FidoNews 4-26 Page 1 13 Jul 1987 James Zachary Fido 115/537 Hotline! (1) (c) 1987 James Za

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FidoNews 4-26 Page 1 13 Jul 1987 James Zachary Fido 115/537 Hotline! (1) (c) 1987 James Zachary On any given day, at any given moment, the phone at the water and sewage department can ring with a crisis call. Southeast Treatment Plant, this is Zack. "Ahem, err, why are ... uhhh are you adding ... uhhhmmm, why are you putting ammonia in our drinking water ...?" Pardon me? "Uhhh, in my drinking water ... in my fish-tank ..." You drink the water from your fish-tank? "Uhhhh, errr, nooooo, I uh ..." Sir, we have a terrible connection, sounds like you're talking into a garbage can ... "Hold on a sec ... THERE! IS THAT BETTER? I WAS ON MY NEW SPEAKER PHONE!" What else are you on? "'SCUSE ME?" Never mind. Don't shout, I can hear ya fine now. You said your fish-tank tastes funny? "Uhhhh, nooooo. All my fish died so I tested the water and it has ammonia in it." What's your point? "The water in my fish-tank came from our faucet ... it's regular drinking water from you. Your ammonia killed my fish!" We don't add ammonia to our water. Some of the large systems do, to form chloramines so they can carry a chlorine residual for great distances, but we don't do that. "Now wait a minute! I tested the water, both in the fish tank and from the faucet and it has ammonia in it!" I see. How much ammonia?. "Five." Five ...? Five what? Five parts per million, parts per billion, parts per trillion...? "Uhhhhh, it just says five." What kind of equipment are you using? "Well, I dunno but it cost me PLENTY! I spent $12 on it to find out YOU killed my fish! It has test tubes and a color chart! I went to college, you know!" Uh huh, I'm sure your mother is proud. Look, friend, let me assure you our lab, as well as the EPA lab, cost a tad more than $12. Both labs are certified for technique and accuracy and their results show the drinking water has barely enough ammonia to measure. "You mean I wasted $12?" Looks that way. "But my fish are all dead! The tank even smells like ammonia!" How big was the tank and how many fish were in it? "It was a 10 gallon tank and I had 50 black mollies in it." Wonderful. You had 50 fish in a 10 gallon tank? "Sure! The book that came with the tank said ..." Whoa! Listen, ammonia may have played a part in bumping your fish off but the ammonia came from their own waste. "Their own waste? I don't understand!" Waste ... excrement ... in college terms, your fish made wee wee in the water... "Oooooh......." ... and they made big poo poo ... "Ahhhh, but my filter removes all that!" Right. When was the last time you cleaned your filter? "Why, NEVER! This filter turns the waste into air by rotifer reaction so it never needs cleaning. It worked fine for a month!" Sir, have you ever considered changing hobbies to something other than tropical fish? "Well, I USED to raise tropical plants until YOUR water killed them!" How often did you water them? "At least four times a day ..." Maybe you'd consider raising hydroponic pet rocks. "C L I C K ! ! " Sometimes it doesn't pay to be helpful ...


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