keeping bluegills

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by trctrdr, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. trctrdr

    trctrdr New Member

    Messages:
    81
    State:
    Ohio
    Has anyone had success keeping bluegills in a tank? I have a 50 gal aquarium in my garage but have limited success at this, seems they do well for awhile then for no apparent reason will start dying. There's usually about ten to fifteen gills in at a time. I try to keep the water clean and change 20 percent every couple of days, check and control the PH. I fish every three or four days so they aren't in there for extended periods. Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

    Messages:
    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    I have a 195 gallon pond in the yard with a fountain pump that I keep my bluegills in . Last year we had gills and crappie all year in there never too them out or changed water not once .

    I have 3 fifty five gallon tanks 1 I have set up in the house with 3 yellow belliues in it . They been in there since april . I run an underground filter along with a power filter and a long air bar .
     

  3. Cuda

    Cuda Active Member

    Messages:
    553
    State:
    Iowa
    Name:
    Mike
    I have read that you should use (pond starter) in there to start a algea or something. That help them get started so they live longer. Do you run a good filter and a good air pump? Hope you get it worked out it's nice to have bait like that on hand.
     
  4. 4bratsdad

    4bratsdad Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    illinois springfield area
    mine are startin too die as well, ive got a hundred gal tub, i think coons are getting to mine, gonna make a lid, been finding 3or4 dead each morning with tail missing last 3 days ive got mine mixed in w bullheads and crawfish, nothing else is dying
     
  5. Catmanblues

    Catmanblues New Member

    Messages:
    2,224
    State:
    S.E Ohio
    Sometimes the tanks being used or water being used just can't keep up with the blue gill needs. Dunno why this happens. I've seen 300 gallon setups with real nice air pumps an the gills still die. Water turns nasty an needs changing pretty regular.
     
  6. trctrdr

    trctrdr New Member

    Messages:
    81
    State:
    Ohio
    I think I have a pretty good filter and also a dual air pump with air stones. I have tried keeping them in the wifes little 200 gal. pond in the flower bed but the coons eat more of them than I get to use for bait. Well anyway if this rain stops soon I'll be getting all that's left in there out to go to the lake tonight.
     
  7. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    Ammonia poisoning is my guess. It happens a lot especially if you add to many fish at once..reffered to Ammonia spiking your take. Normally the fish will die off within a few days when it happens.

    Keeping bream isn't as easy as a lot of folks claim it to be. It takes a lot more than getting chlorine out of your tap water and throwing 20 gills in. With some research, work , and observing you can raise them and keep them alive.

    ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    Symptoms
    Fish gasp for breath at the water surface

    Purple or red gills

    Fish is lethargic

    Loss of appetite

    Fish lays at the bottom of the tank

    Red streaking on the fins or body
    Ammonia poisoning can happen suddenly, or over a period of days. Initially the fish may be seen gasping at the surface for air. The gills will begin to turn red or lilac in color, and may appear to be bleeding. The fish will being to lose its appetite and become increasingly lethargic. In some cases fish may be observed laying at the bottom of the tank with clamped fins.
    As the damage from the ammonia poisoning continues, the tissues will be damaged as evidenced by red streaks or bloody patches that appear on the body and fins. Internal damage is occurring to the brain, organs, and central nervous system. The fish begins to hemorrhage internally and externally, and eventually dies.
     
  8. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    These products are made for Bio filters and wont do much for a tank unless it is made to function as a Bio tank/ponds/ and filter....and this can take over a month to establish. It is basically the good bacteria in a bottle.
     
  9. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Jim, obviously you have done your homework and know a bit about keeping them alive. I keep mine is a large old chest type deep freezer, filled with well water. My bream do good for several days, and then start dying off. I have an 18 inch air stone on an aquarium pump. If I keep the lid closed, but cracked enough for gases to escape, the lack of light keeps algae from building up in the freezer, plus the water stays pretty cool. however, after several days, they still start dying. Any suggestions for long term keeping them. I know you said "With some research, work , and observing you can raise them and keep them alive." If you've already done the research, can you share the tips? :big_smile:

    Bill in SC
     
  10. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    I sure will Bill. Give me some time and I will gather info and links that will get you started in the right direction. I'll have it for ya tonight and post it here for everyone.

    -Jim-
     
  11. trctrdr

    trctrdr New Member

    Messages:
    81
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks for the help on this, I'd bet the amonia poisoning is the culprit. Whats the cure?
     
  12. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    I hate to make yas read a lot but I promise you that this is worth reading. Understanding natures cycling gave me a really good start. This link is very understandable information.

    http://www.skippysstuff.com/fmbest.htm

    The decision people will have to make is if they want a bio type tank or a tank with normal filters etc ( these tanks take constant messing with...water changes, chemicals, etc. ).
     
  13. gamaCatsu

    gamaCatsu New Member

    Messages:
    219
    State:
    NC
    i have 12 in my 55 gallon rite now as we speak along with my 6 inch pet oscar. i usually keep 12-15 they will stay alive for quite sumtime and are very easy to maintain. i feed them goldfish food. just make sure you have a decent air pump. i use a 120gal pump in my 55, this keeps down ick and other problems fish get:wink:
     
  14. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P

    You need a filter! Wild fish produce so much waste and a good filter is essential to keep the PH levels of getting high and killing your bait.
     
  15. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    In regular tanks there is no cure other than prevention. There is actually ways you can save your fish but we are just talking bream here not $100 exotic fish......its easier to just get new fish.

    Easiest way is to start over. Clean the tank with a new scrub brush that is used for your tanks only. Make sure the wife or who ever doesn't steal it and wash the car tires or scrub the bathtub with it. Avoid bleaching, if necessary you can use baking soda to counteract the bleach afterwards, then soaking clean water.

    Tap and well water..... Tap has to be treated no matter what because of the chlorine etc. Well water is usually good but it to can contain harmful metals in it, most folks don't realize this. To me its worth the few pennies to treat it anyway just to be safe. I use " Start Right " which is made by "Jungle" products. Sold at Wal-Mart for $6 a bottle. Any other similar product will work fine.

    Ammonia blockers.............. Don't use them in your home tanks. These products are made for onboard bait tanks and only work for so many hours. Basically it just hides the problem temporally but always comes back.

    I have two tanks here. One is 50 gal for my bait and the other is 30gal for water to set in. By far, I have better luck treating water in a separate tank and letting it sit uncovered for a few days. If your starting from scratch it wont matter at this point, just fill your take, treat it and wait at least one day. Have filters and air running too.

    I use one medium air strip that I gorilla glued to a 1/2 brick so it stays in place, then one regular air bubble that can be took out and use in a bucket or it reaches my other tank if needed. I've found that bream/gills don't care for moving water or the bubbles so I'm careful to limit my air bubbles and how fast my tanks cycle.

    When its ready I get a few bream, maybe 5 to 10 at most and put them in. I've found it best to get them at night when the water is cooler this time of year, but bring them home fast as possible. I leave them in the bucket with the air stone for a few hours and introduce them when the water temps are equal. The other day I caught some and checked the the temp of the bucket from the lake and it was 87F...my tank was 72F. I usually add a small frozen water bottle to get the temp down...otherwise the bucket would never cool enough with the air temps in the 80's.

    Bream are more fragile than most think to. Hard hook ups,cast nets, and even dropping them affects them and can cause them to die. Most problems are from chlorine, ammonia buildup, water temp differences, and hard handling. These problems tend to show up after a few days.

    I aint no pro at this, I've just studied up a lot on it and it's been a long process with a lot of dead bait, LOL.

    Some folks say they do nothing and keep them alive but not me...within a few days they start to die one by one...no luck I guess.

    -Jim-
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2009
  16. Lignum

    Lignum Member

    Messages:
    105
    State:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I have been using the product 'Better Bait' and I have found it works out better than the Jungle stuff, Aquarium or Pond Version. I have Blue gills in my tank from April that the kids have caught at the local lakes, and these guys range from seven inch to one inch, ( their pets they call them). They won't survive an extended time too long without food. The bullheads though are some tough somebeeches, I don't feed them, but I do have to go to the creek and pick up about 50 chubs a couple times a month, they keep disappearing. :confused2:

    A good carbon filter, lots of air, and everything should work itself out.
     
  17. Ms. Cat'n Around

    Ms. Cat'n Around New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    Vanceboro, North Carolina
    The "better bait" is good stuff. We don't have a large bait tank and only use it every once & a while, but when we do we use it we use the better bait, an air pump, and keep a check on the temp that ususally does the job for us.
     
  18. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    You can store em in a 30 gal tank and just do minor water changes maybe every week.. and just feed em nightcrawlers and throw a cricket in every now and then:wink:
     
  19. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    Welcome to the BOC Harvey!:0a25:
     
  20. JimmyJonny

    JimmyJonny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,059
    State:
    sc
    As I mentioned, some folks seem to have luck doing so but unfortunately a lot of us have major problems.

    I have done the water change thing with hopes of it working , unfortunately it doesn't work for everyone. During winter things are a lot easier but when water temps approach 80F things can change fast. My tanks are outside in the shade so I'm subjected to the elements.

    I've really put my heart and soul into learning and researching things about this situation I'm dealing with..... it is all to common.

    I have friends that claim they just throw gills in a tank with a aerator and filter and they live fine. Well, I've often went and looked in their tanks and saw dead fish....they highly over exaggerate their success.

    This thread was made with intentions of learning what else is going wrong. People that come in and say use a aerator and filter and you should be fine...this isn't helping because the author of the thread is already doing these things,,,,just like me.

    Like or not, disagree or not, the fact is that people do these things but the fish still die. My intentions here are to teach about the chemicals, etc, and what they do to fish.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Better Bait.........yes this is good stuff too, we use it for herring, gizzards, and threadfins while striper fishing...plus the blue water looks cool. The kind I mentioned does work fine and it does the same exact thing as better bait does, Better bait is just the kind most people use therefore people assume its the best. I invite you to Google up your own info but look under aquariums and coy ponds instead....you wont see one person using better baits. I don't know the exact reason but you gotta realize these people are professionals at handling fish ....some fish that cost big, big ,bucks.

    I say use better bait too but I prefer not using it in my home tanks because you can not see the true clarity ( algae etc ) of the water because of the blue tint ; ) Algae is in fact needed to some extent, its the beginning of the bio cycle,,,,without it the process can not start.

    One thing I admit I haven't done is to be able to test my water. I cant afford the tests atm but soon I hope to be able to soon. When I do you can bet I will take notes, experiment and pass my findings along to my fellow BoC'ers.

    A note on lids........ I had to stop covering my tanks because no matter what I did I got gas built up and it killed my fish. I can tell you two things that have killed my fish. First was that when it rained water would drip from the trees and from my gutters. The cool rain changed my water temps to fast and the couldn't take it. The fish wont die right away but within a few days they did. The over flow drips from my gutters was another killer because of the rotten vegetation in there......rotten vegetation releases ammonia ; )

    The other culprit was my little sparrows. They were hanging their little butts over the water and doing their business, LOL. They never did it on the sides of the tank, just straight in the water........again, ammonia was the killer here.

    I'm thinking about starting another thread on home tank systems ( not boat bait tanks ) where people can jump on in with their input and show pic's of different set ups. Sharing knowledge would benefit us all. Its a combination of all the little things that create good success in bait raising.

    If you have already been here and you have success, by all means plz send us a pic so we can possibly get some new ideas ; )

    thanks guys
    -Jim-