SAN ANTONIO, Texas — A few weekends ago, a woman walked into Aquarium Designs in San Antonio with fish she couldn’t care for anymore.
One by one,the fish were adopted except for this one.
“Unfortunately there was one little goldfish that couldn’t seem to keep himself upright. He was stuck on the bottom upside down.”
The fish has a permanent bladder disorder. It can’t float like the rest.
“He’s just so tough. He wouldn’t give up. I knew I had to do something for him.”
So Derek adopted the goldfish.
He has a background in marine biology, so he tried different diets for the pet, but no luck.
“These type of goldfish, they’ve been bred a little more than some of the other goldfish. So just like dogs and things that have some of the fancier breeding, you can get a little more health issues that can arise with fish like this.”
Then — Derek had another idea. If the goldfish can’t float by itself — why not engineer a device that float for the fish?
“I just started messing with some things and tinkering with different items and troubleshooting, and came up with the wheelchair that became famous. The goldfish wheelchair!”
He used scraps from around the store.
“Bits of airline tubing and airline tubing connectors. The base actually had plant weights that were wrapped around some zipties and things to actually hold it down, and the top is styrofoam pieces.”
A friend posted a picture of the wheelchair on Twitter. In just days, it went viral.
“He went from being upset, stuck on the bottom to be swimming around and zipping around. His tail got to going super fast. This is the happiest I’ve seen him since we’ve had him in our possession.”
While the original device worked out fine — Derek made a few tweaks and engineered a new and improved wheelchair for the goldfish.
Only thing left to do — is give the fish a name.
“If you have any suggestions, let us know.”