- Publish Date
- Thursday, 16 March 2017, 12:14PM
A goldfish suffering from swim bladder disease has been given a new lease on life by an aquarium worker, the NZ Herald reports.
Derek, a 20-year-old in San Antonio, said the fish had permanent swim bladder disease, caused by bacteria or parasites, and was stuck at the bottom of its tank.
The disease affects a goldfish's floatation stability, meaning it loses its buoyancy and floats to the top of the tank, leans on one side or swims upside down.
Derek told BuzzFeed he decided to create a "one-of-a-kind wheelchair".
My friend made a wheelchair for a goldfish pic.twitter.com/QghXTY7rme— Taylor Nicole Dean (@taylorndean) March 10, 2017
"I got some air line tubing that people usually use in their tank and just placed it around the goldfish. I added some valves to the bottom of it, which acted as a 'chair' to prop him up. I added weights to the bottom of the 'chair' and something to keep him afloat on top [styrofoam], and slowly removed pieces until I achieved just the right buoyancy to make it easy for him to swim around without feeling like he's dragging around a chair."
"Think of goldfish as the pugs of the fish world," Derek added. "Pugs have unique features due to the way they were bred, but it also causes them a lot of medical problems - same with goldfish!"
Derek's friend Taylor Dean, who makes a living from educational animal videos on YouTube, tweeted about the wheelchair which has been shared 26,000 times.