Fins are looking up! Korean fashion designer builds ‘wheelchair’ to help his disabled goldfish swim
- Henry Kim, 32, built the wheelchair using YouTube videos and online tutorials
- Kim built the device after many of his goldfish died due to swim bladder disorder
- The disability meant they floated to the water’s surface or sank to the bottom
A kindhearted man has built a ‘wheelchair’ device to help his disabled goldfish stay afloat.
Fashion designer Henry Kim, 32, is an aquarium enthusiast who keeps over 20 goldfish in three different tanks in his house in Seoul, South Korea.
After many of his goldfish died due to swim bladder disorder, an ailment which makes them float upside down or sink to the bottom of their bowl, Henry used plastic components to create a floatation device which he calls a ‘wheelchair’.
Kim developed the harness using research on Google and mixing up what he learned from different tutorials
Henry says his invention is the result of a lot of research on Google and mixing up what he learned from different tutorials.
Henry said: ‘Swim bladder disorder can be caused by many reasons such as overeating or unclean waters.
‘I normally find it in fish that have been imported to Korea from Thailand or China.
‘Fish with this issue only live a couple of months, but thanks to this device, one of my fish has lived to be five months old.
‘My wheelchair helps them stay afloat and have a longer life.’
It features a loop which holds the goldfish upright meaning it doesn’t fall to the bottom of the tank or float to the top
Kim says the ‘wheelchair’ allows the goldfish to swim normally and even helps extend it life
The swim bladder, a gas-filled sack that helps a fish control its buoyancy, is connected to the oesophagus and alimentary canal.
Many goldfish owners feed their pets pellets, but these snacks are low in fibre and can cause fish to become constipated, which in turn puts pressure on the swim bladder.
WHAT IS SWIM BLADDER DISEASE?
‘Swim bladder disease’ is one of the most common problems affecting goldfish.
If you’ve seen your fish swimming upside down, or on its side, then you’ve seen a swim bladder problem.
Although often called a ‘disease’, it is actually a symptom or disorder affecting the goldfish’s swim bladder that can have a number of different causes.
While there are swim bladder treatments available, there is not one specific ‘disease’ that is the cause of all swim bladder problems in goldfish!
Pellets are also problematic because they float at the top of the tank, meaning that fish have to spend a lot of time gulping their food down.
The swim bladder becomes inflated if the fish swallow too much air, causing them to float at the top of their tanks, swim upside down, or incline to one side, according to The Goldfish Tank.
In 2017, an aquarium worker shared a picture on Twitter of a goldfish using a custom-made wheelchair.
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.’
He then tied on some styrofoam as a buoyancy aid and meticulously removed pieces until the weight was just right for the fish to move around freely.
The genius contraption has three small tubes to stabilize the goldfish in an upright position, and uses a piece of string and Styrofoam to help the little guy float.
Dean’s initial tweet received more than 1,000 likes and around 500 retweets. One user even responded that her goldfish has a similar a problem, and has been floating upside down for a month.
In 2017, an aquarium worker shared a picture on Twitter of a goldfish using a custom-made wheelchair. He told Buzzfeed news that he fashioned it out of airline tubing that people usually use in their tank and just placed it around the goldfish