Minnows/warm weather...

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by twistedcatfish1971, May 17, 2018.

  1. twistedcatfish1971

    twistedcatfish1971 Fish fire food friends family

    ...keeping minnows for at least 7 days in the garage with warm weather. Noticed this past winter that around February 28th I bought a couple dozen minnows and when done fishing for the day I simply put my bucket in the garage. Over almost 3 weeks these minnows sat with NO aeration in bucket. Only a hand full died... some days water has ice on top! What do some of you all do to keep minnows alive for about 5-7 days during warm weather?

    I've tried new batteries in bubble maker before I leave work...also with combination of ice. But they die so easy. As of tonight I'm trying a styrofoam cooler with half bag of ice...water already pre chilled in my chest freezer...over the last week I've also put styrofoam cooler with water in my freezer and found that it started forming ice around 38 to 48 hours...this test was do e without the minnows though.

    Any thoughts / ideas greatly appreciated.


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  2. twistedcatfish1971

    twistedcatfish1971 Fish fire food friends family

    ...its obviously clear that the cold water helps tremendously...I just know that it takes more than just a device making bubbles is not enough. I will post my results with styrofoam test in the coming days...


  3. Its getting too warm in my garage for emerald shiners. My idea is to switch to blue gill hatchlings from my pond. A lot of em are getting to 2 inches.

    Its kind of a hassle storing shiners and keeping them cool. Im just gonna put some fish food in the minnow trap and hopefully get a couple dozen blue gill babies with the tap pole onslaught that likes to fill the trap
  4. Not 100% sure,but I would think your minnows are starving to death.Sounds like everything else your doing should work.If you have access to a creek you can make a large box made from small wire mesh and keep them in that. Nothing better than natural habitat if it's available. Just my opinion. Good luck.
    HappySnag and twistedcatfish1971 like this.
  5. I have an older refrigerator in my garage with the large drawers in the bottom. I dump my minnows in them when I get home and I’ve kept them a couple weeks like that.
  6. G3guy


    Get a good air pump with a air bubble diffuser. That plugs into a wall outlet. Change out the water every other day at least or every day would be better. Don’t use tap water. Use well or spring water that hasn’t been treated with anything. Or get an aquarium with a water pump to circulate and filter the water.
    Mooner and joekacz like this.
  7. ive had 4 dozen in bucket in fridge in my garage for close to 3 weeks only lost 2 I just change out the water every 4 days seems to be working great
    twistedcatfish1971 likes this.
  8. montagc

    montagc Always an inch shy

    Aeration and cool water is often not enough for long term storage. They need food, and food means waste. Waste needs to be broken down bacterially or it causes ammonia and nitrite buildup which poisons the fish. Water changes help but are a hassle, and the bacteria that break down nitrites take a few weeks to develop colonies that can handle the fish waste. The reason minnows tend to last about 3 weeks has to do with how the ammonia breaks down into nitrites. Notice on the chart when nitrites are at their highest?


    I have a 55gal aquarium in my basement that stays cool, maybe 65ish. It has a bio filter and aerator. The stones have a good buildup of bacteria and algae that break down the waste. Every chub and shiner in the tank was caught on hook and line and is doing great, some at over a year in the tank, eating store bought cichlid food. I just net a few out of the tank for bait each time I go fishing, and replenish the tank with the kids and some ultralights at a local creek. Plus watching school of chubs go to town when fed is a blast, they are aggressive little buggers. Win-win-win.

    So, in short, my suggestion is to have a small aquarium-type setup at the ready with a few fish living in it year round. It will have the water quality you need to keep the fish alive for longer periods of time.
    twistedcatfish1971 and joekacz like this.
  9. montagc is right...but if you want to gain some storage time without a "full aquarium setup"
    . partial water change about every other day with dechlorinated/aged water. Keep as cool as possible. Sparse flake food feedings. A bucket filled with fish is also way overcrowded, use a larger container with a larger volume of water (smaller amount of fish per gallon)
    twistedcatfish1971 and montagc like this.
  10. The type of water you use is important. City water, or bagged ice has chlorine in it at levels that will kill minnows and fish for that matter. I would make sure you are using lake water for both the tank and the ice. Not saying that this will solve your problem, but I know chlorine will kill them.
    twistedcatfish1971 likes this.
  11. I took my fish tank down a few years ago. Kepted the bio filter and air pump took a 6 gallon bucket works pretty good.
    montagc and twistedcatfish1971 like this.
  12. I use a plug in aerator for a 20 gallon tank we use to own. I go to the creek and change the water completely once a week and change it at the lake when I go fishing once a week also. I have never bothered to feed them and they can last a month or so. Not really sure how long they would last as only buy a couple dozen at a time and replace as needed so am adding regularly.
  13. twistedcatfish1971

    twistedcatfish1971 Fish fire food friends family

    Awesome replies! Alot of those ideas I've messed with in the past. About 8 years ago I stopped my tank inside the house and have a few in the garage. When tank was in house I had gills/minnows year round. I'm leaning toward a refrigerator for garage to keep minnows and whatnot.

    ...still messing with my styrofoam cooler test...

    Thanks again everyone !

  14. Why have I never thought of this you should get a damn Nobel prize!!! If we ever cross paths I owe you a beer!
  15. I get Gulp minnows haven,t messed with live ones since. Actually almost always work better than real thing and come in different sizes.
  16. buckeyebowman

    buckeyebowman On the back 9 and loving it!

    You read my mind. OP, over that 5 to 7 days did those minnows have anything at all to eat? If not, that could be your problem.
  17. twistedcatfish1971

    twistedcatfish1971 Fish fire food friends family

  18. I’d get a cheap sponge filter online and a cheap plug in air pump (maybe $10 for both at most). Between that, feeding them some flake food, and changing like 50% of the water every couple days you should be able to keep them a long time.
  19. 93A695E5-A326-49C4-B62B-910924546834.jpeg

    I of corse got on a ton of shiners last night. I dont have my cooler set up yet so i salted them.
    twistedcatfish1971 likes this.