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Thunderfoot

Keeping minnows alive

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I've had a bucket of minnows that I've been changing the water on frequently to keep alive til I make it out again, which sadly has been longer than I wish. I've had them for almost 2 weeks now and only lost 2 so far but I noticed they've changed color, my guess is because the lack of sunlight and food, they're a lot lighter in color than they were when I got them tho they're still very active and seem healthy. Will they be as effective as they were before the color change?

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I bet they are in a white minnow bucket.

I found that the minnows stayed darker in a black bucket.

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go to the pet section of walmart and pick up an aquarium air pump with a long house. It works awesome

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I have the Frabill aerator for $15.00. It comes with a bottom bubble, similar to an 8-sided object, probably 2 inches. Well, this was too much bubbles as I am keeping them in the Frabill insulated bucket, so I have been using the airtube as-is and they just seem to love it. I change the water about every 2 days because of the Ammonia that builds up fast.

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The things that kill them in minnow buckets is a lack of oxygen, an abundance of carbon dioxide, or a concentration of nitrates/nitrites that is higher than they can live in plus starvation from not having anything to eat. If you want them to live longer you need to figure out if they are starving, suffocating or being poisoned or a combination of all 3 and fix it.

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also, keep them as cool as posible. they cooler the water is the lower the metabolisim is and less oxygen they need.

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Cold water holds more oxygen. Keep them as cool as possible without freezing them. I use a small well insulated cooler outside in the sun during the day and inside at night. A 20 oz. bottle to fill with the water and drain back into the bucket for oxygen will help them last for weeks. Or, as stated above, use an aquarium air pump with a hose and clip your depth finder to it to keep it from floating up.

The color change is from using a white holding container. The black minnows are males and don't work as well IMO. They will die first so all you are left with is female silver minnows witch give off more flash and swim harder.

To keep these even longer you can feed them small amounts of fish flakes that you find at the pet store. For some reason they don't eat the food right away, but after a couple of drops (once a day) you will notice they will go into a feeding frenzy every time they are fed.

Hope this helps and good luck.

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Right on. I've been changing the water frequently and throwing handfulls of snow in the bucket on days I don't change it. Glad to hear the lighter color shouldn't hurt anything, thanks for the tips guys!

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I bet they are in a white minnow bucket.

I found that the minnows stayed darker in a black bucket.

You're right, minnows take the color of their surroundings. That's why I have dark tanks in my bait shop.

When using white laundry tubs, black suckers from area ponds turned a light brown after a few days in white tanks.

Older bait will turn lighter after a while if they don't get any food, it only happens to one or two at a time.

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