Einstein the disabled goldfish is back in the swim - after owner fits him with miniature 'life jacket'

'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'

Life is now going swimmingly for Einstein the disabled goldfish - after his owner made him his own personal life jacket.

The tiny Fantail fish lost the ability to swim after developing a bladder disease which left him upside down and sinking towards the bottom of his tank.

But he has been rescued by owner Leighton Naylor, who made him a small 'floating frame' which fits perfectly over his 2in-long body.

The intricate frame made from recycled tubing now allows his four-year-old pet to flit around his tank to his heart's content.

Now Einstein - who was named after his ability to learn new tricks - is on the mend and enjoying life again.

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

On the mend: Einstein's bladder disease left him at the bottom of his tank before he had his frame. (SWNS)

"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."

Einstein's 'life jacket' fits perfectly over his two-inch long body. (SWNS)

Leighton, of Blackpool, Lancs., 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."

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.

Einstein has been suffering from ill health for around two years. (SWNS)

"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."

Swim bladder disease, also called flipover, is a common ailment in aquarium fish.

The swim bladder is an internal gas-filled organ that helps the fish control its buoyancy.

A fish with swim bladder disorder can float nose down tail up, float to the top of the water or sink to the bottom of the aquarium.