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Shorelunch

Minnows - keeping alive experiment

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I have a "normal" 10 quart minnow bucket. I have a battery operated Frabill portable aerator that's kept spot tail shiners alive for many days. I generally change water each day (well water).

I got tired of burning through batteries at home so I picked up a plug-in 5-15 gallon aerator. I put the shiners in the bucket, plugged in the aerator and they were all dead over night. The water was very bubbly (like a shook up pop bottle).

My guess is that there was too much oxygen in the water since the plug-in aerator is for 5-15 gallons and the Frabill is for up to 6 gallons? Any thoughts?

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Gas bubble disease?

Well water coming up from a deep well already has more gases dissolved in it than surface water and maybe the aerator pushed it over the edge.

I don't think the aerator can make the water super saturated with gases alone. I think it is a combination of the well water with the aerator.

Maybe let the well water degas by letting it sit out for a day or so before dumping it in the tank. You could also get a splitter for the aerator tubing at a pet store and just let half the air go to the minnow tank.

Good luck.

EDIT: I just reread your original post and I guess I read it wrong the first time... I think that aerator is way to much for a 10 quart bucket. Buy a splitter or little valve you can use to bleed off some of the output from aerator. This should fix your problems.

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I thought distilled water was not a good idea. Think about fish in their natural environments. If your well water is too hard you could dilute it with distilled water.

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I agree your air output may be a little much. I used the same setup, only in a 10 gallon cooler and kept minnows alive for a long time.

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Put a couple asprin in your minnow bucket with well water, it works for me. I heard ot from a friend, not sure why it works, but it does.

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I have been using a Frabil Blue/white puck style that tosses the very fine bubbles. I put it in a 5 gallon bucket or cooler of Lake Superior water and as long as I keep the water cool with frozen water in pop bottles I can keep minnows for weeks.

Mine plugs into the wall or can clip onto a battery. I have used it in my partner boat when his livewell died in a tourney and it worked great.

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Is it possible to over-oxygenate water? My fish tank pump says it's for 6 gallons or more, when I was using it for about3 gallons.

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buy the 2.99 cheapo pump from wally world for aquariums, thats what ive been using in a 5 gallon pail.

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buy the 2.99 cheapo pump from wally world for aquariums, thats what ive been using in a 5 gallon pail.

That's about what I have - I just think it over-oxygenate the 2-3 gallons I used it for.

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Use a larger hose. If you have a smaller hose it creates more bubbles, a larger one will have the same amount of air just less bubbles.

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You are not going to over-oxygenate your water with an air pump!

I think the only time this would come into play is if you are using pure oxygen in cooler water. Regular air being pumped through the water in large bubbles will not put too much oxygen into the water.

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Use a larger hose. If you have a smaller hose it creates more bubbles, a larger one will have the same amount of air just less bubbles.

The smaller the air bubbles, the more chance the oxygen in the air will be transfered to the water.

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Quote:
The water was very bubbly (like a shook up pop bottle).

My guess is that there was too much oxygen in the water since the plug-in aerator is for 5-15 gallons and the Frabill is for up to 6 gallons

Hence the reason for the larger hose. If it is cranking out the bubbles for 15 gallons in a 5 gal bucket, then a larger hose might alleviate the foaming issue.

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I've found with shiners, temperature changes and iron in the water seem to affect them the most. If I have the water sitting around warming up in a bucket and I add fresh well water that is fairly cold, they shock and die within hours.

I have a feeling the iron in my well water has some effect. Fatheads, shiners, etc...they just don't like my well water.

If I refridgerate minnows in a bucket in lake water I get MUCH better results.

BTW- I run an aquarium air pump with a stone bubbler on the end of the hose. 6 gallon bucket about half full. I plug it in and run it 24-7. I've never felt it's an oxygen issue, it's my well water, IMO.

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