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Who keeps minnows at home?


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There's gotta be some people out there that have a bait well storage system at home. I was wondering how would one get this started.

Like a 24G plastic trash can with sometype of filter. I'm thinking about our cool (temp wise) basement.

I know, buy the Oxygenator and shut it.

Still curious as to what methods people use.

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I used my old fish tank and filters. The problem I had was that it was in my garage and this time of year it would get to hot.

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Ok, this may sound corny, but I store my minnows in a coleman water jug. I keep crappie minnows and sometimes fatheads in a coleman water jug in the refridgerator. It has the flip open deal for drinking out of. I just open that and I can keep them in there for weeks. I thought it was weird when I first was told about it, but it works.

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My kids and I have a native fish tank with rock bass & a crappie. That darn crappie is such a finicky eater that I have to keep minnows - he won't eat crawlers unless he hasn't eaten in a week, and won't top-feed waxies.

I use two aquarium aerators with bubble-stones in a 5-gallon bucket in the basement. I have to use chemicals to kill the parasites and I found that this also extends the life of the minnows. The 5-gallon will keep 2-3 scoops of minnows good for a while. When the water gets cloudy, I fix up a new batch and mix 50/50 old water & new water. I've never had to keep them for more than two weeks, though.

------------------
Aquaman
<')}}}}}><{
Peace and Fishes

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Ebass..

If your going to use a large plastic-type container theres a couple things you will have to do. 1st of all be sure its somewhere its not too hot, a basement is usually ok. The 2nd thing is the type of areation system to use. Do not use the type where a bilge pump sits in the water and runs a hose to a spray bar. These will slowly but surely heat up the water in longer term storage(found out the hard way). You can use a livewell pump(external) and run a line ot a charge bar and you will be fine as long as you have some type of filter over the pump intake. If you only want one tank you can buy a livewell recirculating pump kit($30) at any decent outdoors store. The only downfall is they are 12 V and you will have to get a converter($35).

I have two 40 gallon Rubbermaid® storage bins and a 3rd 40 gallon container for a reservoir which I put the pump in. I ran a T line from the pump to a charge bar at each of the minnow tanks, and put a drain back to the reservoir container from each tank. This constantly recycles the water between tanks and helps keep the water cool.

After completeing that minnow system that worked well ... of course the fish started biting on crawlers and leech's and the minnows are about useless.

If your storing small quantities of minnows you can buy a 10 gallon aquarium kit at Wal Mart for about $35 which will keep a considerable amount alive.

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I basically do what Aquaman does. I have a 15 gallon cooler in the basement with a small aquarium aerator & air-stone. It's cool enough for most of the minnows to last about 1-2 weeks as long as they're getting oxygen. I change 50-75% of the water about every other day. If you use tap water the chlorine might kill your bait. Before you add new water, leave it out for 24 hours to rid the chlorine or you can get some De-chlor from the local pet store. Otherwise, get some lake water or fresh well water. Lake Harriet has a pump near the pavillion. It's getting harder to find bait around Mpls. all the time. Right now it's down to Tackle Plus & a couple of gas stations. Nothing very convenient for me. I'm thinking about trying to keep more bait in a bigger system like Fisher Dave mentioned. For catfish bait I normally fish Minnehaha Creek for chubs & suckers. I haven't tried keeping them alive at home yet. Normally I catch them on the way to the river or I'll freeze them. Vern

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Ive got a 50 gal (old) aquarium setup in the garage with two saltwater filters ($40 off of ebay), this works great.

The rule of thumb is 1" of fish per gallon of water with "normal" filtration, buy a saltwater filter or two and double that, its also important to change water regularly and treat with chemical... buy the good stuff that eliminates both CHLORIMINES and AMMONIA (yes I know it does not REMOVE the ammonia, but instead makes it chemically inert, but same difference)...

Ive kept minnows alive since last summer... really !!!

Biggest part is to REGULARLY change the water, and if you start to ahve a dieoff, its most likely the water quality, even with my filters I ahve to change water (1/3rd) and filters once every two weeks or so...

Wally

Also good for storing fish you dont feel like cleaning till you have more...

[This message has been edited by Walleye_GFA (edited 06-21-2003).]

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I set one of these up this summer. Tired of spending all that money on bait.

I got a 55 gallon barrel that was used to ship Pepsi flavor in it. No suger...nice. I set it up just like the bait store does. A hole about 18" from the bottom with PVC running to about 24" from the top. The water drains over and never over fills.

It gets fresh water from a sand point well. When the well is running to water the lawn the minnows get water. When the well is not running it is on a 220 timer that comes on during the night for about an hour. It does this twice. The nice thing is the grass gets water than too. I place the sprinkler on dries areas for the night water.

It has a Wal-mart aquarium air maker to place air 24/7.

We go out and seine our own bait every couple of weeks. Just today we pulled in about 10 dozen shiners. I can keep them alive for weeks on end. Our best is about 20+ in one pull. We were pumped. Those lasted two of us three plus weeks. Now we are on the search for redtails and rainbow chubs. Not sure where to look for them. We will be scouting around next week.....

All in all and very effective system. Would be glad help anybody get started.

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I keep my minnows in a 3 gallon styrofoam lined plastic bucket in my beer fridge in the basement. I use no aerator. I have my own well for house water and change almost all the water in the bucket every 2-3 days . I like my beer cold, so the fridge is set so low that it will partially freeze water bottles and it has froze my leeches and crawlers if I put them on the shelf closest to the freezer. I've learned to put those things closer to the bottom. I've kept shiners alive this way for 2 weeks a few times and once almost 3 weeks. If one minnow dies it has to be removed right away or there will be more to follow. This fridge is one of those old ones with the noisy latch and the freezer is internal to keep the fridge cool. When I travel in warm weather I dump well water ice cubes right in with the minnows. But if the water is warm at the lake I slowly dillute the cold water with the warm so it does not shock the minnows. I only use aerators in certain conditions like in the winter when I leave them in the heated garage where I keep it at 50 degrees. In the winter the bucket usually makes it to a lake every couple of days. Keeping the minnows cold slows down their metabolism just like fish under the ice in the winter. But like I said before if you shock them with all warm or all cold there will be some dead. I've had good luck with this for a lot of years now.

[This message has been edited by MnIceman (edited 06-21-2003).]

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The problem I've faced with trying to keep minnows alive in an aquaium, is that any light entering through the sides of the tank heats up the water, and for minnows the water should be well aerated and cool. It should be kept in a dark basement, and aerated. I've been able to keep minnows in a styrofoam bucket in a dark corner with a bubbler in it for 2 weeks; but I had to change the water every day. What I was orginally going to do was get a cooler and throw a charcoal filter in the middle of it; I think that would likely work better than an aquairum as it's both covered, insulated (so it stays cooler) and kept from the light. Haven't had the time/money to get a filter to try it though, lately, but I would defiantly go with something that has opaque walls to it, as the water should keep cooler then.

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Thanks everyone.

I need something semi-portable. (rent a house) So I'm going to try the Fisher Dave method.

MNuser has a nice setup - that would be ideal.

Thanks for all who replied. This site rocks.

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I've got a question... I've been thinking of doing something like this myself. I usually use a 15 gal. fish tank, keeps them alive for about a week anyway... The question: what do you feed the little buggers? I tried goldfish food, works for a while but not very well. I tried bread, they didn't eat it and it made the water cloudy. I even tried frozen fresh water shrimp (the kind they use for beta's) which worked but it gets expensive. Any suggestions?

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simplefish, try adding some live plants to the aquarium. another thing you could do is give the minnows some zucchini, (or lettuce or other green vegetable, not peppers or the like) fish love it.

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