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StrikeLead

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Reply with quote  #1 
Out in the garage today watching football and building a minnow tank. So far, I have electricity over a drain in the corner. I have a bunch of old pumps and silicone and tubing. Trying to think of something to use for a tank. Some sort of big plastic tub maybe 20 gallons. Cheap! Maybe a trip to Wal-Mart at halftime. My objective is a tank that can hold a pound of fatheads (10-12 dozen). I also want to build something that will last for a few years this time. I've had my share of transferring minnows from 5 gal. bucket to 5 gal. bucket. I have a whole corner of my garage as various sized minnow buckets. Something has got to go.

Ideas? Maybe I'll go on a Google search.

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PAluke

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Reply with quote  #2 

If you know any farmers.  They get various fertilizers and inoculants in 55 gal. and 30 gal. plastic barrels.  They would work great and they'd be willing to give you as many as you want.  Just make sure to thoroughly clean it before putting anything living in the water! 

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Snipehunter

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Reply with quote  #3 
I helped a friend build a minnow tank last summer. We used a 110 gal stock tank from Tractor Supply (Sku# 2229862).

The toughe$t part was keeping the water cool. We wanted the water at a fairly constant 60 deg if I remember correctly. We found a couple old chillers from commercial drinking fountains and plumbed them in series. One wasn't enough. We also built a box around the stock tank and insulated it with loose foam packing peanuts. Covering the tank also helps keep the water cool and prevents the guppies from jumping out... which they will do. We used a hinged plexiglass lid with several vent holes. The vent holes were an after thought. Water condensed on the lid and dripped all over his garage floor. The holes helped.

He used a 110v pond pump to circulate water and another to submersed pump to aerate (sp?). The a aerator just pumped water into a pvc pipe with holes drilled in it. Both ran constantly.

I hope this helps.

Neil
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Perchnut

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Reply with quote  #4 

You can usually pick up those blue food grade 55 gal barrels.  iVe got a couple I use for rain barrels.  turn it on its side, cut a big door in it, put it on some sort of rack or stand......

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shanedoe

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Reply with quote  #5 
Last year I kept up to a pound of shiners in a 20 gallon tank. I had to do a 50% water change every 2-3 days. I also only fed the fish once a week. Keep the tank in a cold as possible (without freezing). This slows down there metabolism. It is real nice to have bait on hand and not have to wait  for the bait shop to open. The water changes were made using AquaSafe, that eliminates all the chlorine in the water.  
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StrikeLead

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks for the tip on AquaSafe. I have public water and it kills them. Well, the fatheads can live but the shiners die immediately. I have a creek (drainage culvert) at the bottom of my hill and I have gotten my water from there. Last year the runoff was so bad that that water killed the minnows (I suspect salt).

During ice season I have to have a few dozen minnows at all times. I change compound bucket's water about Wednesday and the minnows will live from one weekend to the next. Of course I have a lot of friends that rely on me alot to "take care of the minnows". I have had some minnows that just refuse to die. I will leave them in my truck for a few weeks during the freezing cold. When I check them there is dark slime in the bucket and 6-10 hardcore minnows still kicking. I never feed them...report me to the ASPCA.

Still looking for the new tank. I stopped by Sheetz and talked with a lady about a 25 gallon white plastic container that they dispose of grease in. I might get one for FREE!!! I looked at the Stock Tank at Tractor Supply and really liked it too. 110 gallons is a bit big but.....it's nice!

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YPFINATIC

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Reply with quote  #7 
Strike, you are on the right track.
I have a set up currently on the porch and will be moved inside when ice starts to form.  Since you expect to keep large quantities and frequent water changes will be needed...I recommended you install a valve/drain assy. I also use a submersible pump/filter combo to circulate and filter.

I do partial (3/4) drain cycles as needed and always throw in 1 tsp salt for every gallon used or replaced ( very important). I feed them occasionally and always change water a few hours after feeding. 

Unless you mechanically cool the water as Snipehunter described, this is a cool/cold weather pursuit. I don't keep them in summer. 

Shiners are tough to keep alive. I use bull minnows which I get downstate but, fat heads keep well also.  
 
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fishing4u2

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Reply with quote  #8 
Strike,

Not sure of the size in gallons but I may have an extra white plastic barrel 4 u... if Sheetz lady doesn't come through let me know. Am guessing here, perhaps 20 - 25 gallons?

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"If it has a fin, count me in."

"Its only what we learn,
after we think we know it all,
that ever 'reely' counts."

"Fish are either active & feeding, semi-active & lurable, or utterly inactive & then practically speaking, no hook is needed; we're just wettin' our line. We can & should get used to it, & follow their lead, 'cuz they just ain't eager nor apt to follow ours' any time soon. But just because we haven't caught any yet, does not mean that we can't catch any, or even catch many. We can adapt. We can do something different, and we can do some things somewhere different. We can learn to do them better, or just kick back, or just pack it on in. But whatever we do, 'catch on' & remember to have fun doing it. In the end, unless we are starving or earning our living, this really is the whole point of goin' out & tryin' to hook up. This is all I know, & really care to share, about just fishin'. The rest? A few details, but we do know who lurks there too. Take care!
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eyebuster

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Reply with quote  #9 
go buy a cheap stand up freezer. Turn it on low keeps water cold looks good and if you ever decide to quit keeping minnows you can use it as a freezer.


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slicendice

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Reply with quote  #10 

Probably a bit big for this application,  but I used to fish on a catfish tourney circuit and we needed a livewell that was capable of holding and keeping up to 2 50+ lb blue cats.  What we wound up using was a truck box.  Caulked the corners and drilled in 2 holes and hooked it up to an Akwa-lung system.  Worked real well.  Also used it to hold and keep bait (in this case,  sunfish and goggle eye) for days before the tourneys and it worked well for that as well.  If using it for fatheads and minnows,  I'd put a screen over the holes for the akwalung.  She's pretty powerful.

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icematt

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Reply with quote  #11 

Lil Matt had over 400 shiners and fatheads in his bathtub most of ice fishing season. On hand inventory. Very handy.  


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LostEarl

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Reply with quote  #12 
I just use an old fish tank to keep my minnows in. It is kept in a garage where there is no heat. But they die by mid May, the heat gets to them. By that time of the year I switch to red fin minnows anyway, and there are plenty of them in most any stream. But have thought about putting the fish tank in an old refrigerator, but I am sure my wife won't like the idea. Being that she still uses it for drinks and garden veggies. 
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henhouse

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Reply with quote  #13 

Strike;  A freind of mine from Glencoe uses a set of old-time wash tubs that were used for laundry in the basement years ago. He installed the filter system over the side just like you would do for a home aquarium. Keeps it in the basement to keep it cool. Two tubs, on legs, that looks to hold at least 15 gal. each. Just my two cents.

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StrikeLead

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Reply with quote  #14 

That was my original idea henhouse. Laundry tubs. I'm just too cheap to buy new ones. I have to think about where I can buy used ones like that around here. I think in LaVale they have a place that sells old toilets and sinks. By the time I get this done it will be time for the big chill.


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Whateverbites

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Reply with quote  #15 

Ha ha...keep them in an old toilet and each time you need a dozen, just press the handle.

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