Cooling loop for bait tank

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by e5catfish, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    I now have a bait tank system up and running at home and may be interested in building an underground cooling loop to keep the water temperature consistant at 55 degrees year round. Does anyone have any knoweledge or experience on how to properly build one? I'll have to dig a trench 3 or 4' deep and want to do it right the first time!
     
  2. Koon

    Koon New Member

    Messages:
    167
    State:
    Oklahoma
    perfect timing.... never thought of that.

    doing a pontoon project and going to custom build the console and bait tank out of aluminum....

    You post just gave me another idea to put on the drawing board, thanks.
     

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    I think you'll have to dig a lot deeper than 3 or 4 ft.
     
  4. Koon

    Koon New Member

    Messages:
    167
    State:
    Oklahoma
    static ground temp is 65 degrees, you'll have to get down 6' I believe for constant temp. There are other factors but this is just a ball park number if I'm not mistaken from heat pump installations. I'm no expert, just putting my 2 cents in.
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    As a matter of fact we had one member (FWMUD) that had an old nonworking chest freezer on his back porch as a bait tank. He had a ground cooling loop of about 100 feet. He used PEX pipe. i saw the system several times with all the filters and what not and it worked all through the summer months without bait dying. Knowing what the soil was like there I highly doubt his loop was more then a foot below ground.

    You could also run a loop underneath your house if you have crawlspace. Those crawlspaces are usually pretty cool when everything else is hot.
    I think part of FWMUD's loop was in fact under the house.

    If you search his posts you might find something on it or it may be in the library.
     
  6. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Bury your tank as deep as possible, and locate it in a spot where the sun never hits it and the surrounding soil. This works pretty well.
     
  7. curdog

    curdog New Member

    Messages:
    896
    State:
    Sheridan, Arkansas
    Bobby I was wondering if you get the water to maintain 55 degrees and your bait are used to that temp. and you carry them fishing in the summer and throw the baited hook lets say 80 degree water would the temp. change kill the bait?
     
  8. MississippiJugHead

    MississippiJugHead New Member

    Messages:
    147
    State:
    Missouri
    I have experience with saltwater aquariums and with the powerful lights that some people use there comes problems with high temperatures. They make something called a chiller that lowers the water temperature. If you have ever seen a lobster tank you have seen a chiller in action. The problem with chillers is that they are very expensive. As an alternative some people have rigged up loops that run through a refrigerator set up for the purpose. This is the closest thing I have seen to what you are going to do. Good luck to you and please take pictures and report back on your progress.

    I also agree that a sudden temperature change isn't a good thing for the baitfish but considering their future (or lack thereof) maybe it really doesn't matter too much
     
  9. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    Similar concept to what mississippi said, but down here they use a old central air unit and just run the coils and install a thermostat in the water and you can adjust the temp to whatever you want to keep it at. Just another Idea.
     
  10. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    If you have a well consider an exchanger between the tank water and a tank of circulating well water. Water from a deep well is cool and even all year round. When I was a boy my grand parents kept milk and other things cool in a spring house that was cooled by the output of a mountain spring. Same concept.
    I worked at a house once that had a heat pump that ran to extract the temperature difference between ground water and the outside air. They drew water from and well and injected (dumped) it back into a well 100 yards away. According to the home owner it did the job cheaper than burning a primary heat source like gas or electric heat.
     
  11. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Reminds me of the cool cans we used to put on our trucks to cool the gasoline before it went into the carb we ran tubing inside if a 3#coffee can and attached to the fuel lines then filled it with dry ice same concept sounds like its worth a try.
     
  12. e5catfish

    e5catfish New Member

    Messages:
    65
    State:
    Smilax, KY
    Yes, the sudden change in water temperature would kill the minners! You would have to temper them in gradually to the lake water before actually using them. The consistant 55 degree holding temperature is only for keeping them on a long term basis at home. My bait tank is a 35 gallon plastic barrell buried 24" down in the ground with a 120 quart cooler above ground as a biological filter with a 330 gallon per hour pond pump in the barrell to circulate the whole system. From what I've found on the internet, the suggested depth would have to be at least 4' for a temp between 52 and 55 degrees.