In this thread we will discuss everything about bait tanks

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by gone_fishin, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin New Member

    Messages:
    224
    State:
    Logansport, Indiana
    We'll use this thread to discuss anything and everything that has to do with bait tanks. Ok I will start. I started a bait tank about 2 weeks ago. I've been keeping bluegills and sunfish. The fish have been doing pretty well and I've only had a few die mostly likely from being hooked to deep. Its a 55 gal tank and I change about 20 gallons a week. Well 2 days ago I caught about 12 sunfish out of a creek and brought them home and threw them into my tank. The fish were doing pretty good and a few died most likely from stress. Well today I went into my garage and found all of my fish had died except a few gills. The fish lost all of their color and were very badly bloated. What did I do wrong?
     
  2. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin New Member

    Messages:
    224
    State:
    Logansport, Indiana
    Could those fish had some kind of disease because before I put the sunfish in the tank the fish that were in the tank were fine but immediately after I put them in I noticed the fish that were already in there coming to the top of the water and acting very sluggish.
     

  3. Catfish_Commando

    Catfish_Commando TF Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,005
    State:
    Georgia
    Justin,

    Post some pictures if you can? I am looking at installing a yard bait tank, and saw some concrete tank solutions. Its heavy, but the tank is cheap, should hold around 100 gallons of water.

    The filtration system I am unsure of at this point, other than water exchange.

    There are high end solutions, but I am steering away from these :embarassed:
     
  4. dreamer34

    dreamer34 New Member

    Messages:
    849
    State:
    danville virginia
    i'm wanting to convert an old deep freezer into a bait tank...any suggestions?
     
  5. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    Messages:
    786
    State:
    collins mo
    sounds like water may have got to warm, every thing is harder, in hot weather , especial keeping bait,
    I use a fliter for fish ponds ,I got from pet solutions, filter is square with 2 types of batting or fillter pads, they make more than one size, for different size ponds, around 30.dollars you can hook up what size pump you want, with amount of water you want to circulate.
    Jim
     
  6. Catfish_Commando

    Catfish_Commando TF Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,005
    State:
    Georgia
    Get some bottom structure (Rocks) that already has the bacterial growth you need from local streams.

    Maybe they were to crowded and ammonia built up?



     
  7. dreamer34

    dreamer34 New Member

    Messages:
    849
    State:
    danville virginia
    just got me a broken freezer for free now just got to git it hooked up right
     
  8. dreamer34

    dreamer34 New Member

    Messages:
    849
    State:
    danville virginia
    found everything i need in the Libary....duh...look under livewells and go to home bait tank ...gret pics and description
     
  9. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    You have got to keep the water temp lower then in the river because in such a small amount of water they use up the oxygen at about twice the rate. That is what made them change colors. Now the bloating I could not answer. I use to put salt in the tank to keep the slime build up on them. It has been so long I will have to jar this old head of mine to remember it.


    Dreamer the freezer won't work because the chemicals they use to make the liner out of will filter into the water and kill the fish.
     
  10. robbie

    robbie New Member

    Messages:
    80
    State:
    bald knob,
    hey guys,i have a freezer that i keep bait in. have real good luck with it just keep it in the shade all day. i use a aireator from wal-mart. bought the one thats submerable with the pvc pipe. cut the pipe,added a union and longer pipe.i have kept around 100 baits in it for over a year. hope this is helpful. robbie
     
  11. Georgiajack

    Georgiajack New Member

    Messages:
    345
    State:
    Georgia
    It's hot weather the more insulation in the walls the better, keep the tank in as cool a place as possible. With good aerator setup, filters etc., you stand a chance to keep most alive if they weren't too stressed when you put them in. Have you ever noticed how quicky minnows will die on your hooks sometimes, and turn dark? They were probably in a cool bait tank when you bought them. If the water you are fishing is considerably warmer, boom, they are shocked, and die. The reverse, can also happen to your gills. Just something to think about, IMHO. Jack.
     
  12. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    there a few good, like thrity :big_smile:, ideas in the "Informative member posts" section for filters,,
     
  13. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin New Member

    Messages:
    224
    State:
    Logansport, Indiana
    Paul, this is the link to my other post. It has some pics of my setup.
    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21519
     
  14. gone_fishin

    gone_fishin New Member

    Messages:
    224
    State:
    Logansport, Indiana
    Thats a good idea, I'll have to go get some rocks. I thought it might be ammonia to because I did have a lot of foam ontop of the water. I haven't had any problems until I put those sunfish in there, I had fish in there that have been in there for two weeks with no problems until I put those sunfish in.
     
  15. Gone fishin 4 kittys

    Gone fishin 4 kittys New Member

    Messages:
    678
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I recently just got into the bait tanks for bluegill.

    I found a plastic tub laying around in the basement. I took some soap and water and cleaned it out real well. Then I got some baking soda But a bunch in my hand added a couple drops of water, it turn into a paste I rubbed the tank down with it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baking_soda

    I had 14 or 15 gills in it for a week They all lived. I didn't worry about heat. They just seem to be sluggish, I figgured that they would need natural sunlight so I drug that tub into the sun. I would take out 5 gallons of water every day and but it back in. I added a couple drops of stuff that get rid of the chorline

    I went to walmart to get an aerator all I could find was DC. These seemed to be very good but I really don't wana deal with a battery. I mean a good deep cycle battery is 50 bucks up here. So I went to the aquarium section. Found an aerator it's suppose to do 20 to 60 gallons. IMO that to much of a jump. I would trust it at 40. It has to outlets for the air hoses. It was only 10 bucks

    My grandpa is gonna give me some massive tub, it's suppose to be about 75 or 100 gallons. I'm gonna but about 50 gills in it. But he has two other aerators he's gonna give me. I'm gonna buy 6 or 8 suckers from the bait shop to keep the tank clean.

    Josh
     
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Messages:
    2,554
    State:
    MO
    They died from polluted water: either too much chlorine which is in nearly all public water supplies or too much ammonia, which comes from the fish themselves. Stress has nothing to do with it. Not having someplace to hide has nothing to do with it. But a dead and decaying fish will produce astronomical amounts of ammonia in a short period of time.

    Keeping a bait tank is absolutely no different from keeping an aquarium. You can't just toss a bunch of fish in, have little or not filtration, change a little water every now and then, and expect to get good results.

    You need chlorine-free water (or you need to add a de-chlorinating chemical to your water), adequate filtration and water movement, and you need to build up the population of fish slowly over time.

    I'd suggest getting a book on aquarium keeping or do some online reading on the subject if you're serious about keeping fish on hand.

    Here's the short course on what goes on in an aquarium or bait tank:

    * Fish breathe, pee and poop, the byproducts of which are primarily ammonia. Ammonia will kill a fish in nothing flat; concentrations over a few parts per million are lethal, and warmer water is more deadly, faster.

    * Fortunately, there are naturally-occuring bacteria which thrive on ammonia. In an established aquarium or bait tank, the bacteria population is large enough to consume the ammonia produced and everybody gets along happily.

    * Unfortunately, however, the bacteria convert the ammonia into nitrites, which are also deadly to fish but not quite as quickly. Nature comes to the rescue once again with a different kind of naturally-occurring bacteria who love to eat nitrites and convert them in to nitrates. But of course, high levels of nitrates are deadly to fish.

    * Nitrates aren't eaten by anything and accumulate in the aquarium or bait tank; the only way to control the nitrate level is through water changes. In nature, aquatic plants also consume the nitrates and help keep them in check. You won't have enough aquatic plants in your tank, so do a 50% water change every 2 weeks once the tank is established.

    So, here you are back at your newly started bait tank. You dump in a bunch of fish, there's no significant population of bacteria and it only takes a few days for all the fish to die. No surprise.

    Instead, add a few fish at a time, wait a week or more before you add any more and change about 25% of the water every day or two. Over the course of a month or so you can build up the population of fish to the level you want.

    One other point: AN AIRSTONE IS WORTHLESS FOR PROVIDING OXYGEN!!! All an airstone does is make pretty bubbles and help stir the water. Oxygen absorption occurrs at the surface of the water - CO2 comes out, O2 goes in. Bubbles don't add any appreciable amount of oxygen to the water. So save your money if you're thinking of adding an air pump and spend it on a good sumbersible pump that will keep the water moving - as long as new water is coming to the surface, there will be plenty of oxygen in your tank.
     
  17. grizzly

    grizzly New Member

    Messages:
    229
    State:
    Griffithville, Arkansas
    I used a deep freeze for years until it finally rotted out. It was great, even kept 10 pound catfish forup to a week in it.
     
  18. joesf

    joesf New Member

    Messages:
    283
    State:
    Bloomington IL
    Ok I have had my bait tank going for 4 months now. I rarely change any water and my fish do pretty good. My only maintenance is to change out the filter media about once a month. Here is a pic of my filter its easy to make and clean.
    This is a 5 gallon bucket with about 30 1/4" holes drilled in the bottom. Put about 3 inches of Polly fill in the bottom then a couple of large margarine bowls in then pack more fill around them. Over one of them I have a sprayer made from a little sprinkler and the other I have the hose with an adjustable valve to control the flow this is going to be a charcoal filter as soon as I over come a few obstacles.
     

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  19. savage308

    savage308 New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Victoria, Texas
    One thing to rememeber with bait tanks is that for every inch of fish you should have 1 gallon of water.... Declorinate the water in a drum with drops, then add it to your bait tank. I use a extra 55 gallon drum to do just this. When starting a new tank it takes a couple months to get the bacteria built up so you definately don't want to but a few fish in it to get it started. I only do a 20% water change once a week. Filtering is a must and can be purchased at a local pet store. This is what works for me....