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Bait Tanks

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Does anyone have any good ideas or suggestions for a Live bait tank? I am looking for a tank to keep chubs in at my home. In my area bait is quite a drive and I enjoy catching my own bait. I have looked online at some of the options but most are portable and fairly small for what I want. Thanks

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Say the key to keeping your chubs is cool water and oxygen. you can buy some big wash tub tanks anywhere. But to keep them alive is going to take a good water source,cool water,and oxygen. Don't forget to put a cover on your tank and put holes in your cover to let the air exchange.

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Below is a post from another thread on what I have done and it has worked great. Water clean out is easy as unplug, wheel to garage door and dump. I will add, you must buy the same garbage can or better. Anything cheap, it will buckle.

Good luck!

P.S. this will be a two part post's due to the amount of images.

I have been throwing around the idea for a couple days now of what I am going to build for a bait tank. Two things I kept in mind for my tank.

1) Get the most gallons with least floor space.

2) Mobility

I have done some soul searching and this is what I came up with:

Here is what I bought:


Cleaned out first.


Made a grove for the cord.


Pre-drilled holes for screws


I mounted my filter three inches down from top. My main idea is portabilty of the tank. The higher the water, it adds weight and the splash would go all over the place. Make sure filter is level for even water flowage. This does not mean it will be eye level with the top rim on a rubber main tank.



From the get go, I wanted the air pump to be part of the unit. I also did not want anymore noise than possible. So I found a spot to mount and drilled a hole.


Next, I used a snap ring to mount air pump to tank.


Next drill the holes for the air tubes. Make sure they the coreect sized holes for tube. To small, you will not get threw good, to big water can leak out when you move the tank.


Next, pull tube threw and connect your air stone.


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Inside view.


Backside view.


Next, clean out any shavings inside tank from drilling. Then fill with water.


The other item that is nice to have is a thermometer.


System up and running.


For now, I am keeping water level right under filter. The manufacture says the back side can get wet, but nothing about under water. I figure it is a water pump and the same as the garden fountain sump pump I have, but I will check into it some more before I fill tank any higher. Also it is a very good idea to run this system on a ground fault protection circuit.


Everything running now.


This is what she looks like from the outside when all is said and done.


All in all, it costed a little over a hundo to build. I figured I was not fishing, I could not make it to BP tonight, what better to do on a Friday night. I only need a system to hold about 3-4 dozen large minnows right now and I think this should work. Minnows are easy and close by to get for me and adding some every other week beets going down before every trip to the river.

Any corrections will be appreciated. I have a couple all ready my self. I am going to upgrade my air stones first thing. We see how it goes, but some fine tuning and adjustments might be in future. A tube of aquarium silicone will fix corrections just fine.

Now I have to catch some bait.

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i'm not sure you need both the filter and the air pump. On the rig I have I only use the filter. The water picks up a lot of oxygen just by the waterfall effect.

How high a temp is max. and what are you going to do if you get close to that?

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The biggest thing is to keep that bait cool. That will prolong the life greatly.

Also water changes are essential in limiting the toxicity from ammonia and nitrates.

There's a lot of information in the Catfish forum.

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i'm not sure you need both the filter and the air pump.

With the amount of bait I have been pushing the tank with, I would not be caught dead with out both. You need the filter for sure and the air pump, hose and stones cost nothing. Cheap insurance to keep them fresh and lively. Plu

How high a temp is max. and what are you going to do if you get close to that?

I am lucky enough to have a shaded, fully insulated garage. It stays pretty cool even on hot days. But if temp becomes an issue, a neat trick from Dtro and LFC is waiting in the freezer. A couple 1 liter and 2 liter Mountain Dew bottles filled with water, then frozen to ice. I can add them in to adjust the temp and take them out to refreeze when not needed. The other very nice feature of this tank is it is very light. If the outside temps get around or over 100 and I am gone for long periods of time, I can transfer bait into 5 gallon buckets (like I do with water changes), empty tank and bring down stairs in the AC cooled house until the outside temps come back down. I do not see having to do this any time soon though.

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One question. I know minnows and bullheads (I'm a catfisherman) like to rest near/on the bottom, has anyone experienced any negative things with that issue? If not, I think I might do this too!

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Great ideas, THANKS!!! I have my trash can bait tank up and running. I added a drain tube about 10" from the top and ran it outside so I can add fresh water at anytime and not worry about removing old water. If the water gets to warm I figure I can drop in the garden hose and let it trickle in for a few hours and slowly bring temp down.

Next question is?

City water, I have been useing it with good results, but I bring ten gallons of riverwater home each time I get fresh bait and add to my tank. Someone once told me city water is fine but I shold fill my tank and let it sit a couple of days before I use it.

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One question. I know minnows and bullheads (I'm a catfisherman) like to rest near/on the bottom, has anyone experienced any negative things with that issue? If not, I think I might do this too!

I have no issues as of yet. They are just fine.

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I do not have city water, but you can go to any pet store and purchase a water treatment for city water. If fish start dying, check your ammonia level. 4.W.E. had issues with this in the past and maybe can give further advice.

I have also heard from a firm source that letting the tank sit for a couple days dissipates the chlorine in city water. As with aquariums I have run in the past, I did let my tank sit and cycle for a couple days with a couple bait fish in it to get it established.

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I have city water and when I change water I will add the chemical and let the water and chemical mix for approx 1 hour. I bought it in Walmart by the pet dept. by the fish tanks. I think its called Aqua Clear.

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Depends on the city. Find out if they put chlorine in the water and if they do you have to either use the drops or let it sit 24-36 hours. Most cities do put it in to keep the scumbosis from gorwing in the water towers and pipes.

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I would recommend getting some test strips and testing the water, then treat accordingly. My water has high ammonia out of the faucet, and I need to treat it before putting the bait in it.

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man that's a great tank...and all for only about one hundo....great deal to save urself a bunch of money and time of not having to go out of ur way to a bait shop....I usually just go buy some minnows and put the air stone in the minnow bucket then the whole bucket in the fridge...I change the water out a couple times a week and it seems to keep them alive....OH...another some fish food!!! I found this helped me keep more minnows alive than without it!!

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