Troubled goldfish gets its own customised wheelchair – BBC News
Fish on “wheels”
A struggling goldfish may have been granted an easier ride through life, thanks to a customised wheelchair.
The fish reportedly suffers from swim bladder disorder, which makes it difficult to control its buoyancy in the water.
As a result, the goldfish floats near the surface of a tank, flips over or leans to one side.
Taylor Nicole Dean, who lives in Texas, shared the goldfish’s journey on Twitter, after her friend Derek designed the chair.
Taylor, who has a wide-ranging collection of pets, “from marine life like lionfish, seahorses, and cowfish to lizards, frogs, spiders, hedgehogs and more”, shares stories on YouTube about their lengthy nightly feeding routines.
Days before an update on the new “more comfortable” wheelchair, Taylor posted a screen grab of a phone conversation with Derek, who told her: “A customer brought in a goldfish with a permanent bladder disorder so I made him a custom wheelchair and he loves it.
“Wasn’t able to hold himself upright and was stuck on the bottom. Not any more!”
Some have already reached out for Derek’s expertise. One writer tweeted at Taylor: “Help! My fish has the same issue! Upside down for a month and I have to hand feed. Can he pm me?”
Others shared their own experiences. One person said she hasn’t given up on her fish who has a swim bladder problem.
“I keep the water level low enough so that he can swim up to the surface just enough for air and food. He’s just the happiest little guy whenever I go up to his tank. So glad to see other people caring about fish instead of saying ‘it’s just a fish'”.
So how did Derek create his invention?
He told BuzzFeed News: “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.”
Jonathan, who lives in Kentucky, told Taylor that these efforts are “teaching people that all animals… deserve love and support to live a normal life.”
In response to growing social media demands, the goldfish will be making a cameo appearance this Sunday in a video where Taylor and her friend will be giving a fish wheelchair-making tutorial.