Cold bait tanks

Discussion in 'Livewell and Bait Tank Review' started by JimmyJonny, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    I've been keeping my own bream/gills at the house in my tank this year and the winter time is a new obstacle .

    How do you folks keep your water warm enough to keep them alive ? We finally had cold enough temps here and a few bream are now bream cubes .

    My 1st thought would be insulation and a regular fish tank heater . Any advice would be appreciated.

    -Jim-
     
  2. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I've had mine start to freeze over without problems, so I'm surprised that you are having fish die this early in the season. To keep ice off, I would look at bird bath heaters, to actually keep the water warm would take a little more, and an aquarium heater might work for that if your tank isn't to big. Aquarium heaters are made to keep indoor water (already warm) maybe 10-20 degrees warmer, so an outdoor tank would probably push it pretty hard.
     

  3. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    Jim, I have had my tank freeze over with a couple of inches of ice on the top and sides for several days, a few were lost but most survived. This was a seventy gallon tank. To answer your question about heaters, try a stock tank heater that can be bought at TSC or your local large animal supply store. The heaters are usually priced in the 25 to 50 dollar range. You didn't say what type of tank you are using. Hope this helps.
     
  4. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    As long as you have a recirculation pump or a air pump running on it it shouldnt eveer freeze over and the bream live in the colder water natrually so it hasnt been a problem for me.
     
  5. littleman

    littleman Active Member

    Messages:
    540
    State:
    Illinois
    I don't keep live bait during winter. I always drain the tank and throw my gills in the freezer for cut bait. But I do have a large koi pond (15x17), and know from experience that you can't use aquarium heaters outdoors. The cords and controls are not made to get wet(rain & snow). What I use is two of the floating stock tank heaters for my pond. They work great and I have never lost a fish.
     
  6. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    For some reason, this doesn't get much play, but if you will bury your tank at least halfway in the ground, it will help to moderate those temperature extremes, both hot and cold.
     
  7. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Jim, you are gonna have to run an aquarium heater to keep them alive in the winter months. Bream head to deep water in the winter because they can not tolerate cold water temps for too long. I have not tracked the exact temperature, but it seems to be somewhere around 45-47 degrees when they start to have problems.

    One suggestion is to switch over the white perch in the winter. They will tolerate cold water much better, even down into the low 40's. They survive in my tank for a several months.

    Dave, I thought about it burying a bait tank, but the downside outweighs the good. They are a pain to drain when buried. Kids can fall in them and drown. Much easier for animals to get into the tank. Harder to move and relocate. Last, water run off is an issue.

    I moved my tank to the north side of my building. Less sunlight means less algae in the summer which is a big issue. It also helps to keep the temperature lower in the summer.
     
  8. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    "Dave, I thought about it burying a bait tank, but the downside outweighs the good. They are a pain to drain when buried. Kids can fall in them and drown. Much easier for animals to get into the tank. Harder to move and relocate. Last, water run off is an issue."

    My tank is a 55 gal white plastic drum...I think I gave $10 for it. I cut the lid out of the end with the bungs. It's hinged and has a hasp to keep critters and kids out. It's only buried about 12", so runoff isn't a problem, and I never drain it, although if I wanted to, I'd just pull the pump out of our birdbath, and use that.

    You're right, Dieter, shade makes a ton of difference.