Whats wrong with these bluegills?

Discussion in 'Bluegill Fishing' started by dinkbuster1, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    hoping someone can look at the pics of the gills in the photo and tell me what causes them to die this way. ive had a few problems in the past keeping gills alive in my bait tank, and they usually die in this fashion. they get stiff as a board and their mouths and eyes are all "bugged out". i had some leftover bait (1-doz) from a trip a couple days ago and brought them home, and put into a 5 gallon bucket of water after i added some of those blue crystals that are supposed to remove the chlorine and all the other bad stuff. they were fine yesterday, had them in the basement with an aquarium bubbler and a lid on them to keep it dark, but all were dead today after coming back from getting a bunch more for tomorrow. the smaller gills looked just like the rock bass when i pulled them out, but after setting in the garden for a while they assumed their current look. there were no blemishes, red marks, and they were still really slimy too. it almost looks like they went into shock....? i'd like to find out what the problem is before i set up my bait tank this year.
     

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  2. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    When the same thing happens to me(stiffness and eyes buggin out) I usually call it frustration! LOL! SORRY!
     

  3. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Probably a nitrate/amonia buildup from Gills pooping, also remember that fish will , when calm, stay on the bottom where the buildup is the worst. I suggest leaving fish under a towel so its low light conditions to help with stress and a daily change of water since your not using filters. I bet this helps out a ton!

    Hey Mike interested in going out tomorrow evening/night?
    Let me know call my cell and leave message.

    Salmonid
     
  4. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    would an undergravel filter system be good enough to eliminate the amonia/nitrate crap? if not what can i add to keep it in check?
     
  5. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Mike, I just talked to the boss who works/teaches aquariums for pet shop at the school. She says too many fish in too small of a space, so she recommends the best way is to have a 29 gallon aquarium, with a power punp and undergravel filtering system to use to hold the gills and if your really lazy ( she is used to me dealing with live bait ;) )she suggests to fill a 2nd bucket up at the same time you do the first one and then every day or even less, swap fish from one 5 gallon bucket to the next so the temps are the exact same to lesson stress. She also said chlorine automatically releases itself from the water after 24 hrs and to probably not bother with the crystals stuff as Chlorine in drinking water is better stresswise then chemicals. In other words set up the 2nd bucket or even a 3rd all at the same time, next to one another. then as you move the fish from one to the next a day later, the chlorine will be gone anyways, so if you use 3 buckets and figure out the holding capacity of them in time , may be only 12 hrs, maybe 24, just depends then do the daily swap and refill the 1st bucket, by the time you get back to it, youll have clean water.

    Does that make sense?
    BTW, I got a hall pass for about 5 pm tomorrow till dark so let me know or else Ill head out on my own.

    Salmonid
     
  6. Dragger

    Dragger New Member

    Messages:
    538
    State:
    North Carolina
    Mike , I agree with Mark , nitrate/amonia / and stress. That is your trouble , Ive kept live bait for weeks , You do need a filter system, and change the water once a week, try to use a dark tank ( blue or black ) and keep it in a shady place . also any bait saver you get will not keep fish alive. it only conditions your tank. this is the system i use and it works for me......hope this helps.........steve. (ps) i only keep 5 or 6 doz in a 400 gal tank.
     
  7. Salmonid

    Salmonid New Member

    Messages:
    1,833
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Dink, I was telling the wife about your pickle buckets and she cringed, she recommends only using purchased clean 5 gallon buckets as all plastics absorb chemicals or whatever so that would be best, we got some from Wal Mart and Tractor Supply Company.
    Salmonid
     
  8. kspor

    kspor New Member

    Messages:
    716
    State:
    Wichita Kansas
    I would say too many fish and not enough water. If you want to keep those gills fresh and fiesty then you will need a bigger container to house them. As amonia rises the Oxygen decreases. Imagine being in an air tight room. more you breath the worse the air gets. I would go to a bigger tank and add filtration. I just dug a pond in my back yard for gills an such. I got the line from a roofing supply and saved a fortune. Good luck to you.
     
  9. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    im getting my tank back from a freind this week. its a huge black plastic box that are for the back of pickup trucks, think it holds 55gal, has an undergravel system with 2 powerheads. he has an identical setup, but his bait NEVER dies, and he crams that thing full of gills! i seen him have 200 pumpkinseeds in that thing for 2 weeks! for some reason the gills (greenies, sunnies, chubs) i get around here die really easy in my tank. i add all the necessary chems as well.
     
  10. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    It could be that they just panic so bad because they are in such a small, dark area as opposed to their natural environment. Plus with enough in one bucket, it may have been some sort of overcrowding problem.
     
  11. BassMassey

    BassMassey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    State:
    Oconee
    I know sometimes if you put your live bait in colder water then where you got them they will go into shock and kinda swim sideways on the top......
     
  12. catseeman

    catseeman New Member

    Messages:
    1,189
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    bluegills are territorial they will chase each other to death in a small space. ihave never had success with chemicals thaht i added . my cousin killed 500 minnows an a trip to wisconson 5 yrs ago by adding thse chem. to my bait. keep clean water to change or filter a aerate . lol ps i use a minomizer. it will run a week on 1, 6volt battery.
     
  13. dwreel

    dwreel New Member

    Messages:
    554
    State:
    Southern Pines, NC
    The general rule is 1 gallon of water per inch of fish. In other words, 2 five inch fish need 10 gallons water. You take care of the ammonia with 20 to 10% water changes once per week for a new tank the first month and once per month after that. The nitrates are taken care of by the Good bacteria in your filtration system. A new tank/setup has to be Cycled for at least a month for the Good bacteria to develope. During this period allow about 1 inches of fish per 5 gallons of water.Sudden water temp changes can and will kill your fish. Thats the basics of keeping them alive. Hope it helps.
     
  14. Fishing Fred

    Fishing Fred New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    Lillington, N.C
    The only additive I've found that works well in my 30 gallon tank is rock salt. I use about 1 cup per 30 gallons of water. Also I use bottles of frozen water to cool my tank or ice from my ice maker that has no clorene. Shad are the hardest thing to keep but do well if not overcrowed. Good airation a must.
     
  15. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    All of the above is sound advice,but it may not solve your problem. I knew a guy that had the same thing happen to him. Put simply, the fish were dieing of fright! He started wearing a paper bag over his head and it fixed every thing! ;) lol
     
  16. kat buster

    kat buster New Member

    Messages:
    108
    State:
    Michigan
    They look like they are stoned. Are you sure it wasnt crack you put in the tank?
     
  17. Cattledogz

    Cattledogz Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    NC
    Jack, you are too funny...ROFL!
     
  18. MikeA

    MikeA New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    Georgia
    Hey Dinkbuster,
    The 55 gallon tank is great . I have been an aqaurium enthusiast for about 15 years.Tanks are hard to maintain sometimes.Nitrate , Nitrite, and Amonnia ara constant battle with many fish in the tank.The Chemicals You add to fresh water can be an immediate problem.If you can lug the water from where you fish and keep for adding would be my recomendation.OUR drinking water has a lot of PH(Phosperous) in it also, which will make your fish look bugged out.So get a Ph balancer or PH lower.Or try Arm and Hammer if to acidy. Don't change the water daily if you are filtering.It takes about 30 days for water to build a natural bacteria that combats the nitrates, nitrites and amonnia.SO, a patrial water change is nessessary about every week, about 5 gallon intervals and or max 25% of water and same for cleaning the gravel.Don't wipe out the bacteria by over cleaning.You can also but Start Right Bacteria to jump start the process.
     
  19. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    man i have learned a lot from this thread! looks like i was cleaning the tank too much back when i was using it regularly (5 years ago). i was cleaning the tank out completely, even the gravel was washed, about every 4 weeks. now my freind on the other hand whom had the same setup reminded me last week that he filled up in the first of May and only removed and replaced about 5 gallons of water evey week, never comletely cleaned it either. he must have had some amazing bacteria in there because he would keep about 200 gills at a time in there and only a couple would die a week, if that. i just setup the tank a few days ago and added some stuff to jump start the bacteria. i have about 50 gillls in it now and plan on adding and keeping about 150-200 in it at all times as soon as i finish with the bacteria treatment schedule. for about a week i kept the gills i have now in a cooler with a bilge pump areator, and would change the water (bout 5 gallon) daily. man those gills are as frisky as when i caught them! i knew nothing about amonia, nitrates, or bacteria until this thread, thanks to all! i'll post pics of the tank setup here soon in a new thread, still have to do something to it.
     
  20. bluecatnut

    bluecatnut New Member

    Messages:
    891
    State:
    freeburg illinois
    dink i think they watched the video from the ring :confident: