cape Cod
#19
Melafix won't hurt kuhli loaches, it won't even hurt coral reefs. Very safe stuff. Having a ragged tail also isn't a problem in and of itself, since it'll grow back. I try to drop a shrimp pellet right near the "kuhli rock" every few days, and they'll come out far enough to get it. But, I also had the first kuhli in there (alone :() for a year or more, and didn't feed anything other than flakes and he did fine. They're probably eating stuff that you don't see, or at night when you aren't watching.

EinNaws: One kuhli is from a store that no longer exists, 2 are from a little store called "All fish and Bait shop" or something like that. The other six are from a store up in Maine... I originally got 6 striped ones, and half of those died in a few days. When I went to return them, all their striped kuhlis left were dead/dying, so I got the 3 black ones (which I like better now, anyways). I have also seen kuhli loaches in Tropic Isle Aquarium in Framingham, and I've bought a bunch of other fish from their with no problems, they have very healthy fish.