Aquatic Welfare USA News

Disabled fish gets special life jacket made to help him swim

What a lifesaver.

An inventive UK woman made waves online — and in a fish tank — after outfitting a disabled goldfish with a customized life jacket so it wouldn’t sink. The fish’s fun-sized flotation device can be seen in a viral video from the Garden Sanctuary in Wolverhampton.

“He had been living on the bottom of his tank upside down for sometime,” Stacey O’Shea, who runs the pet sanctuary from her home northeast of Birmingham, told Caters News.

The unfortunate fishy had suffered from an untreatable swim bladder disorder that left him sitting upside down at the bottom of the tank, she said.

Determined not to let their pet perish belly up, the desperate owners sought help from O’Shea.

The pet caretaker managed to MacGyver a fin-tertube from tiny plastic tubing and T junctions normally used for air conditioning filters. She then weighed down the device with polystyrene so the scaly swimmer wouldn’t float to the surface — like ballast tanks on a submarine.

Periodically adjusting the amount of polystyrene helped the goldfish swim to different levels in the tank, allowing him to see more of his home.

In creating the aquatic walker, O’Shea lifted both the fish and the family’s spirits.

A fish’s swim bladder is an organ containing oxygen that is vital to maintaining a fish’s buoyancy in water. Bad water quality, diet issues and stress can cause problems with a fish’s swim bladder, resulting in buoyancy changes, PetMD writes. In some cases, the problem arises when fluid has gotten into the swim bladder. Goldfish are particularly vulnerable to buoyancy disorders due to their round bodies and curved spines.

O’Shea isn’t the first fish lover to improvise a flotation device for a goldfish in need. A Massachusetts man created a similarly tubular life jacket for his buoyancy-challenged 5-year-old pet. In San Antonio, an aquarium employee was also able to rescue a disabled goldfish by building it a water wheelchair.

Source: New York Post