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The Bait Tank And Getting Bait Thread!

26 posts in this topic

I figure I would get one started grin. As soon as you know it, the streams will be open and bait will be on our minds.

I would like to know a little more about these home made bio-filter systems? How are they made and what is the benny's to having one?

I know we have some bio-filter guys here grin.

Anyone doing anything new this year? Anyone have plans for a new system this year? Let's see some images of these monster systems out their.

If there is anything better than catt'in, it is keeping and catching bait wink

I did not do it last year, but I am going to get wet and seine this year for sure wink!

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Waiting for the "supersystem" to be unveiled from LFC.

Rumor has it he is trying a few different things this year.

I had good luck with my carpet padding biofilter all last summer and may make some modifications as well........It is about that time to start planning.

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Yes, I'm setting up a whole new system this spring as I need a larger tank set up to hold a hundred or better on the bullies at a time.

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I have a 75 gallon tank and a filter that is rated for a 125 gallon tank. I am waiting till the spring to set it up. I don't have any bullies at the time. Otherwise it would be set up. I know guys that have used a horse trough and a water pump to cycle the water. Oh also on the end of the water pump a woman's panty hose to catch anything that my get into the trough. I would know thats what we used to use out in california to keep are fish that we caught or alive till we needed them.

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Where do you guys have your tanks set up? My garage is a sauna, so that is out. Basement is nice and cool, but I don't think the wife will allow that. I imagine they'd get a bit warm outside at times. What do you do?

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Basement laundry room for me. I saw a huge improvement from the garage to there. Cool water makes a big difference.

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Basement laundry room for me. I saw a huge improvement from the garage to there. Cool water makes a big difference.

Maybe I'll have to work on the wife. Or not tell her it's there smile

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Where do you guys have your tanks set up? My garage is a sauna, so that is out. Basement is nice and cool, but I don't think the wife will allow that. I imagine they'd get a bit warm outside at times. What do you do?

I keep my bait tank in a carport alongside my house so it gets warm. The trick is to do frequent water changes. I have my tank set up with a sump pump so I can change water quickly and easily. I draw it down (takes just a few minutes) and throw in the hose. Treat the water to take out the chlorine and chloramine and you are all set. Takes me about 15 minutes. I do a 75% or more water change about every 3 to 4 days. I keep about 50 to 75 bullheads at any given time.

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Steve, I have seen your set-up and "awe inspiring" is the only expression that comes to mind!

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I have chest freezer that has to be a good 200 gallons I am thinking about turning into a bait tank. I fiqured it would work great. I can put it on a timer to keep it cool it has a drain on the bottom for cleaning. What to you bait tank experts think.

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we use those big igloo coolers and airators and frequent water changes. I also live next to a lake so I use that as my live well

ace the freezer thing works awsome I used to have on and would use it for minnows would fill it with water and around half full then had an over flow tube in the drain hole. I also placed on the back side of my garage and had the rain gutter dump into it. the water that came out went out to the garden via garden hose. I had no problems keeping minnows alive all season. When I moved the guy that moved in wanted the system for himself so it was on less thing for me to move.

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What are some of you with smaller set-ups using for a tank? I'm thinking heavy-duty garbage can, maybe. I don't want anything huge like a freezer or stock tank.

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The chest freezer is certainly a good option. I know several people that have made those work very successfully.

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I just have a 100 gallon plastic stock tank and a seperate 55 gallon drum biofilter.....

I think the filter is going to see some improvements this year.

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Any of you guys have a cool, DIY filter for your tank (aside from John's 55 gallon monster smile )?

Wishing I hadn't gotten rid of my filters when I quit keeping fish, but I've got a pretty good idea how to make a good filter for cheap. I'm just wondering what others are using.

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I have been using a swimming pool filter/pump in my stock tank, I just need to clean the filter 1 time a week, with a 100 or so bullheads in there.

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Waiting for the "supersystem" to be unveiled from LFC.

You read my mind grin

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Where do you guys have your tanks set up? My garage is a sauna, so that is out. Basement is nice and cool, but I don't think the wife will allow that. I imagine they'd get a bit warm outside at times. What do you do?

Basement would be good Ralph for the consistent cooler temps. Perception is the key...tell your wife you want an "aquarium" for the basement; when they(women) hear bait tank its a reflex thing, they cant but be cross about it laugh .

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Semantics are important. "Aquaculture" sounds so much better than "bait tank," at least until she sees that you're raising bullheads. If you could figure out how to grow tomatoes in the runoff, you'd be set, as the bullheads (and their nutrient-rich waste) would be an integral part of it.

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All I can say is that I thought I had a pretty good system... I did have some problems at times, probably just like the rest of us.

After spending close to 6 hours researching on the net recently, I can see that I was close to being in the ball park....... but in reality I was really a Sunday school-er. Between Media filters...Wet/Dry Bio-Filters, Protein skimmers, pond skimmers. There is a lot more to aqua culture/bait tanks than I could have imagined.

Ultimately the goal is to have a low maintenance/highly efficient/reliable/cost effective/kid proof set up.

Big Thanks to WWG for giving a little insite on this hobby.

I have almost as much fun with this as I do fishing.

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It's a whole nother world, isn't it Larry? You can drop some serious ching on aquarium supplies.

I'm hatching a plan for a pretty sweet trickle wet/dry filter that should work great and not cost much more than the pump. Won't be as big as some of you guys, but I don't plan on having a 100+ gallon tank.

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I hear you Larry and Ralph. Our little projects to keep our bait alive till we gore them has made me appreciate people who are passionate about, and run nice aquariums; especially saltwater ones w/ corals.

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Aquariums are much easier than bait tanks.

The biggest problem with bait tanks is the high population, the constant turnover, the potential for introducing deadly diseases to the tank, etc., etc., etc.

The single most important thing I learned in the last couple years is to quarantine newly caught bait for 36 hours or more in a separate tank to allow them to clear out their feces prior to introducing them to the primary bait tank. Either that or plan on 2 or 3 complete water changes in the bait tank in the first 48 hours (and don't even turn on the filters).

A second important lesson is don't waste money on treatment chemicals to remove chlorine from the tap water for the bait tank. I have added straight tap water on every water change I have done for the last three years and have never lost one bullhead due to chlorine. Chlorine is much more soluble in air than in water and as soon as the tap water starts pumping and being aerated....the chlorine is stripped into the air. Any remaining chlorine will be instantly neutralized by the organic matter in the tank and the filter. Colder water will hold the chlorine a little longer and most experts will tell you to let the water sit for 24 hours before introducing fish for the chlorine to "evaporate" from the water. But even early season when the bait tank stays at 60 degrees I have never had an issue doing a complete water change with chlorinated tap water.

Funny thing about water temperature.....biofilters are designed to grow bacteria fast enough to keep up with the organic load from the bait. Biofilters do not work below 60 degrees unless they are extremely oversized since bacterial growth is an exponential function of temperature. On the other side is that the bait produce less waste at lower temps and the nitrates remain as a higher percentage of nitrite at lower temps which is less fatal to fish.

My filter worked best when the bait tank temp was around 80 degrees. The problem I had was that the aerobic nitrifying bacteria were doing their job removing the ammonia in the tank and converting it to Nitrate......but the anaerobic bacteria that convert the nitrate to nitrogen gas did not have appropriate conditions necessary to keep up and the bait tended to occasionally develop skin lesions and other symptoms of nitrate poisoning over time. I plan to add more water volume in my system this year to provide an anaerobic zone for this.

Most biofilters will act as both when they aren't overloaded....but I guarantee that most of us don't have a large enough filter to provide the anaerobic portion required since we typically have to over-aerate the tank due to the high stocking density.

I have alot to learn on this still......but it makes a fun hobby.

I just need to pick up a couple more tanks.

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Boy, I need to really change the way I do things. I simply put 50 gallons of water in a tank with 4 aerators and let them swim. I do change the water every 3 days or so and they are in a tank in the garage. If I have 50-70 in there, its pretty full.

They last for about 3 weeks or so if I don't go fishing. if it gets real hot in the garage, I have milk cartons of ice and I throw a few blocks in the water to cool it off.

This year I want to get a better set up to hold a 100 plus bullheads.

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Having a big bait tank set up would be nice but not necessary for me. I find its just easiest for me to use 5gal buckets and a couple of aerators. With once a day water changes its amazing how many you can keep in one bucket.

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