Keep Alive Bait Tank Modification

Discussion in 'Shad Talk' started by riddleofsteel, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    If you own a Keep Alive Bait Tank chances are you like the tank. I bought one during the winter and I enjoyed having a supply of live bait for my catfishing trips. It is the glow in the dark model and it is durable and easy to use. When hot weather came around I began to realize the limitations of the tank's design, particularly the filter system.

    If you are using the Keep Alive system (or any other bait tank) and you see scales circulating with your water you have one of the four problems with keeping shad alive.

    1. scales, slime and debris
    2. temperature to high
    3. low oxygen
    4. high ammonia and nitrates

    I float frozen bottles of water to adjust the temp. I also add salt to stimulate slime production and to harden their scales. Circulation and bubbles add oxygen. Water changes can keep ammonia and nitrates down.

    However, only a good filter will remove the scales and debris. So I decided to modify my Keep alive tank to address the problems of circulating scales and debris.

    First I ditched the two foam dough nuts around the bilge pump. I glued a 1/2" PVC elbow to the pump output and ran a length of 1/2" PVC pipe up through the top of the tank. At the top of the PVC pipe I installed a T fitting with two elbows to direct the water back down into the tank through two filter boxes. These filter boxes fit securely in square holes I cut in the top of my tank. I selected the plastic needle containers we use at the surgical center I work at for the filter boxes. Any plastic container with a rim or lip at the top will work as long as it fits in the small space at the back of the Keep Alive tank. If you are modifying a home made tank design accordingly. The old adage of "measure twice, cut once applies here.

    Once I was sure the filter boxes fit my holes I drilled nine holes in the bottom of each box. I cut a section of aluminum expanded metal used toi cover gutters to fit in the bottom of each box to make sure the filter medium does not stop up the holes. As far as filter medium, anything from an old sweat sock to Dacron pillow floss will work. As long as water passes through and it stops the scales and junk it will work. With my design I just pull out the dirty filter material and throw it away. Stick in some new filter material and you are off and running.

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  2. RiverKing

    RiverKing New Member

    Messages:
    2,232
    State:
    Yellow Spr
    Nice , looks like you did a good job, I have been throwing around the idea of getting a keep alive tank myself.
     

  3. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    If you drill a small hole in the side of the first elbow. The one right at the pump output. You get a small stream of water that squirts out 90 degrees to the pump. It makes a circular current in the bottom of the tank that stirs the debris and makes the bait swim a little. I plan on installing a little aquarium screw type vale in the hole so I can regulate the flow.

    My tank has an extra hole in the front that was designed for aquarium sized air tubing. I ran a length of air tubing thru it today and put an airstone on it. I am running it off of a battery powered air pump. It does help put bubbles in the tank. Eventually I may hook the airstone to a small oxygen bottle for max oxygenation.

    Also I had a suggestion from a friend today. He suggested I purchase activated charcoal and ammonia remover pellets from the aquarium shop. Put about 1/3 cup in a bag made from old panty hose and put a bag in each filter can and them cover it with floss. The floss only filters in the top 1/2 inch so why not use the extra room in the can for ammonia and nitrate removal pellets. This will turn my system into a scales, debris, ammonia, fish pee and nitrate removal system.
     
  4. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    Put a venturi on the output before the filter and it will inject O2 without the need for another pump...
     
  5. crome

    crome New Member

    Messages:
    328
    State:
    ilm,nc
    i see you bit the bullet and cut a filter box in your tank,that was the best thing i done to mine !!...looks good !!
     
  6. mazdabob

    mazdabob New Member

    Messages:
    138
    State:
    Council Bluffs, IA (Omaha)
    Very nice setup. I had a similar setup with the charcoal and pellets in my bluegill tanks last year. Its to bad that here in Iowa you can't have live shad, have to kill them as soon as you catch em.
     
  7. StriperSlayer

    StriperSlayer Guest

    Messages:
    2
    State:
    Tennessee
    .