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JBMasterAngler

Sucker Minnow Survival?

22 posts in this topic

So I go to the baitstore and order 1/2 dozen medium sucker minnows, the guy gives me about 15. That's not the problem. The problem is now I'm stuck with all these extra suckers...Can they survive another week? I plan on putting them in an aquarium that I use for changing my minnow water. Will that work? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I hate the thought of wasting them.

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Keep them in your garage with an aireator, they should do fine. Thats what I do and have had really good luck keeping them alive.

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I keep mine in the basement with an aerator and last quite a while. The ones that I have now I have been using for over a week. The garage might be best if they don't freeze as the cooler they stay the better.

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I put mine in an aquarium in the basement. Have kept a dozen or so for a couple of weeks no problem.

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I'm keeping suckers alive right now for over two and a half weeks by leaving them in the garage and changing the water often.

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In the garage , just keep putting in fresh water. Have had mine for three weeks. Not good having bait for that long, needless to say that is how bad the fishing been for me.

Daryl Ekstrom

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 Originally Posted By: blarkey
I'm keeping suckers alive right now for over two and a half weeks by leaving them in the garage and changing the water often.

i do the same. Change the water often and you should be ok.

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It stays pretty cool in the basement, and there's 2 air filters in the aquarium so it should stay well oxygenated. What about food though? I feed my crappie minnows (which stay alive in the fridge for months) those white vacation tablets. Would those work for sucker minnows too? Thanks for all the advice so far.

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I put all my left over minnows, shriners, and suckers in a 2 1/2 gallon bucket and put it in the refrigerater. They seem to live a long time, my longest was 3 weeks.

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I keep a medium-large rubbermaid storage bin in the garage for all my minnows. Fill it about half way and its good to go for awhile. No water changes everyday or 2.

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I keep mine in the basement in a 55 gallon tank I got in the paper for 20 bucks. I made it into four smaller tanks using tank separators so I don't mix my bait together. Put air stones in each space and a filter in each one. The water stay very clean and the bait stay very healthly. Give then a little food now and then and there in heaven till fishing day comes. I've have fatheads in there from this fall that were 2-2 1/2" and now there crackin 3 to 4". With the price of bait now a days a guy has to do something to save some money.

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I find the 5 gallon pail works just fine too, keep in the house when it gets too cold, don't want the water to freeze. What type of food will minnows/suckers eat? I have a tropical fish aquarium, so I have several different kinds of food to give them. Not sure what type of food is best.

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As previously mentioned, make sure your suckers have cool water, lots of air (aerator), and change half the water every other day (add dechlorinizer to the new water).

I keep suckers (10-12") in the summer for catfishing and I change water daily. In the summer, they need lots and lots of air but water temp is what will still kill them. The cooler you can keep the water, the better. At this time of year, it really isn't an issue.

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I feed mine pond goldfish food they love it

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I just use a 1 gallon ice cream bucket in the basement with decholorinated water (use the drops) and an old aquarium pump with a air stone, no filter and change the water once a week.

THis has kept about a scoop of small baits and a couple med suckers alive long enough to use up (a few weeks).

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I keep mine in the styrofoam minnow bucket inserts that go into the 5 gal pails.The pails go into the garage, and because I have a well with a water filter system,I use the excess water from the filter/tank to change the water out for the minnows.This water is almost pure filtered water.The water gets changed daily,if possible.I will use an aerator with a stone if I need to, for long term minnow maintenance

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The best way i have been able to keep stuff alive is an aireator and cold temps, keep someplace like 40-50 degrees

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yep, with cold water its easy - I use a little aquarium aerator (air stone doesn't hurt) and clip a ice fishing depth finder on the hose to keep it weighted down. if it gets too cold in my garage I plug in a clip on painting light with an incandescent bulb in it shining on my minnow bucket to keep it from icing solid.

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It's been 1 week since I've had the suckers in the aquarium. Only 1 death to report so far. I still have 9 left. Too cold to fish this weekend, so they'll have to wait 1 more week.

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Congrats on the sucker survival! Shiners usually don't fare so well...

I forgot to mention one thing earlier - my garage isn't all insulated so it gets really cold. I use an old aquarium aerator and in the past I had problems with the little rubber diaphragm that pumps the air getting too cold and stiff to pump air. I now keep my aerator pump in a shoe box with a couple holes punched in the sides for the power cord and air tube. The pump generates just enough heat to keep itself warm.

When/if it gets warm out and my garage hits the 40's or 50's I take the lid off the shoe box just in case (dont' want it overheating). I don't have a thermometer in the shoe box but it was about 10 in my garage this AM and the pump was still going strong.

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i have kept sucker minnows alive until they where reaching 12 inches with clean water and a diet of pond koy pellets that i feed my pond fish would have lived longer but i out them in with the koy and they ended up killing the suckers

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As far as the water, I fill a white five gallon fishing bucket with tap water and leave it sit uncovered for at least 3 days...this allows the Chlorine to escape and then it won't kill them... then add to or change out the water in the cooler...

I keep them in the porch in Winter, or in the small fridge in the Summer...feed them a little unprepared oatmeal...

The cooler temps slow down their metabolism and they don't use as much oxygen...

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