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Cheaper Aquarium Water

March 22, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 12

I agree with Brian Trinque's letter that widespread use of bottled water burdens our landfills unless the bottles are recycled (C&EN, Sept. 21, 2009, page 4). The contamination problems cited in Janet Doyle's letter are unfortunate (C&EN, Dec. 7, 2009, page 4). In many places, deeper tube wells are used for getting cleaner water than that from near-surface aquifer. Tin Yan Chan's letter in the same issue is also interesting (page 4).

After retiring 10 years ago, I started a home aquarium with goldfish, and my first two goldfish died within a day. I thought it might have been because I used tap water to fill the aquarium, and the chlorine in the tap water killed the fish. To avoid the problem, I collected hot water from the tap in two buckets, let those cool down to ambient temperature overnight, then used that water with new goldfish. The result of this experiment: no more death.

I repeated the experiment with some blue gills caught from the local lake, put those in the city tap water, and saw them dead the next day. The next catches were put in cooled hot water, and those were happily living for many days. I am a frugal person and hate to waste money on bottled water to fill my aquarium for goldfish and add pollution burden to our environment with discarded plastic bottles.

Matiur Rahman
Champaign, Ill.


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