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View Full Version : Home-made home bait tanks??



joewildlife
06-16-2007, 07:52 PM
Guys,
I fish once a week all summer long here in SE Missouri, night fish, and we use minnows. We spent $18 last week on enough minnows for three of us in the boat for just one night. I can get twice as many minnows (20 dozen or so)for $13/pound if I pick them up right away when the truck comes to the bait store and keep 'em alive by myself.

I'm thinking about setting up a bait tank in the garage. Have any of you done this successfully, and do you NEED to keep the water temp down with a cooling unit or does air temp in the summer heat up the water too much? Any ideas are welcome, including details on a filter system. I was thinking about making a copper tubing coil and running it into the dorm-sized beer fridge I have on my workbench, and running tank water through the tubing to cool the tank. don't know if that will work or not....

we just spend a lot when we buy minnows by the dozen...and then waste a lot when we don't use 'em all up in a given night. the local bait stores will not sell by the pound unless we pre-order them and pick them up right away. wish they would sell by the pound whenever, but they don't.

also, would I be better off getting fathead minnows for my home bait tank or will the golden shiners work okay? right now, the only fatheads I can get are rosy reds and they are too small
Joe

Buzz
06-16-2007, 09:20 PM
Hey Joe,

The lady I buy my minnows from swears that cooling the water will keep them alive but as soon as you leave with them from home they will die quickly. She uses a large rubbermaid tank and has this blue stuff she treats the water with. She is setup in a small room with a window air conditioner set on about 74 which runs 24/7. Her way must work pretty well because I've never had more than 1 or 2 minnows die all day.

Later,
Buzz

beenfishin?
06-16-2007, 10:14 PM
friend of mine had a bait shop. His minnows outlasted everyone elses and he NEVER had them cooled. Kept his shop around 76 and just areated the water. Used the same blue stuff to treat the water. Never buy minnows from a COLD bait shop. He closed and now the only ones I can get come from a cold shop. They start dieing off within 10 minutes of leaving the store. ALso, my dad's buddy has a chest type deep freeze that he keeps minnow in. Just puts well water in it with a bait shop type areator and keeps around 300 in it for as long as needed. When fishing, uses an areator in a 10 gallon bucket and then dumps unused minnows back in the freezer/minnow vat.

Ken Kinser
06-16-2007, 11:13 PM
Bst to just go to wal-mart and buy 10 gal fish tank, complete with pump and filter system, keeps minnows alive for months, also get the fish food i use the flakes you feed gold fish

bobberdown
06-17-2007, 07:31 AM
A little salt and Hydrogenperoxid H3O, to the water and it will keep them alive and well for a long ride to the lake.

NIMROD
06-17-2007, 09:14 AM
If your just wanting to keep enough for personnal use try a plastic tub. But if you want to save money cut a clean plastic 55 gallon barrel in half. I used to use minnows and bream for bait. The main thing is keep them cool ,not cold.You can add ''small'' amounts of ice to keep temps down on hot days.Out of direct sunlight and aireated well. Haul them in the largest volume of water possiable for your vehicle or boat. Do not feed them as it containates the water and forms ammonia quicker. That will kill them and water needs to be changed every few days. Watch out because city water contains Chlorine which will kill bait. The salt or blue stuff will help keep fungus down and make bait live better.

ShilohRed
06-17-2007, 09:26 AM
I have a 100 gallon stock tank. And a pump that I have PVC sticking up out of the water. I can keep minnows in it for a few weeks. It's sitting on a concrete floor.
Also have a 30 gallon tank in the boat that I can keep them alive for a week or so in it. I keep about a lb or more in it at a time.
Pete

Mack
06-17-2007, 10:01 AM
I rarely use minnows, but, when I bought this lake house, it had an old claw foot bath tub beside my screen room. I use it for minnows.

The funny thing is I never add water, just natural rainwater keeps it full.
I never feed them, i guess they eat mosquito larvae or bugs.

I have not added any fish in over two years, and the three to four dozen fish that are in it now, have grown to almost 4 inches long.

My grandkids love looking and playing with them.

wannabe fisherman
06-17-2007, 10:51 AM
[QUOTE=Mack]I

"The funny thing is I never add water, just natural rainwater keeps it full. "


If you lived in L'ville they would be dried out by now. We.re not as bad as the rest of Ky.,but still VERY dry.:(

ShilohRed
06-17-2007, 03:43 PM
[quote=Mack]I

"The funny thing is I never add water, just natural rainwater keeps it full. "


If you lived in L'ville they would be dried out by now. We.re not as bad as the rest of Ky.,but still VERY dry.:(

Same way here. Been 7+ weeks without rain. Grass is dead. Trees are dieing also.
Shoot its so dry, That the poison oak is even dieing.
Pete

Rowdy
06-17-2007, 06:31 PM
It's so dry here, I caught a catfish yesterday and it had ticks on its
Back !!!;)

joewildlife
06-23-2007, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the info. My problem is that I don't think the better half would allow me to put the bait tank in the laundry room to keep it cool! Here in SEMO the average garage temp is well over 80 degrees! I would need some way to cool a tank in the garage to get no hotter than 75 or 80.

I've been keeping a few dozen in a 10 gallon aquarium without a filter, just air stones. I lose a few each day before the next weekly trip, have maybe 4 dozen in there to start with and don't feed 'em. The golden shiners seem to do better than the rosey reds which are fathead minnows. I'm not sure I want to fork out the money for the filters and cartridge replacements...yet.

I need to figure out a home-made filter that uses polyfil, the stuff they fill pillows with. that way changing filter media costs pennies instead of dollars. I might figure out something with a pump and make a filter with removeable media out of PVC pipe with caps on the ends....

I wonder, get a 1/4" pump from Walmart for about $10, and put intake in a 10 gallon aquarium. plumb into home-made filter, I'm thinking a short piece of 3" PVC pipe stuffed with polyfill. Then run the rubber line into a dorm fridge. In the fridge, connect the line to coiled copper line placed in a 1 gallon bucket of water. Out of the water, back out of the fridge and into the tank.

Joe

twistertail
06-23-2007, 07:54 PM
Thanks for the info. My problem is that I don't think the better half would allow me to put the bait tank in the laundry room to keep it cool! Here in SEMO the average garage temp is well over 80 degrees! I would need some way to cool a tank in the garage to get no hotter than 75 or 80.

I've been keeping a few dozen in a 10 gallon aquarium without a filter, just air stones. I lose a few each day before the next weekly trip, have maybe 4 dozen in there to start with and don't feed 'em. The golden shiners seem to do better than the rosey reds which are fathead minnows. I'm not sure I want to fork out the money for the filters and cartridge replacements...yet.

I need to figure out a home-made filter that uses polyfil, the stuff they fill pillows with. that way changing filter media costs pennies instead of dollars. I might figure out something with a pump and make a filter with removeable media out of PVC pipe with caps on the ends....

I wonder, get a 1/4" pump from Walmart for about $10, and put intake in a 10 gallon aquarium. plumb into home-made filter, I'm thinking a short piece of 3" PVC pipe stuffed with polyfill. Then run the rubber line into a dorm fridge. In the fridge, connect the line to coiled copper line placed in a 1 gallon bucket of water. Out of the water, back out of the fridge and into the tank.

Joe
hey joe, don't know if you would want to go this far to keep minnows but years ago when i used them on guide trips i had to keep quite a few on hand.
what i did was bury a 55gal plastic barrel in the ground with an intake and exhaust pvc pipe. intake at top and exhaust at bottom. 100 gal cattle tank above ground. pumped cool water out of the underground tank into cattle tank and let overflow back down to the ground tank. keep cattle tank in shade and it worked real good. just a thought, hope it helps

ShilohRed
06-23-2007, 07:58 PM
That is easy use a pump of your choice. And place the pump in the bottom of a gallon jug. Fix the pump where the water has to sink down through the media then to the pump. Then out of the pump by what ever pipe will work.
Or on my bait tank. I pump the water up to a 4" PVC pipe that has a drain screen http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=21589-676-NDS20&lpage=none on the bottom end. Filled it full of the polyfil and let the water fall through it.
Or just fix a 5 gallon bucket above the tank. If its a big tank. And pump the water up to the bucket Fill the bucket with the poly and drill 1/2" holes in the bottom of the bucket. Allowing the water to fall back in the tank.

I plan on burying my 100 gallon tank and then bury 75+ ft of 3/4" water line in the round. Pump the water through the line. That way I can keep the water in the bait tank cool and in the winter time keep it from freezing.
Pete

drover
06-26-2007, 07:16 PM
I use a 70 gallon stock tank, keep it in the shade with a pond pump modified to infuse oxygen and circulate the water. Temps here have been in the upper 80's low 90's. Have a layer of crushed limestone ( from the driveway) on the bottom for bacteria growth, pump is in a pond plant container, with polyester pillow stuffing as a filter media.Keep minnows and bluegill with minimal losses. Gill and minnows are separated. Can't remember the GPH of the pump but it cost about 40 dollars at Home Depot.

FalconSmitty
06-26-2007, 09:15 PM
55 GALLON LIVE BAIT tank instructions (http://www.ngstripers.org/SaltwaterLivewell.pdf)
I have this kind out in the shade. I think I am going to add 100' of underground water pipe to it after reading this thread. Thanks for the tips.

another easier to build huge tank (http://home.earthlink.net/~catfish_billy/id55.html)

joewildlife
06-27-2007, 12:54 AM
Just got back from nightstalking. Me and a buddy limited out in less than three hours. Unbelievable fishing for us! It was the fastest and best fishing I have had in three years of trying!

So, I have a bunch of bait left again...

The pump, are we talking about one that may be used in a backyard goldfish pond or something?

I think I'm going with the plastic laundry room sink/tub.

thanks for all the help guys!
Joe

joewildlife
06-30-2007, 11:09 PM
Ha, got 'er done!

Plastic laundry room tub/sink....I put a new one in the house so had the old one sitting around idle.

I bought a $44 fountain pump, and put it in the bottom of a plastic folgers can. stuffed polyfill over it and put the top on, with holes drilled in the top for the power cord, to let water in, and for the 3/8" clear PVC hose that was 31 cents a foot. I ran that PVC through the wall of a $10 yard sale dorm fridge, and hooked it up to 20' of 3/8 O.D. soft copper tubing ($22), coiled in an ice-cream bucket of water in the fridge. Then it comes back out the fridge and into the old faucet that was on the laundry sink.

I tossed a handful of water-softener salt in it, filled it up, and the minnows are doing great in nice 75 degree, filtered and aerated water.

$44 pump
$3.10 pvc hose
$22 copper line
$24 laundry tub (if new)
don't really need the faucet but I had one.

$93.10 Not too bad. Now it will only take me about three years of saving leftover bait and buying minnows by the pound to make it pay for itself :D :D :D

wannabe fisherman
07-01-2007, 05:49 AM
don't forget to add in the time and gas saved not having to run to the bait store every trip.:)