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Hunchback not of Notre Dame

> >Is there a disease that fish get that
> >turns them into humpbacks and then they die?  Over several months I have
> seen  this happen to a few fish (most are very healthy) -- they almost
look like
> >they are starving, but I don't think that is it.   This seems to mostly
> >taken out my platies, but also a harlequin raspbora that I have had for
> >a year.

reply from boukm:
> It's genetic.  Inbreeding makes this trait more likely to emerge in
> subsequent generations
> even if the parent fish don't express it.  Poor stock too far removed from
> wild ancestors is the culprit.
> That's why it's a big problem mostly in live-bearers.  I'm supprised about
> the rasbora though.

Bad breeding can do this, but it doesn't usually happen to fish that have
reached adulthood without showing earlier problems with bent spines and so
forth.  I suspect that it actually is a disease, because it's affected two
different species in the same tank, and it's affected otherwise healthy

Candidates include a variety of intestinal diseases.  Check the area around
the vents to see if it's inflamed.  It might also be caused by some long
term nutritional imbalance.  These are just two possibilities that can be
fixed (the first by Levamisole (in Discomed) the second by changing the
diet.  I have had two instances of what I think were bacterial infections
cause some bending, but not to a full U shape.

If it's a disease, it may spread/ recur, so I'd isolate the sick fish and
try to diagnose them and treat them so you know what to do (and what not to)
if/when the next fish get sick.  If it's just genetics, there's not much to
be done, but at least it won't spread.

Free advice is worth what you pay for it  (o.k., so this list is living
proof that isn't true, but it sound nice and cynical...)