My fish will suffer if rationing continues, says boss

Goh showing the bacterial solution and ultraviolet steriliser at his shop in Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR - Aquarium shop owner Goh Chee Hwa is taking a cautious approach to handling the current water crisis following the water rationing exercise on Sunday.

The 44-year-old, based in Kuchai Lama, who has over 1,000 fish kept in more than 100 tanks, is aware that an abundant supply of clean water is vital towards ensuring his livelihood.

Goh, who has been operating his business for the last 30 years, said that for a tank measuring 1.524m, he would need 454.24 litres of water.

"Now that the water rationing exercise is taking place every one to two days, it is important for me to get as much of the clean water as possible to ensure the fish remain healthy," he said, adding that he had last experienced this during the 1998 water crisis.

Goh said that while his business had not been affected due to the rationing, a prolonged exercise could eventually affect the health of the fish.

"Change of the water process must be done once a week," he said.

"We usually change about 10 to 20 per cent of the water in the tank every week. In the event of water shortage, we usually put in more bacterial solution to keep the chlorine as well as ammonia levels down, making it safe for the fish," he said, adding that using an ultraviolet steriliser filter to improve water quality also helped.

Goh, who sells mostly tropical fish, such as the arowana and gold fish, which are priced between RM1(S$0.39) and RM10,000, said that while the bacterial solution might do in the event of water shortage, it was not a long-term solution.

"I only pray that normal water supply is restored soon, or else my business will suffer," he added.

Since Sunday, more than two million people in Petaling Jaya, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur are enduring a month-long water rationing exercise, with two days of supply followed by two days of dry taps.

It involves 431,617 households and businesses in the districts of Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor and Hulu Selangor.

According to the authorities, the water levels at the Selangor dam and Klang Gates have been deemed critical at 47.5 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively.