Why'd my bait die

Discussion in 'Catfishing Baits' started by 32#fishnamedjoe, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. 32#fishnamedjoe

    32#fishnamedjoe New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    Indiana
    i had a tank with some creek chubs in, they were doin fine . I put a few blue gill and 1 bullhead catfish(real small),the next day all the chubs and most of the bluegill died.Did the damned catfish kill them?
     
  2. slikk03

    slikk03 New Member

    Messages:
    2,507
    State:
    illinois
    bait fish like that need alot of oxagen were ever u had them there was not any oxagen to go around dont try to keep baitfish overnight unless u got an air pump, chub carp shad will never live even if u have an air pump, i get my bait right before i fish and put them were the sun isent on them in a wire basket
     

  3. dewboy24us

    dewboy24us New Member

    Messages:
    339
    State:
    Missouri
    well, heres a few things. aerator, was it big enough to handle all the fish. filter or water swap, fish need there water cleaned out, expecially with bullhead in the tank. need a good filter or swap out half the water every 2 hours or so.
     
  4. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Lack of oxygen from overcrowding probably killed them. Use a good areator and keep the water fresh and cool. You can freeze plastic bottles of water and toss one in the bait tank every now and then.
     
  5. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN
    Another thing that can kill them is amonia. Fish release amonia in waste and especially when stressed. It is very toxic to them, it can build up very quickly, especially if tank is 'overcrowded'. only 12 ppm can kill most fish. Normal charcoal filters do not take out ammonia consistently, if at all. So unless you buy an expensive filtering system bait can die. This is why when a fish tank is set up it needs to be fishlessly cycled for up to a month before adding fish, to build a bacterial colony in the water that breaks down amonia.

    Also, with the 50 percent water changes, this works great while on the water, but if trying to keep bait alive over several nights to weeks it can kill them. If your Ph is off in the tap water (almost always is) then it will kill them also.

    so basically, unless you set up a very large tank (over 50 gal), and set it up properly like a fish tank, it is going to be hard to keep bait, especially chubs and that alive for very long at all. Some guys do have success though and there are a few things you can do to help keep them alive.

    Number one is building a bacteria colony. Most people, even people with aquariums, don't realize this but experienced aquariumist know how vital it is. With a bait tank there are some easy ways to do this. First, to get ahold of the bacteria, you can buy it in botttles at aquarium stores. It is only a couple of bucks, but an even better way is to find a friend that has properly set up an aquarium and steal some gravel, a plastic plant, etc. Almost anything in a tank will hold bacteria. take this from them and add it to your aquarium. Then buy some amonia, you can get a ton at the dollar store for a buck, just make sure it's 100 percent amonia. add a little every day to the tank so the bacteria can feed and grow, do not add when fish are in there though, they will produce enough. when you do not have fish in there, keep some water in the tank around the plant or gravel to keep the bacteria alive, adding some creek rock can help, a sponge or two works great because of the large surface area.

    You can also buy some pH stabilizer at the pet store. add a little every couple days. I believe Shad Saver has a pH stabilizer in it along with other great qualities.

    Those two things should really help keep the bait alive.

    Hope that helps a little bit, they are easy to do, cheap and will make keeping bait much easier.

    p.s. I have talked to the mods about starting an aquarium topic in the Member Special Topic Forum but they didn't seem to think too much of it, maybe we can get it going, alot of good/interesting info that could be shared on this!
     
  6. bigcatmaniac

    bigcatmaniac New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    California Miss
    Great post Max. I keep a lot of creek chubs alive for a long time in an old stock tank, i use two aerators that run off of a 110v outlet. i also change the water once every one or two weeks. i can keep anywhere from 1 to 10 dozen chubs alive for a few weeks. it all depends on how much water you have in your tank, the amount of oxygen in the tank, the amount of ammonia, and the amount of stress that the bait fish were put through.
     
  7. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,447
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Good advice Max. A lot of guys don't realize that the nitrogen cycle, good aeration and water changes are the key to a good bait holding tank...W
     
  8. typer181

    typer181 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,017
    State:
    Indy
    Good stuff Max! You motivated me to haul that old freezer up from the basement to turn it into a live tank! Never seen that Shad Saver you wrote about, can you get it anywhere around here?
     
  9. fullstringer

    fullstringer Member

    Messages:
    108
    State:
    Indiana
    I got a tank from work. I am guessing it holds about 200 gallons of water. It is actually pictured in my avatar. I kept my big cat alive in it for two days before releasing him. It is now in my basement with over 80 bluegill, pumpkin seeds, and creek chubs. I have a constant flow of water going into it out of my well and an overflow out to the sump pump in the basement. By having constant flow in and out of your tank your water stays clean and oxygenated I also put one pond pump in it for aereation and filtration. The water stays at a consistent 55 degrees so the fish do really well. I had to put a net over it to keep the chubs and green sunfish from jumping out. I plan on puttng some bullheads in it but haven't had a chance to catch any yet. It has been pumping for 4 weeks now with no problems.
    When I take my bait to the river I keep them in a 12-15 gallon cooler. With a bubble buddy bait box I have been able to keep over 20 fish alive for over 2 days in shade. I also put foil tape on my cooler to keep it cooler and reflect the sun. I used to struggle with keeping bait alive as well so if you have any more questions you can let me know.
    Good Luck
     
  10. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN

    There is a baitshop down here that sells it. Try this stuff, it's great stuff, the BetterBait

    http://www.wetlandoutfitters.com/bait_saver.htm
     
  11. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Don't forget the stress factor. Chubs and Minnie's are unaggressive. Bluegill and catfish are aggressive. If you mix the two for very long the unaggressive fish will die from the stress offered by the predators. This doesn't have to come in the form of an attack. but just from the oder and sight of them. Years ago I tried to keep neon tetras in the tank with angel fish. lol big mistake, they would all be dead with in three days. Just something to consider.:wink:
     
  12. mjghunter

    mjghunter New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    Rising Sun, Indiana
    Great tips guys, I am starting to get into tournament catfishing and was wanting to set-up a bait tank. I a clean 55 gallon barrel I am going to try to use.
     
  13. SkiMax

    SkiMax New Member

    Messages:
    2,012
    State:
    Rising Sun, IN

    good point, i have a divider in my tank to keep the aggressive fish seperate from the passive fish. Also another thing if keeping bait for long terms (months) some fish are 'schooling' fish. they are REALLY stressed by not being in numbers even if alone in a tank. A bluegill is a good example, they need at least 6 fish to be in a sort of comfort zone. this alone can cause death from stress. just another thing to keep in mind
     
  14. jeffw51

    jeffw51 New Member

    Messages:
    288
    State:
    mo
    a lot of different baitfish cannot survive in a square bait well even if it has enough oxygen.schooling fish shad , some minnows etc need a round or oval shape to stay alive for long periods of time.for some reason they need to be able to swim in circles constantly or they die rapidly.