Disabled fish can swim the right way up again after his owner makes him a LIFE JACKET to stop him sinking to the bottom of his tank

  • Goldfish Einstein suffers from swim bladder disease which affects buoyancy
  • Owner Leighton Naylor, 32, made him a life jacket out of recycled tubing
  • Swimming aid allows him to swim the right way up and even perform tricks

When Einstein the elderly goldfish developed swim bladder disease, the future looked bleak.

The ailment, which is common in aquarium fish and controls their buoyancy, caused him to turn upside down and sink to the bottom of the tank.

But now things are looking up, after his owner Leighton Naylor, 32, from Blackpool, made him his very own life jacket.

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Not finished yet: Einstein in his new life jacket made from recycled tubing which keeps him floating the right way up

Tanked up: The new swimming aid has allowed Einstein to resume a normal life at his home in Blackpool, Lancashire

The 'floating frame', made from recycled tubing which fits perfectly over his body, has enabled him to swim normally again. 

Warehouse worker Mr Naylor, 32, said: 'Einstein's been suffering with ill health on and off for about two years.

'He's always been a fighter so when he sunk to the bottom one day and couldn't get back up again it was a very sorry sight.

'It broke my heart to see him so helpless. He looked so depressed.

'I started looking at floating aids and saw one where an owner kept his koi carp afloat by attaching it to a wine bottle cork but that looked quite painful.

'I wanted to build something that would allow Einstein to move his fins a little bit and be comfortable at the same time.'

Mr Naylor spent three hours designing the life jacket from fish tank aeration tubes, and adjusted the fit so it comfortably cradled Einstein.

He added: 'He wriggled a bit a first and he wasn't too keen on the idea.

'He kept catching on to plants and getting stuck but since I've rearranged the tank to make it disability friendly he's been absolutely fine.'

Things are going swimmingly: Einstein now has to be fed using a straw because his life jacket stops him getting to the surface

Disability: Swim bladder disease is a common ailment among aquarium fish and affects their buoyancy

The float means that Einstein cannot reach the surface to feed so Leighton drops him food through a tube which he lowers into the water.

If the fish is particularly unwell he can pick him up with his little life jacket to make sure he gets the food.

Leighton said he is now looking forward to teaching new tricks to Einstein, who shares his tank with fellow goldfish Pat, Frank and Blondie,

He said: 'They're one big happy family now, but he'll have to wear it for the rest of his life.

'People have said I'm crazy but every animal is a valued family member and I do my best to help every one of them.

'I've tried to train all of my fish but Einstein's really shone above the rest - he's my star pupil.

'He can already swim through my fingers and through hoops using a feeding wand. I was just getting him into fish football before he got sick.

'People can be dismissive of goldfish as pets but they are intelligent animals as Einstein proves.'

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