The most common cause of "scoliosis" in Koi and pond fish

Scoliosis or Broken Back Syndrome, Curved or Twisted Back

Scoliosis or Broken Back Syndrome, Curved or Twisted Back in Pond of Koi Fish

Scoliosis is caused by a variety of causes, none of which is infectious.

The most common cause in fish under 5 inches is nutritional and genetic. The reason in fish OVER 6-8″ is being carried in a net. (The ones with the broken backs a week later were crushed on the bottom of the writhing and flopping group in the net.)

1) The most common cause of scoliosis is trauma: The muscles of Koi and other teleost fish are assorted in bands called ‘somites’. When a somite is damaged, by Intra Muscular injection technique, for example, or a sharp blow, the somite may die, which then shrinks, and kinks the fish, especially when swimming. It may straighten at rest.But there are 2 other causes.

2) Tryptophan deficiency: An amino acid protein building block that may be absent in foods due to improper formulation, hyper extended storage, excess heat in processing, or because no variation was permitted in the diet. To avoid this, always use two different high qualtiy staple diets, and supplement periodically with earthworms or other bait worms. Mealworms and crickets may also be accepted, especially if partially crushed.

3) Vitamin C deficiency.

The most common cause of "scoliosis" in Koi and pond fish
Never, EVER carry fish in the net unless a few broken backs are acceptable among the fish.

It is EXTREMELY common to see a group of young fish with several “broken back” fish in the group. People worry since it’s several fish that there’s a dietary deficiency. Better chances that some jerk netted up fifty fish at a time and carried them to packing IN the net, all piled up. Koi skeletons are NOT weight bearing structures and are rather fragile to damage, especially when your at the BOTTOM of the pile in a nicely loaded netful of your friends.

4) Organophosphates, like Fenthion, Trichlorfon, or Malathion to name but a few, can cause kinking of the body due to hyper contraction of the muscles. (A side effect of these drugs on the fish is to prevent relaxtion of muscles) and this may kink, or break the fishes back.

Enter your email address for a free PDF of this article including its images.

Enter your Email Address

My Favorite Amazon Recommendations

Items and content will not show in "Reader View" check your browser.

This is The LCD Screen Scope
We Did The Tutorial With. I did a twenty page tutorial (Here's the tutorial) with video, audio, images and even little parasite movies to show you how to use a microscope. 

This Filter is Good For BIG Dirty Tanks
I've been wrestling with water quality with the turtles. The sponges work GREAT, but in THOSE turtle systems where they eat MICE the poops are bulky. This filter can handle it. In "Tortu's" tank, it's got an 800 gph pump and it rocks. 

PraziPro for Flukes
They nailed it. Figured out the solubility and worked out the dosing. It works. 

Buy Some Good Koi?
No, this isn't really for the 'high end' collector y'all. But for someone who isn't near a decent garden center, here are "good-to-quite-good" Koi you will like at a very good price. I know these guys personally.

Best Food, Ever
It's made for (and I discovered it for) my Blood Parrots but the small size, intense color enhancers and excellent formulation make it superb young-Koi food. Oh, and it's AMAZING on color-cichlids like Flowerhorn and Blood Parrots. 

Pro Air 60 Aerator is a VERY high output air pump pushing my whole fish room (17+ drops), and I have one at home driving everything there, and I have one as a back up. 

Formalin Malachite (Not dilute)
There are formalin malachite preparations at 10%, 22% and 37%. There's economy in the concentrates. Hard to get Prime shipping because air transport is curtailed. This is a good value on 32 ounces. 

Topical For Koi and Pond Fish Ulcers
I like 7% tincture of iodine because it stains but it's hard to hurt anything with it. Used with a WOVEN gauze, this works well to clean and disinfect a wound. Only use ONCE. Do not 'repeatedly' scrub wounds. 

Confectioner's Glaze 
Is the way to bind a medication to fish food. Gone are the days of paste food and oil. The write up is done, it's RIGHT HERE.

Koi Health & Disease
Hopefully this link takes you to the newest edition by PRIME to get it to your house the fastest. 

I have over ten of these Titanium Heaters in my fish room and at home. They're a paradigm shift in aquarium heating. They're titanium and 400W for under $30! Whaaaaaaaaat?

CyroPro by Hikari is safe and easy for Anchor Worms and Fish Lice.

Whatever heaters you use, back yourself up with a temperature controller, it'll turn on, and off your heaters. If your heater seizes "on" at least the thermostat will stop a tragedy. 

LifeGuard by Tetra is a tablet version of a tame 'chloramine-t' or 'halamid' compound that's easy to get and good on bacterial infections, in baths. 

Antimicrobial
If you're making medicated feed for a larger group of fish, this will come in handy. Dosing is available in the site. 

For me, filtration-of-choice
For aquariums, even small Koi holding facilities or small ponds. These sponge filters are cheap, easy to clean, and they clear hazes very well when used with some Accuclear or similar.

Rubber sided, round, nettable tanks
Make great hospital or quarantine facilities. They SHOULD cost about $200-300 depending on size, but this, lower quality unit (while panned in some reviews) may be good. Don't overfill and make sure it's propped up.

1200 Watt heater, on a thermostat held securely above the waterline, works GREAT as a large tank heater. That's all I'll say because there's risk of electrocution and all that. But then, even in a bucket you could get killed. Sound like fun?
I have several of these ALLIED PRECISION stainless ones that are a couple years old. Working still. 

Potassium Permanganate 
500 grams could be a lifetime supply but it's 50% more than the 100g cost wise, for 500% more amount. Dosing is in the site and the book.

What Does Ajax Eat?
I looked for something well formulated, with meat as the first ingredient. Something UNDER $2/lb and something they could deliver for free. And this was it. He looks and feels great on it.