* Manager used tubing, valves and stryofoam to make the wheelchair
* Goldfish was suffering from swim bladder disorder
* Treatments include diet, changing the water and even surgery
Store manager Derek Burnett of Aquarium Designs in San Antonio, TX took extreme measures for the health of a pet to the next level when he custom designed a wheelchair for a customer whose ranchu goldfish couldn’t swim. It was stuck at the bottom of the tank, upside down, as the result of a swim bladder disorder.
“I got some airline tubing that people usually use in their tank and just placed it around the goldfish,” Burnett explained. Then he added valves to prop the fish up, and styrofoam at the top to make it float. “(I) 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.”
Burnett says that the fish immediately “began swimming and zipping around.” He added, “His tail got to going super fast. This is the happiest I’ve seen him since we’ve had him in our possession.”
Marine biologists caution that the wheelchair could become problematic if it chafes the skin, because irritated skin would leave the fish at risk to become infected by bacteria in the tank water. They note that changing the water and feeding this fish fish a healthier diet of chopped carrots and zucchini could help.
It’s not clear what caused the swim bladder issue for this goldfish, though tumors are sometimes to blame. The shocker? People have been known to pay for goldfish surgery to remove the tumors.