Derek made a wheelchair for a disabled goldfish that came into the aquarium where he was working.
A disabled goldfish
A customer of Derek’s recently brought in their pet goldfish that was suffering from swim bladder disease. Swim bladder disease is a disorder that prevents a goldfish from controlling its buoyancy in the water.
The swim bladder is an organ that helps the fish stay stable in water. When the bladder is defective in some way, the goldfish loses its ability to float. This can cause it to float to the top of the water, swim upside-down, or have a heavy lean toward one side.
This particular goldfish had an swim bladder problem that prevented it from holding itself upright. It also made it stuck at the bottom of the tank, unable to swim upwards.
After diet adjustments and water treatments were ineffective, Derek decided to try a different tack to that the goldfish would have a better quality of life - a fish-wheelchair.
Derek explains how he made the wheelchair
“I got some airline tubing that people usually use in their tank and just placed it around the goldfish. Then, I added some valves to the bottom of it, which acted as a ‘chair’ to prop him up. I stuck 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.” Derek told Buzzfeed.
“The bottom weight is almost equal to the pull on top so it works quite well for him!” he added. “Think of goldfish as the pugs of the fish world. Pugs have unique features due to the way they were bred, but it also causes them a lot of medical problems — same with goldfish!”
People are falling over themselves with how kind this action was. Dean’s tweet has over 21,000 retweets so far.