For those of you who have garage bait tanks, I need help.

Discussion in 'Livewell and Bait Tank Review' started by smhmc6, May 15, 2008.

  1. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    A few days ago I bought a stock tank (about 100 gallons), an akwa-lung system, and a utility pump (pumps around 1300-1400 gph). Last night I went out and caught a bunch of bluegill (about 30 3-5 inch size) and one bullhead. They were very lively about an hour ago... then I checked them a few min. ago and they were all dead. Every single one. They acted pretty lively until I checked it a few min. ago so I'm thinking they were getting enough oxygen. I noticed they were all down by the pump though. The bullhead had its guts hanging out like it was sucked out. I think the pump I have is so strong that it sucked them all up to it and killed them. something happened when they were all sucked up against it too... water started coming out of the hole on the oxygen infuser and half the water was pumped out of the tank in my garage:angry:. Anyway, have any of you had this problem???? I'm thinking I need to section my pump off from where the fish are so they don't suck up against it.
  2. river scum

    river scum New Member

    hooterville indiana
    you probably do need to separate the intake from the fish with a pump that strong. also you need to just start with a few fish to get the filter dirty and functioning properly. it will take a few days to get the enzymes started so they can remove the ammonia. also when you getter up n running never feed your bait it will dirty the tank too much.

  3. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    First off you need to make sure the chemicals are out of the water. Chlorine will kill them quickly. Secondly, and I learned this from a buddy, I have 2 pond pumps. It sounds like they may have been sucked in but that you'd just have to watch. They will naturally gravitate to any structure.

    Anyhow I have the big pump pump out to an overhead 5 gallon bucket with gravel and a screen (filter) with hole drilled in the bottom and lower sides. This filters and aerates. The second pump (smaller) creates current in the tank.

    I use an old claw foot tub, so it should be similar.
  4. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Tim and Shawn both gave you good advice.
    The zeolite in the ammonia absorbing component of the Akwa-Lung system should have handled that side of things until the nitrogen cycle is complete but to be honest the zeolite should actually negate the need for any kind of biological filter. If it were me I would have run the tank for about a week without fish and done several water changes to ensure any chemicals present from the manufacture and set up of the tank were flushed out.
    City water needs to be conditioned. You can get the conditioner from any aquarium store. Well water can have ammonia in it especially if your aquifer is in an agricultural area.
    You would do well to read up on the basics of fish keeping. You don't have to get really technical but it helps to have a thorough understanding of the basics.
    You definitely need to put something around the pump intake to prevent the fish getting sucked in. A large Tupperware container works well. Make a hole in the lid so that the pump intake pipe is inside the container and make LOTS of smaller holes in the container itself. Basically you are making a strainer for the intake. Also, check the Akwa-Lung instructions or with Steve from Akwa-Lung that your pump is not too powerful for the system.

    Hope this helps...W
  5. Pacman

    Pacman New Member

    South Carolina
    Metalman may be onto the problem. There may have been chemicals in the tank left from the manufacturing process. It may have been cleaned by a dip into sodium hydride and then poorly rinsed. I'd refill it, run it a few days, drain it and try it again.
  6. uttatoo

    uttatoo New Member

    greatbend kansas
    are you using city water if so always let the water sit for 24hrs before dumping bait into it and also buy a good filter with carbon and put in a bucket and put your pump in side of it
  7. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    O.P., KS
    Treatment of the water is almost mandatory, I use something called AquaSafe from the aquarium section of Walmart. A lot of cities use chloramine to treat their water, and it doesn't dissipate after 24 hours like a regular chlorine would. Whatever treatment you use, be sure that it lists chloramine as something it will neutralize.

    Chemical residue is another real possibility. A friend got a new Rubbermaid tank a few years back and had all kinds of problems at first. A good scrub out, and some time sitting in the sun empty might help, as uv light will break down a lot of the chemicals.

    I seriously doubt that healthy fish will get sucked into the intake, but I'd make some kind of a screen... a Tupperware container like Winston suggests would be great, or you could make something like a little shark cage out of galvanized hardware cloth. The main thing is to make it stand off and be big enough so that one or two fish can't clog the intake.

    Lastly, I've had a little more trouble keeping bullheads for some reason. Maybe try it with just the bluegill next time, and if all is well after a few days add the bullheads and see what happens.