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Keeping minnows outside overnight or longer

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esox_xtm:
What is your filter media Kevin? And how often do you have to clean/replace that media and do you ever do any partial or complete water changes?

Sounds like a huge system unless your chest freezer is one of those tiny, convenience ones. The chest in my basement (still freezing merrily away after 40 some years) is big enough for both you, me and two other people to climb in and close the lid. I don't need anything on that order. 30 gallons would probably be my max and 20 closer to reality.

This will be a work in progress but I like all these ideas. It's good to know what is working for other folks!

Kevin23:

--- Quote from: esox_xtm on Dec 28, 2020, 12:51 PM ---What is your filter media Kevin? And how often do you have to clean/replace that media and do you ever do any partial or complete water changes?

Sounds like a huge system unless your chest freezer is one of those tiny, convenience ones. The chest in my basement (still freezing merrily away after 40 some years) is big enough for both you, me and two other people to climb in and close the lid. I don't need anything on that order. 30 gallons would probably be my max and 20 closer to reality.

This will be a work in progress but I like all these ideas. It's good to know what is working for other folks!

--- End quote ---

Course pond filter media and then a piece of fine media that sits on top where the water dumps back into the trash can to catch scales and junk. My freezer is the small size, holds roughly 40 gallons of water so my whole system is 50 gallons, it was free (broken). I have never changed or cleaned my filter media or tank. You need the bacteria buildup.

One thing I forgot is you need a screen inside the freezer over the outlet tube or your minnows will go downstream and end up in your filter the first time it gets dark.

I always try to keep a small catfish in my tank for dead minnow cleanup. So I basically don't have to touch anything in the tank other than adding a bucket of water every once n a while due to evaporation.

In the summer I do run a large aerator in it for extra oxygen. definitely not needed in winter.

RyanW:
A refrigerator is your best friend when it comes to keeping minnows alive and cold. They will stay alive for months  in a fridge.

Joe in T.C.:
Been looking for something like this for years!

My garage is not heated, so keeping minnows from freezing is a must-have.

I couldn't find aquarium heaters that would go low enough.

I finally ended up with an Inkbird temperature controller, then plugged a heated 5-gallon horse bucket into that with the temperature probe in the filter overflow. 
It works fine but it has more plugs, wires, and lines than I prefer.

This definitely looks like the best option for sure, Thanks for the link  :thumbsup:



Iceassin:
I notice that this topic is about a year old but I will chime in and see if there are any updates as to solving some of the issues and to offer my "plan of attack" this winter on keeping my minnows alive.

I have put together a minnow "live well" using a 48qt. cooler and a Super Saver Aeration System from Marine Metals...same company that makes the smaller aerators for minnow buckets. It is a 12V aerator that pumps out 500 g.p.h. and aerates up to 30 gal. with a 1.9 amp draw. I also purchased a 30 amp lithium battery from Amped Outdoors to power it away from home ( full charge should last between 12-15 hours). I'm also using a 120V > 12V converter to power it at home, cabin, etc.

Now, I've done a little research and what I have found is this...ammonia from fish excretion "can" be an issue. It will poison the minnows over time. So with that, I plan to do a partial water change every 3 to 4 days...either using gallons of bottled water and/or ice cubes to replenish. I also plan to use some of the Finer Shiner water conditioner after each change. Also, the pump I am using has a filter with it. However, it only filters out debris. If I find this isn't enough, there are filters available that will filter out ammonia.

As far as storing them at home/when not in use, I am fortunate to have a small storage shed with power to it. I am going to get a ceramic heater with temperature control and use that on those very cold nights to keep the water/minnows from freezing. If I were to keep it in the garage or barn, I would probably make a small enclosure of some type to help prevent the heat from "escaping".

I know this all looks good on paper, but the real test will be when it hits the production floor. Updates to follow.

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