Why Does My Guppy Have A Hump Back and Bent Spine

Just like humans, guppies can develop a bent spine as well. In this article, I will answer the question of why my Guppy has a humpback. 

To know why my Guppy has a bent spine, you will need to learn about the root cause. I don’t know if you know this, but in guppies, bent spine or humpback tends to be a prevalent ailment. 

Being in many color variations, guppies look very beautiful and prove an excellent choice for any noob aquarists. 

If you have been keeping guppies in your aquarium and looking to know about bent spine or humpback syndrome, this guide covers all the things on bent spine disease outcome, cause, and preventions. Let’s first learn why does my Guppy has a bent spine?

Article Contents

Why Does My Guppy Have A Bent Spine?

why does my guppy have a bent spine
why does my guppy have a bent spine?

Guppies suffering from tuberculosis or scoliosis usually develop a bent spine. This kind of issue is an untreatable condition. In the case of TB syndrome, euthanasia of sick Guppy is best. 

If you notice a curvature in your guppies’ spine when viewed from the side or above, then the chances of it having tuberculosis or scoliosis are pretty high. However, let’s learn more about why does my Guppy has a humpback.

Why Does My Guppy Have A Hump Back?

Humpback is a formation of the spine which is usually caused due to either tuberculosis or scoliosis. It is widespread in female guppies who have recently given birth. In tuberculosis, the guppies develop C or S-shaped curvature. 

This kind of disease is an untreatable condition and usually progresses over time. In some guppies, this disease can remain stable throughout its lifetime, while in others, it affects severely. 

Either way, tuberculosis or scoliosis is not reversible. Any guppy that has a bent spine or humpback will find itself trouble in swimming. Other fish will often bully Guppy with a bent spine. 

Tuberculosis is a deadly disease that affects many freshwater fish, including guppies and mollies. Furthermore, the growth rate of the affected guppy fish will also be drastically affected. Let’s learn the cause of belt spine or tuberculosis.

Cause of Bent Spine & Hump Back In Guppies (Tuberculosis Or Scoliosis)

A bent spine is generally caused by tuberculosis. Bacteria usually cause tuberculosis or scoliosis-like disease. Mycobacterium marinum tends to be the male culprit causing tuberculosis in freshwater fish. 

This is highly contagious and can pass from one to another. This is why many guppies suffering from tuberculosis should be immediately separated and quarantined. 

The root cause of bent spine or humpback tends to be an unmanaged aquarium. If you have been kept in an unmaintained aquarium, fish TB is likely to victimize your guppies. 

When you don’t do a regular water change, it becomes overcrowded with high waste products and low oxygen. Bad quality water in the aquarium tends to be the primary culprit of mycobacterium marinum and this disease. This kind of water helps bacteria thrive. 

Unfortunately, even when kept in a well-managed aquarium, tuberculosis in guppies can appear. This can happen due to the new addition of species in the same tank. If you add a fresh fish already infected by scoliosis or tuberculosis, it can pass it to others. 

Suppose you have been wondering why I am already discussing tuberculosis or scoliosis. In that case, I am describing fish TB because an S or C-shaped curvature in the back or spine of guppies is one of its symptoms. Let’s learn the symptoms of tuberculosis in fish.

Symptoms Of Tuberculosis In Guppies

symptoms of tuberculosis in guppies
symptoms of tuberculosis in guppies

Any guppy suffering from tuberculosis will exhibit the following symptom.

  1. Discoloration
  2. Guppy losing its tail
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Protruding eye
  5. Folded fence
  6. Lesions on body
  7. Being lethargy
  8. Skin Ulcers
  9. Dropsy like appearance

What Should You Do First?

The first thing you should do is quarantine the affected fish from the main tank to the separate tank. The other thing that you need to keep in mind is to avoid any traditional treatment method. Adding salt in the aquarium or raising the temperature is going to hurt your Guppy more than help. 

Don’t even try to raise the temperature because it will only lead the bacteria to proliferate. The only thing you should do with the affected Guppy is remove it immediately and dispose of it. 

For many of us, it’s not an easy decision or task to make, but in the end, it is the only option to end the needless suffering of your Guppy. 

Right now, tuberculosis prevention is the only efficient method. Ensuring your Guppy immune system is healthy by feeding them a properly nutritious diet will keep them strictly away from fish TB. 

When it comes to water quality, you must keep the water condition ideal according to their need. Please provide them with a new, stress-free environment and prevent them from getting sick. 

I would highly recommend you always contain your new fish in a separate tank for a couple of weeks before adding them to the main tank. It is best to monitor and inspect any fatal disease symptom and prevention, including fish TB. 

After a few weeks, if the new fish doesn’t exhibit any symptoms and look as healthy as it should be, you can shift them to the new home. 

Let’s talk about the triggering factor of bent spine and humpback in guppies.

3 Triggering Factors Of Hump Back & Bent Spine In Guppies

Hereditary factors

Guppy can inherit tuberculosis from its mother, who has scoliosis. It is one of the other factors that can contribute towards Guppy bent spine or humpback. 

Any guppy with a bent spine should never be bred. If any of your Guppy with humpback or bent spine reproduce and give birth to 6 fries, consider reducing its population by keeping them around adults. Adult guppies will eat fry as snacks. 

If any of your guppies have scoliosis, make sure to prevent it from breeding. This is something inevitable.

Bad Tank Condition And Poor Diet

Feeding them improper food or low-quality dry food only can also develop tuberculosis or scoliosis in guppies. Keeping guppies in an aquarium with low oxygen levels can also build fish TB. 

Being omnivorous, you should consider feeding high-quality veggie pellets and flakes. Alternatively, you can also provide them with freeze-dried brine shrimp and spirulina tablets. 

Freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex also work best for guppies. Always make sure to know to avoid overfeeding guppies as water fouling and digestive system issues are possible. 

This factor all comes down to how balanced & clean the Guppy fish diet & tank are.


If you are considering breeding for guppies, make sure they have a large gene pool. Inbreeding guppies often results in fry with spinal deformities. 

It’s a great idea to diversify the gene pool and avoid any element contributing to tuberculosis in the offspring.

What To Do If Your Guppy Back or Spine Is Bent?

Tuberculosis for scholarships in guppies tends to be highly contagious, and it is best to first current time it. If the symptoms exiting from the Guppy look like tuberculosis then it is better to eat on eyes for stop here is how to ethanol is a Guppy.

How to Euthanize Sick Fish?

Euthanasia is the only option when it comes to fish tuberculosis. In the case of Guppy bent spine syndrome, if it is struggling to swim, then euthanizing will be better. 

If your guppies can still swim with tuberculosis or a bent spine, they can live everyday life. Struggling guppies often lead a low-quality life, and we recommend humanly euthanizing them. 

Although there is no scientific way to euthanize a fish humanely, you should avoid anything deemed to be inhuman. If your guppies are sick and suffering, avoid freezing your fish in the cold water. 

Avoid flushing your guppies down the toilet or suffocating them because it is an inhuman way to euthanize them. So far, I find adding clove oil in the affected guppy aquarium to be the better method. 

If you don’t know, let me tell you, clove oil has a soothing effect on most fish. It works well for Guppy fish as well if added in the correct dose. 

Clove oil usually causes your Guppy fish first to lose its consciousness then stop breathing. It would help if you considered adding at least 400 mg per liter dose to the aquarium for an effective result. 

Avoid pouring It all once as it might excite your fish, causing a dire state. Adding it gradually to the aquarium by mixing it in the warm water is better. After around 10 minutes, if there is no gill movement in your guppies, they have passed away.

Wrapping Up

Any guppy suffering from a bent spine or humpback is suffering from tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is generally caused by keeping them in bad, bad water conditions and mycobacterium marinum. 

It’s an untreatable condition and if the guppies are struggling when swimming, euthanize them.

I hope I tried my best to give you all the information on why my Guppy has a bent spine & why does my Guppy have a humpback.

If you have any questions, you can comment below. Make sure to check out our other valuable resources on guppies. See you in another article till then, take care and goodbye.

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