View Full Version : Lost Minnows...Why?

03-31-2009, 08:57 PM
My Father-in-Law bought about 9 lbs of minnows and put them in a 250 gallon stainless steel milk tank. Twice after a heavy electrical storm we lost all the minnows. Everyone thinks its the cold rain doing it but I suspect static electicity. I say the metal tank should be grounded with a ground rod. What do you think?:confused:

03-31-2009, 08:59 PM
A cold rain will not hurt minnows. Could be electrical or something blowing in the tank.;) Could the aireator be shorting out in the rain ?

03-31-2009, 09:03 PM
Aereator seems to keep working and minnows look well until the storm.

04-01-2009, 04:53 AM
I think your right on the money on the static electricity. When I was a kid i ran down to roll up the car windows in dads chevy. Lightening struck my neighbors antennae 30 yards away when it did it slammed me down on the car seat took my breath away. Never understimate the power of lightening.

04-01-2009, 07:00 AM
Call your local county agent. They have a fish expert. That tank should be grounded for your safety. I am not sure about the electricity. Scale fish can take more electrical shock then non-scale fish.
Do not get me wrong. If lighting were hitting the tank, I would say that is enough shock to kill them. As Nimrod said, the cold rain is not doing it. What ever it is if you find out let us know. I have a SS milk tank I was going to use.

04-01-2009, 07:40 AM
We have 2 500 gal. and have no problem 1 is sitting on dirt and the other is on concrete,neither is grounded, with no prob.? Are you running gutter water to it or just open top,

You only have a kill after rain?


04-01-2009, 08:57 AM
I think your problem has nothing to do with electricity. But I would bet money on the idea you have high nitrite levels that are deadly to fish. I keep minnows in a small fish tank, but I only have capacity enough to sustain a small amount before they start dying due to bad chemistry. Thats only because I don't care for them like I do my pet fish in my other tank.

04-01-2009, 09:57 AM
The tank is up on concrete blocks in a shaded area of the back yard. It has a metal lid but he doesn't keep it shut. He has kept minnows for years and has a lot of experience doing it.
I've researched extensively with experts on the subject of keeping good quality baitfish. Allowing the nitrate levels to get too high is definitely a bad thing. I don't know if he has started doing the partial water changes early in the mornings yet or not. We do this everyday with fresh well water that is pretty cold so we try to do it when the tank is at it's coolest.
The tank says it's a 250 gallon capacity but we probably only run about 200 gallons. I think that over 6 pounds of minnows is too much for this amount of water.
I only went over and got some one time shortly after he got then from Anderson's Minnow Farm and they were swimming back and forth in a tight school midway down in the tank. He didn't have any chemical treatment in the water though and I don't know that he had been adding any non-iodized cattle feed salt either. The salt replenishes their electrolytes much like us drinking Gatorade.
I think that I'm going to build us a barrel set-up like Sac-a-Lait shows. Having a water column with some height is a definate advantage I here a lot of guys talk about.
We've seem to lose more minnows since he got this metal tank. Im not crazy about using it myself. I can't get a hold of him right now but I'll try to get some more info.

04-01-2009, 08:25 PM
You say you LOST those minnows? I think I found them trying to climb some rapids like salmon in one of those western rivers! They must have seen that PBS commercial where the goldfish jumps from the tank to rain puddle, to the water bottle on the truck, jumps into the river off the bridge and run upstream. Yep, I'd say that was what they did. ;)