Why Wouldn't the Fish Breed:
What I Learned at The Fish Farm
How I first learned to be leery of tap water.
As a younger man I learned a lot about clean water and water filters as the half owner of a company called The Fish Farm Inc. My partner Joe and I got into the wholesale tropical fish business through a shared hobby of keeping and breeding tropical fish. We rented a house together back when we were in our 20's. We both kept adding fish tanks until they were all over the house. We were both looking for more ways to make money and thought we should look into breeding and selling tropical fish. We'd been having good success at the house in the suburbs with the breeding - we particularly liked fancy guppies. We wondered if we might actually make some money, and possibly a living, by building it into a business.
We did our research, decided we might be able to make a go of it, and set up a company. We rented a new place for the business in a small city nearby. We filled the place with tanks and filled the tanks with water and several kinds of fish. It soon became clear that the fish had quite a few health problems, which we identified came from the quality - I should say lack of quality - of the water.
If we used water from the tap in our fish tanks - even water that we adjusted for hardness and temperature - often the fish would die!
The only way to save the fish was to save the water. We already had understood that we needed to let water sit for a couple of days before we put it in the tanks to let gases escape. But that was proving to be insufficient. This was a problem we had to solve. If we didn't, we would have no business.
We kept studying what was going on. Chlorine was a part of the problem. But if water was left to sit in a glass tank without gravel, it was easy to see that there was rust accumulating at the bottom of the tank! And fish tank filters were not sufficient to remove it. The pipes that were carrying the water to us were old and corroding.
Those fish that lived were not really healthy, and if they bred at all, the offspring were weak.
The fish were living in water with rust and who knows what else floating in it! No wonder they weren't doing well! Without filtered water, we and they didn't stand a chance.
But what I was thinking about more and more was that we were drinking this stuff straight from the tap! Without it sitting for days - and without any filtration. In other words, we were getting worse water than the fish - and it was killing a lot of them!
I started calling the regional water authority to learn what they were doing with the water - what they were putting into it. They wouldn't tell us! They would decide that they needed to add more chlorine or something else, and they would do it - there was no way we could know what they were doing so we could deal with it.
The need for us to become expert on water filtration and water quality became evident. There was no question that the only hope for our business was to get an expensive and sophisticated water filter. We took the challenge seriously and visited university experts and the folks who ran a large public aquarium. The people we met were very sympathetic and most generous with their time and knowledge. We learned a lot. We selected and purchased a large water filter appropriate to our situation and got it installed. It delivered clean water.
The filtration made all the difference. The improvements in the fish were immediate and dramatic. Fish that had been sluggish became active and the death rate plummeted. All the fish perked up and started growing, mating, breeding and throwing off babies like mad! A couple of beautiful angel fish we called George and Gracie started having healthy babies by the hundreds. And they kept that up for years to come. A big beautiful red Siamese fighting fish named Mongo started breeding and took care of his young eggs and babies - raising something like 400 at a time. (See Betta Babies for more stories.) The whole fish population was healthy and vibrant.
This does make you consider the importance of a healthy environment, don't you think? Clean filtered water made the difference.
What's Different Today?
There is some good news in that awareness about water purity issues has grown enormously since them, and many people have become more careful about what water they drink. However, there are many who are still not doing enough to ensure that they intake clean water.
Unfortunately, the number and quantities of pollutants entering our drinking water have increased enormously since then! Some of the problem chemicals include those that are being used to treat our drinking water. (See other archived editions of The Waterfall.)
Are you doing enough to be sure that the water your family drinks, cooks with, and showers and baths in is clean? We need to filter water coming into our homes to maintain our health, and to send clean water back into the environment to save water resources.
Many of the popular water filters people have been using for some years don't even claim to filter most of the contaminants now known to be in our water supply. Most of the contaminants known to be in our water supply are not even tested at municipal water supplies.
What About Bottled Water?
The water in bottles might be good - but do you actually know the quality of the bottled water you are using? Someone putting water into a bottle certainly doesn't make it clean water. Bottled water is not even subject to the purity controls of tap water. In fact, bottled water can simply be tap water put into a bottle!
Another less-recognized issue is that the popularity and proliferation of water bottles is causing very serious ecological problems of its own. There is a lot of energy used in the process of creating those bottles. Packaging worldwide uses 2.7 million tons of plastic each year. Then the bottles become massive piles of rubbish. Australia, as one example, has 2/3 of all water bottles sold ending up in landfills. We are also burning huge amounts of fuel shipping bottled water all over the country. It just doesn't make sense. Get a water filter and put it in your own bottle! Save a lot of money and know you are drinking good water.
See filtering stainless steel water bottles to our line of products. Use these instead of buying plastic bottles.
Some Good News
There is additional good news in that the cost of top-notch water filters has dropped a lot since my tropical fish days. (Note added in 2014: And in the the 8 years we've now been in this business, whole house and kitchen filters have become even less expensive. And there is a much wider selection of water filters available. This is great, but can also be confusing.
How do you know your drinking water isn't actually hurting you? Have you thought about the water in the coffee and tea you drink, and in the dishes you cook? Taste is a clue, but many contaminants don't have a flavor. We strongly suggest that if you haven't done so already, that you install a water filter. Now would be a good time.
How do you know that the water you and your children are drinking is good for you? We have now been working for years to select and offer the best water filters from those available. We know enough about water filtration to make a reasonable assessment of the claims made by various manufacturers. We feel certain that the filters we offer are the best available today - that they require the least maintenance - and deliver the best value. The price is very low for the great job that they do.
A particular concern people are always talking to us about is fluoride. Fluoride is hard to remove from water. Generally speaking you need more filter material dedicated to the task than is available in most filters. We do have filters in our store that remove fluoride effectively and safely. Click through below to learn more about the system and the different models.
Please Don't Wait To Act!
This is one of those things that you can intend to do, and the next thing you know years have gone by and you are still drinking bad water. What is the cost to your health and that of your loved ones? Maybe you've been thinking about doing this for a long time, and somehow never got to it. Now is a great time.
If you talked to all the people that we do who have health issues that they know are connected to ingestion of chemicals, fluoride, chlorine and other contaminants in the water, you would immediately get a great water filter in your home.
The kitchen canister water filter housings we sell have a pro-rated warranty by the manufacturer for 5 years. As with any product you get from friendsofwater.com, you can return it within 90 days for any reason for a full refund.
We really hope you'll start drinking clean water and stop buying bottled water.
Drinking Water Filters
Thank you for reading.
More Fish Farm Stories: Betta Babies