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live bait well??

1833 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jpfsurf
i am looking to build a live bait well for my boat- mainly for bunker. i was thinking of using a small garbage can as the hold, but i am not sure what to use for the pump or how to set it up most efficiently. any suggestions?
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Preferred method

Amonia levels are not the only reason to keep replacing live well water. If the bunker are snagged they will bleed into the water. If the well is crowded, scales and slime are stripped off the bunker and rapidly clog their gills.

You know your well is functioning poorly when the bait begins to "red out". Red patches begin to appear on the nose and sides. This is not reversable.

I use raw water input at a high enough rate to replace the entire volume of the well 6 or more times an hour. It keeps the water clean and clear.

When water temps are cool and the water holds higher amounts of dissolved oxygen this is typically all that is needed.

However, when the well is overloaded or temps are warm a recirc loop is needed.

The best way to do this is to get a small pump (200-300gph) and draw water from one point in the well and inject it above the surface using a spray bar.

The spray bar is simply a 3/4 piece of hose or pvc with numerous small holes drilled in it. This will add enough oxygen to keep the baits going.

However, if too many bubbles are being generated this can also have the effect of stripping slime and scales from the fish. This is the reason that timers are sold for recirc pump (Rule makes one).

With a little practice and these two pumps you can quickly learn the best ways to keep your baits alive.
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Feeding and caring for eels

I have kept eels for years. Frequent complete water changes are (2-3 days) will keep them kicking for quite some time. You can also do partial water changes more frequently.

They need very little food. They generate enormous amounts of waste when they are fed. I would only recommend feeding them several hours before a planned water change unless you are using a large biological filter.

The best food that I used was mussels removed from the shell. They were easy to get and prepare. They can be frozen and used later. Feed very sparingly (one or two medium sized mussels per eel every 2-3 days).

The cooler the water is, the slower their metabolism and the less food they need. Keep them as cool as possible.

Do not be alarmed at the color change. Eels will change their shading to match the bottom color.

They need very little light.
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