Drought in East Anglia threatens fish breeder's business

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A tropical fish breeder from Chelmsford, Essex is worried that this year's unusually dry spring may mean his business is affected.

Keith Naitby, who breeds a range of fish for the UK tropical fish industry depends on rainwater to create the required soft, acidic conditions needed to trigger breeding in many of his South American and Asian species.

Chelmsford, like much of East Anglia is an area with naturally hard tapwater and Mr. Naitby has bred his fish generations in rainwater as he finds the hatch rate is increased.

To achieve this Mr. Naitby has large underground storage tanks capable of holding in excess of 30,000 l/ 6,559 gal of rainwater which he collects from the roof of his hatchery.

This water is then filtered to remove any pollutants before use in the breeding tanks. He has been breeding fish for the last 15 years, but has not seen conditions like the current ones before and already has empty tanks waiting for water that would normally be filled with brood stock at this time of year. 

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