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Crawlerman

Keeping/Rasing Livebait-- help?

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The price of minnows, and the unaviblity of certain live baits (such as crawfish) from a lot of baitstores has made me wonder: How would one keep a small, personal supply of Minnows and crawdads alive for later use? For those who have a house on a lake-- that is easy-- but for the rest of us it presents a challenge.

I don't like buying 2 dozen Crappie minnows and fatheads, then maybe using half of them-- with nothing to do with them (as you can't drain it in the lake and they'll die within a few hours/day in a styrofoam bucket. If I buy less, than I may run out on a busy crappie day. I've put them in a small, arreated aquarium before-- which works fine for a few days untill they starve to death. My question is-- what can you feed them-- espically the smaller ones? I'm sure suckers and crawdads can get by on scraps/dead minnows, but what about fatheads and crappie minnows?

Anyone who has/ is doing this at home-- input would be appreciated. Things like what to feed them: what size tank to get, and any other speical things that should be taken into consideration. I'd much rather make a trip to the bait store once every few weeks, than every time I plan to go out. It would also save a lot of money.

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Working in retail bait for a few years, i think there may have been something wrong with the tank you had the minnows in v.s them starving. Fatheads and crappie minnows(pre-mature fatheads) can go weeks without food. You can build a home-made bait tank if you have well water. If not, its alot of work keeping them in a fish tank. The key is to keep their metabolizm down with cold water such as well water. This also keeps any ammonia and bacteria from growing. I had a 55 gallon tank with shinners that lived for weeks, but i also had $150 dollars invested in filtration. A good formula to go by is one gallon of water for every two inch of fish. Feeding your minnows can do more harm than not feeding them. Any unused food is a prime target for bacteria which attacks the minnows gills. Its also very important to remove dead bait immediately as it starts to decompose, it produces ammonia. If all this sounds like too much work, you may want to start experimenting with plastics. Good Luck

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I use a plastic wash tub with legs in the basement- or garage. The basement is better in the summer do to the heat, and garage is better in the winter as the water will stay cool. You could keep the tub in the garage in the summer if you have an old refridge or freezer you run. Then you can run a pump line through one of the two to keep the water cool. I baught the tub at Menards for about 30.00 bucks. Get an areator pump at a pet store, one that intakes on the bottom and discharges on the top.( not the bubbler kind, but one with a filter).Tell the person what you want it for. Then add some anti amonia drops to take care of the fishes discharge smile.gif. You can feed any type of bait flake goldfish food. They will figure out that its food pretty quick. If you keep large minnows put a lid of some type over the tub as they will jump out. You should replace about a quarter of the water on a weekly basis depending on how much bait is being kept. Or you can invest in a microbial filter that will do wonders on the water. Resaearch filters on the net. There are some directions for making your own too.
Good Luck.

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...Hail The Flashlight King....

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hi Crawlerman,

I do not have expensive filtration systems to store my minnow or leeches. What I do have is a second refrigerator in my basement where I keep my bait. FOr minnow and leeches I change water often and use a chlorine neutralizer that you can purchase at any pet shop for about a $1 or $2. It takes only a couple of drops for 10 gallons of water. The minnows last about 3 weeks with degrading there liveliness. Leeches will last much longer.

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I catch most of my minnows, I have a creek in my backyard so they are'nt a problem. My house has it's own well so I keep my leeches in the toilet resevoir tank in one of those mesh bags with the velcro closure. They stay plenty cold and each time the toilet gets flushed the water gets changed! If your on a well system this works great and the leeches will last all summer, just don't let the wife find out whats in there.

Regards....Fisky

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One of the main concernes is keeping the minnows coolI made my minnow tank out of 2" styrofoam and lined it with a fiberglass beadboard with the smooth side outsealed the corners with aquarium caulk. I then made a circulating pump out of a submersible statue pumpand made a filter out of plastic pipe with a charcoal inside. My minnow tank measures 2' wide 3' long and 18" tall. I keep 1' of water in it and have made an insulated lid,they like to try and jump out. If you want further details e-mail me at [email protected] My ice fishing minnows I kept from Nov. 1 untilApril 1 and never fed them, they were fine I kept the tank water at 34 to 36 degress and never changed the water either. I did however change the tank charcoal 2 times. good luck

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Hey Fisky, what an imaginative and great leech storing method! My gut still hurts from laughing. Hats off to you...and Regularity. (And may your wife never consider buying TidyBowl).

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Muleskinner
I have seen those nitro green crawlers, I wonder how a blue tinted leech might work!!!

Fisky

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