Sunday, February 24, 2013

Million Dollar Idea: Perpetually Clean Fish Tanks

I'm calling it the Perp Tank.

The Perp Tank is simple and takes care of two problems: Cleaning out a fish tank (which everyone despises), and water that is entirely useless in your toilet tank, until, of course, you go potty.

This idea popped into my head when someone called me and asked me to come fix their toilet.  I don't usually fix toilets, electing to call a plumber for even the smallest whistle of water or creak of a mechanical part, but today was different.  I wanted to just do something from start to finish and make someone happy. 

I thought about the massive amounts of water that go through a toilet tank of a large family - like mine -  in an average day.  I also thought about the smaller amounts for smaller families, single people, or couples.  Then I thought about fish tanks that are routinely installed in opulent person's bathroom walls or left in the living room where they get in the way after the excitement of the first week of its presence wanes.  Finally, I thought about the drab nature of most bathrooms.

Then I put it together.

Swap out the toilet tank for a fish tank!  Add a filter to the hole at the bottom so you don't flush the fish, but their waste can easily get through.  Then, every time the toilet is flushed - BAM! - clean fish tank.  Fish can handle flapping about at the bottom while the tank refills and will be no worse for wear.  The family and guests are presented with a living work of art instead of a rectangular white thing that dates back to the days of King George the 3rd.

After completing my invention in my head, I jumped up from the toilet and burst out of the bathroom, rushing into the living room, to tell my kids the news.  As I spoke, they stared with a mixture of awe, disbelief, wonderment, and amusement, directly proportional to the length of time they have known me.  When I was all done, Felicity (5) looked at me with a confused look on her face and asked:

"But Daddy, we can't do that.  We don't have any fish food!"

She's right.  My idea is ruined.  I have no fish food.

If you want this idea, run with it.  Make your millions.  If you want to do it with me so I can make a few nickles, my kids will love you whence they can finally butter their bread.


  1. I'll contribute a year's supply of fish food once you get it installed in your bathroom. :-P

  2. What a great line "...directly proportional to the length of time they have known me."

  3. If you're worried about water consumption from the toilet, have you thought about installing one of these: You re-route the water so that, before filling up the toilet tank, it goes through a faucet on the back of your toilet. You can wash your hands, or sometimes I even manage to brush my teeth before it stops running. Then the "grey water" is collected in the tank like normal and used to flush. My fiance affectionately calls ours "the shitter sink" and my cats seem to think it's their own personal drinking fountain. That said, it was easy to install and is convenient to use.

  4. Sorry to put a downer on you, but no fish can handle fresh chlorine-filled, flouride-filled water.