Bait Holding Tank

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liveinavandownbytheriver's picture
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Bait Holding Tank

I was wondering if anyone has made a big bait tank like out of a garbage can. I have heard of it being done but now I would like to give it a try. Any suggestions?

doublebarrelsaloon's picture
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I have used a rubbermaid storage container with and aerator and it has worked even during the heat of the summer. I think multi species has a nice setup he might post a pic, I'm thinking I need to get a nicer set up like that as well.

I dont go around guessing cup sizes either I just know a nice rack when I see one.

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I have a 55 gallon greek pickle barrel. Got it at runnings for $35.  I have a 200 GPH pump that recircs the water through a 10 gallon biological filter. which I also made.   The entire setup was less then a hundo and I have chubs that have been alive for over a year.

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my uncle and i are keeping some in a old freezer that we got for free just need to set up a better pump for them. I was wondering if you guys know of a good pump for a tank? 

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An old chest freezer makes a really nice bait tank.  Plumb a drain in the bottom if it doesn't have one already. 

Jim Carroll NPAA #13

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so far the best I have found is the metal stock tanks from ag supply stores (Home of Economy, Tractor Supply)  the have a drain, they're inexpensive, and their design allows you to hang as many power filters off the sides as you need.

I keep mine in the utility room in my basement, where its a constant 65 degrees on my floor which keeps the bait tank at the perfect temp.  I keep a 4' X 2' sheet of plexi-glass over the top to keep chubs from jumping out (which they are very good at) and I have a 350 gallon per hour power filter (35$ at walmart) on the back, which I change the cartriges on whenever they start to clog

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Multi-species - now that is dedication to a craft, the craft being fishing

"No, I'm not a good shot, but I shoot often." - TR

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 Being it is in your basement, you don't notice any increases in smell or moisture levels?  

I've even thought of using a cooler when the lid is broken off.  The cooler could be the container and help keep the temperature steady.   I wouldn't need to keep such a large container for thousands of minnows/chubs, but maybe around a few hundred.

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I am in the process of building one as well.  Is an aeration system all a  guy needs or do you need fresh water cycling through as well?  I would imagine having both will keep the bait alive for a longer period of time. 

 

zoops's picture
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Ice cream bucket in my fridge keeps a scoop of fatheads alive for plenty long enough.  At least several weeks if you change the water every week or so. 

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How many minnows can one legally have

Neat

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You can make a great bio filter out of PVC pipe and nylon pot scrubbies, you will get much more waste processing capacity and its cheaper than aquarium filters. I will take a picture of mine and post it sometime, maybe today if I get around to it.

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The best one's I have seen are setups identical to multi's.  I know guys who keep shiners alive for a year in them.  Gotta drain the water every now and then even with filters, but with the drain it is real easy.  All the guys I know have them in their insulated garages and don't worry about them freezing, even in the coldest part of winter. 

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” - Albert Einstein

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I buried one of these 70 gallon Menards tanks into the ground near an outside outlet on back side of my house - flush with ground. Dropped a pond filter into it. Built a hinged cover of plywood and pink insulating foam under the plywood to keep it cool/warm depending on season.

Never froze in last 5 years and stays very cool in summer. Don't have minnow stink in the house - which is why I did it.

If I need to switch water I let the pond filter pump out 25-30% and I replace water. Insects constantly drop in and feed the suckers/chubs.

I can take pics and send if you PM me.

Also serves as tornado shelter for really really small people.

 

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Dakota G-man Said:
 Being it is in your basement, you don't notice any increases in smell or moisture levels?  

I've even thought of using a cooler when the lid is broken off.  The cooler could be the container and help keep the temperature steady.   I wouldn't need to keep such a large container for thousands of minnows/chubs, but maybe around a few hundred.

Zero smell.  just for a week or 2 after the initial setup after some fish are added there is a little bit of a smell until the bacteria gets established to break down the ammonia & other waste. 

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multi-species-angler Said:

Dakota G-man Said:
 Being it is in your basement, you don't notice any increases in smell or moisture levels?  

I've even thought of using a cooler when the lid is broken off.  The cooler could be the container and help keep the temperature steady.   I wouldn't need to keep such a large container for thousands of minnows/chubs, but maybe around a few hundred.

Zero smell.  just for a week or 2 after the initial setup after some fish are added there is a little bit of a smell until the bacteria gets established to break down the ammonia & other waste. 

I put mine outside because I've raised/spawned huge variety of fish (aquarium guy for 30 years) including reef aquariums - so I know fish tanks, etc. and I know what fish smell like. I don't mind it - but wives and guests do not dig it.

I agree that established systems usually have zero smell. But systems with large population fluxes (due to adding new bait) do tend to smell. Also, some of your bait tips over eventually and stinks if you're not there to babysit, remove victims, etc. every day. And let's not forget the occasional long power failure at an inopportune time.

 

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what about water?  What do you initially fill the tank with?  the water where I live has killed every minnow I have ever tried to keep.


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I need to get a tank set up.  A scoop of minnows goes for 4 bucks now and half of them don't get used.

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$4/scoop? DANG, where is that? I trap my own so always have a lot. You could set up a tank using a rubbermaid trash bin easily enough, but something more like a cattle tank would be easier to get them out of. Youd prolly have to drop about $75 to get a good setup, with a pump and filter and tank, if you build your own filter. You can use tap water, just let it sit for a day before adding fish, with the pump running. Also dont put in 400 minnows right away. Go to a pet store and ask them for one of their dirty aquarium filters, pay for a new one and have them swap it, throw that in there and it will help establish your bacteria colony much quicker. Still you gotta watch your biological load for the first few weeks until your filter is populated well.

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dpgunsmith Said:
what about water?  What do you initially fill the tank with?  the water where I live has killed every minnow I have ever tried to keep.

Go to walmart and get aqua safe it comes in yellow bottles and it makes tap water safe. Or use water from where you caught them. That should keep them for awhile. If you want to establish a new bait tank for long term do the above but also let it sit for little while plus get some bacteria growing in there to remove the fish waste or their ammonia and other growth will kill them if the bacteria is not there to control it. Easiest way to do this is get a filter and bring it to a pet store and trade them for a used one, the dirty filter will get the good bacteria going much quicker.

I dont go around guessing cup sizes either I just know a nice rack when I see one.

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johnr Said:
How many minnows can one legally have

150 without a bait vendor license is what it says in the fishing guide.


Liebel's Guide Service 

Fishing on North Dakota's Beautiful Lake Sakakawea!

doublebarrelsaloon's picture
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Yea what Lycan said, beat me to it.

I dont go around guessing cup sizes either I just know a nice rack when I see one.

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Thats 150 per licensed fisherman. If you have 2 adults and 2 kids in the house, you can have 600 if Im not mistaken. You just cant take them all with you when you go fishing unless there are other fishermen going with you.

walleyes n whitetails Said:

johnr Said:
How many minnows can one legally have

150 without a bait vendor license is what it says in the fishing guide.

duckduckgoose's picture
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How many Fatheads you think a guy could keep alive in a ten gallon tank all winter?

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I've kept a 10 gallon tank in the spring and kept 100+ alive for several weeks without doing anything other than changing the water every few days (no filters, etc.).  Found the ice cream pail/fridge works just as well for me since I use up a scoop within a week or two and have bait stores near my house. 

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10gal tank is pretty small, maybe 2-3dz if you provide food and adequate filtration.

duckduckgoose Said:
How many Fatheads you think a guy could keep alive in a ten gallon tank all winter?
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I catch so many fish there are no minnows left over.thats the best way to solve the problem

My idea of happiness is killin' things - Phil Robertson "Duck Dynasty"
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How warm do you think fatheads can get? I need to set something like this up in my shop, but it gets really hot in there with the doors closed, and these days, I really don't feel comfortable keeping it open. I've got a fridge in there but think it's too small, also have an old chest freezer that doesn't work. Any suggestions?

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vanhookguide Said:

How warm do you think fatheads can get? I need to set something like this up in my shop, but it gets really hot in there with the doors closed, and these days, I really don't feel comfortable keeping it open. I've got a fridge in there but think it's too small, also have an old chest freezer that doesn't work. Any suggestions?

I have had fairly good luck with them in my garage, it has no AC and gets just as taosty as outside, as long as the tank is big enough and the water keeps moving/bubbling it should be ok.

I dont go around guessing cup sizes either I just know a nice rack when I see one.

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The cooler you can keep the water, the more dissolved gases the water can hold so your fish capacity will be greater for your specific area. You wouldnt want the temp over 70 deg but 50-60 would be much better.

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doublebarrelsaloon Said:

vanhookguide Said:

How warm do you think fatheads can get? I need to set something like this up in my shop, but it gets really hot in there with the doors closed, and these days, I really don't feel comfortable keeping it open. I've got a fridge in there but think it's too small, also have an old chest freezer that doesn't work. Any suggestions?

I have had fairly good luck with them in my garage, it has no AC and gets just as taosty as outside, as long as the tank is big enough and the water keeps moving/bubbling it should be ok.

I better add if you trap the minnows in a slough that is pee warm in the summer those minnows will prolly handle a toasty garage better than the bait store version.

I dont go around guessing cup sizes either I just know a nice rack when I see one.

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