Live Bait Tank Questions

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by 223Smitty, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    I recently was given a large stainless tank by a friend. It measures 32"wide X 72"long X 24" deep, and I plan to use it to keep a few shad, chub, gills, and crappie on hand.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/junk/Catfishing/Baittank1.jpg

    Before anyone suggests it, I have read all the info in the library regarding bait tanks. If anyone can answer any part of my questions, please feel free to "pick & choose" any you have an answer to any of the following questions.

    #1- Given the above dimensions, how many gallons of water will this hold if it were maintained at a 20" depth (4" from the top of the tank)?

    #2- Can I keep all the above mentioned baitfish in it with little to no problems?

    #3- I am aware that a radiused tank is better on the bait than a square one. I considered tackwelding in some additional pieces of stainless into the corners to radius them, but wondered if I could stack a few 2-3-4-5" stones in the corners to accomplish the same results? Also, would adding a layer of smaller stone in the bottom of the tank be beneficial?

    #4- I plan on using a new B&G mini-pump (designed for a hydronic heating system) that I already have for circulation. It may not have the force to oxyginate the water at the same time it circulates as it discharges, but I can add an areator if need be. I have a large plastic drum (approximately 40 gallon) which I planned to use for my filtration system, but am unsure if several layers of foam will be sufficent for filtration, or would the addition of some type of charcoal filter help?

    #5- I didn't see much (in the library) regarding PH levels, is this anything I should be concerned with?

    #6- I may also add a heater (possibly circulating the water through a 10 gallon 110V. electric water heater) for the colder months, since the barn is unheated. I will insulate the outside of the tank with styrofoam. My thoughts were to controll it with a pool aquastat. Any thoughts?

    #7- On the initial filling of the tank, can I fill it from the faucet (softwater)? I have another outside sillcock which is unsoftened well water, or should I transport in lake/pond water? It will have an opportunnity to set for awhile (before adding fish) for any chlorine to dissapate, but I'm not sure of the time-frame requirements to do so.

    #8- DOes lighting play a factor in keeping fish healthy? Meaning should I just leave the top of the tank open, covered, or open it a portion of the day exposing them to some lighting?

    I may very-well be overlooking some additional factors, as I am just getting into the initial stages of planning. If you have any additional information that would be helpful on this subject, by all means, feel free to add it.

    Thanks!
    Smitty
     
  2. Doctor

    Doctor Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Springfield, Ohio
    Oh wow what a nice tank to have I'll answer some of your questions: Shad would be tough to keep in a rectangular tank, they will nose into the corner and swim till they die, very dumb baitfish, I would be scared too if everything in the water was try to make a meal out of me.

    #1 Length x Width x Depth = Total Cubic Inches your tank has 46,080

    Total Cubic Inches divided by 231 = Gallon Capacity 199.480 or 200 gallons

    #2 shouldn't be a problem

    #8 I would put something over the top like a screen as them rascals will go leaping out of that fine home if given the chance..........Doc
     

  3. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    Messages:
    777
    State:
    collins mo
    I use square concret, tanks one is 250 gal and one is 700 gal,
    1. I use well water to fill, like to, put hose on spray and let fill, I dont allways do this.
    2. when it get to the point, I think it needs cleaning I drain and clean with bleach. let dry and flush real good with water.
    3.I run a fillter for fish pond, flat square one with spray head. in tank.
    4.With shad, I also have a large pond pump, wouldnt have to be large. that I turn to on with shad creats a current for them. have a elboe on up spout, so it shoots water out on 45 degree.
    5. Sometimes I have problems with Ick. spots on fish. I get Ick treatment stuff at Walmart. seems to work.
    6. I do think round is better,
    I also, let eating fish clean out. in tank, for a day or so, makes it nice to come in late and put fish in tank and clean later
    maybe some ideas you can use or modify. I know this isnt a steel tank princeibles should be the same.
    Jim
     
  4. shortshank

    shortshank New Member

    Messages:
    389
    State:
    Oregon
    I don't believe you will be able to "mix" your bait fish with any long term success. I tried to keep some gills and chubs together and about three days was it. The gills did ok, but the chubs were toast. My experience with shad was less spectacular, so the freezer, after they have been vacuum sealed, works great. Very interesting post, I hope you can get the bugs worked out!
    Don
     
  5. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Thanks all for the advice/help. Don, if you had to venture a guess....why do you think the shad & 'gills weren't "compatible" in the same tank?


    Thanks!
    Smitty
     
  6. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    well,here's my .02,

    1.no idea
    2. I've not had good success mixing shad w/gills or chubs.Also not had luck with chubs and gills.This is also in 5 gal. bait buckets,in a tank that size...who knows?
    3. I've had better luck with shad in round containers,seems they run into the corners,lose scales,stress and die.
    4. I'd use plenty of aeration and plenty of filtration.You'll still need to do partial water changes(approx. every 1-2 weeks to get rid of waste and toxins in the water)
    5. go to wally world and pick up a cheap aquarium PH test kit,you'll want to know if it gets too high or too low.
    6. sounds like a plan
    7. go to wally world and pick up some Start-Right water conditioner,this will remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals
    8. I'd just cover it with a screen or something,mainly to keep them from jumping out.
    Have you thought of getting some type of plastic cut to fit in the tank,drilled with holes to keep the water circulating to separate the types of bait?
    Not sure If any of this will help,you've got some good ideas so far.
     
  7. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Iwas thinking about the stones in bottom. If held off bottom of tank by 1\2 in by screen they could act as partical filter .
     
  8. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    also if you tack weld some curved stainless in the corners you could fill the area with lava rocks and pump the water through the rocks to create a biological filter. i think filteration is more important than current is. i think horny heads need a good bit of current but you didnt mention them. when i fill mine up i just use chlorine remover to take it out. also add 1 1/2 lbs of rock salt to every 100 gal. of water. this will harden the bait as well as keep it frisky and cut down on disease.
     
  9. Ol Whiskers

    Ol Whiskers New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    Fairfield Township, Ohio
    223Smitty

    If you want to keep several kinds of baitfish, you might think about dividing the tank into 2, 3, or 4 smaller compartments.

    Salt is the ticket for keeping shad, and doesn't seem to hurt the others. Kosher salt, about 1/2 cup to 5 gallons. Mix in well to dissolve, cause the crystals will burn the bottom fish.

    You could make a removeable round-end liner by acquiring a piece of 1/16 inch plastic, drill some 1/4 inch holes to allow water to flow thru. In your tank, it would be 24" wide by 170" long. Just butt the ends together, round it up and drop it in. It will make an oval 32 wide by 72 long. You will need a top of some sort as they always try to jump out. Keeps the cats out, too.

    A separate aerator is not really necessary, as long as you keep the water pumping from a spray ring. The 4-inch drop you hav planned should do. You can make one using 3/4 PVC, 4 elbows, and 1 tee. Drill 3/32 holes along the straight pipes about 1/4 inch apart, connect the four corners with elbows, and plumb the pump to the tee in one straight section.

    You can get a water test kit at walmart. LIttle strips, gives you pH, alkalinity, hardness, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia. Suggest using the well water, as city water has chlorine and sometime chloramine. BOth are injurious to most fish.

    If you keep a lot of fish, you'll need to filter. My submersible pump is warapped in fiberglass window screen, then in polyester quilt batting (walmart), then all set inside a lidded bucket with slits cut into the sides. Cord and hose come out the top, connect to the sprayring. Activated carbon media will take out the ammonia and some of the smell.

    Dennis
     
  10. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Thanks all for the help, alot of info & ideas for me to chew on. I'm going to get everything plumbed-up & working, and keep an eye on the water for a few days. After that I'll add a couple gills or crappie and see how things go. If that goes relatively smooth, I may try my hand at my new castnet & add a couple shad into the mix. If I can keep them going for 10-14 days then I may add a few more.

    Smitty
     
  11. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    I got the tank "up & running" today & thought I'd add some pics.

    Here's the aerator. I made a "loop" out of 3/4" PVC & drilled .100 holes in the long sides every 2". Just going by the looks of it, it seems to be doing a decent job.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/junk/Catfishing/Aerator.jpg

    Here's the pump & filter. The pump is a B&G mini-pump for hydronic (hot water) heating systems. The filter is a "whole-house" charcoal type filter.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/junk/Catfishing/IM001693.jpg

    I tee'd into the line running to the aerator to create alittle circulating motion in the tank. In the bottom right hand corner, I made a box from 1/4" hardware cloth sized to fit 4"X10" forced-air register filters. It holds about 6 folded in half, and covers the intake opening for the pump. This is a "pre-filter" to catch the big stuff.

    I wanted to pull any floating debris off the surface of the water, so I formed an aluminum box to cover the filter cage, cut a 2" hole on it & added the piece of 2" PVC for a skimmer. The rocks are to temporarily hold it in place until I can decide how well it'll work.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/junk/Catfishing/IM001692.jpg

    I've added Ick-Away, chlorine remover, and got some ammonia treatment & test kit, as well as a PH test kit. I also picked-up some fishfood for pond fish.

    Anyone know what PH levels I should look to be between for healthy fish? I'm going to let the tank "mellow" for a few days, then may add a couple fish in it to see how it goes.

    Thanks!
    Smitty
     
  12. BIGCAT DADDY 71

    BIGCAT DADDY 71 New Member

    Messages:
    576
    State:
    Indiana
    smitty, thats a nice bait tank. it should pay off on your cat'n, and now i know where i can come and get some live cat bait, lol. looks like in the near future when we go catfishing, i see some live bait on our hooks.
     
  13. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    That's the idea Scott :big_smile:

    Though now that you're famous & all, I wasn't sure if you'd still associate with us "little people" :0a10:


    HA!
    Smitty

     
  14. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
  15. yellerbelly69

    yellerbelly69 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    State:
    indiana
    just to warn u, i had somewhat of the same setup u have, i mixed gills sunnies,chubs, shiners, crawdads, any baby bullheads and thay all got along great, the only problem was they kept jumping out so i covered it with a piece of plywood. it didnt bother them at first but after awhile the fish became unhealthy, so if they cant get sunlight during the dAY id install some sort of lighting device above the tank. also if u cant get them to eat try crushed up oyster crackers they love em.
     
  16. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Thanks for the info Callin. I'm still having trouble controlling the water PH, so I'm gonna make a trip to the local PetSmart & see what they have to say. Once I can keep the fish alive for more than a few days.....I have the materials already to make a screened cover for the tank.

    Dead fish don't jump well :sad2:

    Smitty