When one Texas pet owner recently brought their goldfish that constantly laid at the bottom of the tank to a local San Antonio aquarium shop, employee Derek knew right away that the fish had swim bladder disease.
The swim bladder is an organ that helps fish stay stable and buoyant in water, and when the organ is deformed or diseased, it can cause the fish to sink or float to the surface or even swim upside down. The 20-year-old attempted to fix the problem by changing the goldfish’s diet and trying water treatments, but nothing seemed to help.
Derek couldn’t bare to leave the fish struggling, so he came up with an idea to build a custom ‘wheelchair‘. “I got some airline 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.”
“The bottom weight is almost equal to the pull on top so it works quite well for him!” said Derek, who sent photos of his handy work to his friend Taylor Dean, who makes a living creating educational animal videos on YouTube. Dean immediately shared the photos and story on Twitter, and it’s quickly gone viral. “I’ve worked with several injured fish but him going out of his way to help this fish was just precious,” Dean said.
Can you believe how hard this young man worked to improve one tiny animal’s quality of life? Let us know what you think in the comments below and please SHARE this with friends on Facebook.
[Featured image: Taylor Nicole Dean]