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Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
12/20/2009
From Princeton
Posts: 266
Does anyone know if sucker minnows would cause an unfavorable environment for fatheads, rainbows and shiners? I have been keeping minnows in my basement since new years in a 120 quart cooler and an aerator rated for a 20 gallon tank. I swap the water every day. I would usually lose 5-6 minnow per week with very few, if any shiners dying. This past weekend my son threw about 6 small suckers in after his fishing trip. The next day I had about 4-5 dead minnows. Yesterday I probably had 8-10 including many shiners. There was also some foam forming around the aerator lines at the surface. Is this something that may be caused by the suckers?

Posted on: 1/23 14:35:04
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
12/04/2008
From Detroit Lakes
Posts: 1650
Fathead minnows can live in very oxygen-poor environments. They are fairly compatible to sharing space with other baits, however suckers, and shiners have a very high oxygen demand, and usually don't last long when combined with other species. Even if you have the biggest oxygen pump possible, the dissolved oxygen capacity of the water is very dependent on temperature. If you're going to house the bait together I would suggest figuring out how to lower the water temp, as lower temp water has higher oxygen solubility. If that doesn't work, you might just have to house them separately.

Posted on: 1/23 14:52:08
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
12/20/2009
From Princeton
Posts: 266
Quote:

arneb04 wrote:
Fathead minnows can live in very oxygen-poor environments. They are fairly compatible to sharing space with other baits, however suckers, and shiners have a very high oxygen demand, and usually don't last long when combined with other species. Even if you have the biggest oxygen pump possible, the dissolved oxygen capacity of the water is very dependent on temperature. If you're going to house the bait together I would suggest figuring out how to lower the water temp, as lower temp water has higher oxygen solubility. If that doesn't work, you might just have to house them separately.


Thanks for the info. The water coming into the cooler is around 50 degrees. It sits in the basement that's probably 62 degrees. the shiners were doing fine until the suckers were added. I'll try to separate them tonight.

Posted on: 1/23 15:08:10
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
Staff Team
Joined:
07/01/2011
From Annandale
Posts: 3646
I keep my crappie minnows and fatheads in a small foam bait bucket in a refrigerator with no aerator and change the water once a week. I lose 1-3 minnows a week and they seem to last forever. Shiners of course are very picky but do well in cold water as well as suckers. If you can keep them in a fridge with an aerator, they last a fair amount of time. Like arne pointed to, water temp seems to be key and the colder the better.

Posted on: 1/23 15:33:23
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
02/28/2005
Posts: 3161
You can pick up an aquarium bubbler for dirt cheap.

Posted on: 1/23 17:42:07
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
11/26/2013
Posts: 303
Never had a problem mixing any type of minnows together,just dont mix too many minnows.The more you have the more space and fresh water they will need.I got a pretty nice setup going this winter.Theres a vacant apartment in my building and I got the building manager to let me keep all of my minnows in the bathtub.I picked up 3 areators and so far so good.Certainly helps that we have well water here for changing out all the water and I just put a strainer over the drain so no minnows go down.

Posted on: 1/24 0:33:28
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
11/28/2005
From Savage, MN
Posts: 283
The other variable to consider as well is the type of water you are adding. Found this out from the bait shop. If you have a water softener and have salt in your water(as most people in the Twin Cities do), this can also lead to a shortened life span for your minnows. Even if you use an aerator and change the water daily, the salt will take a toll on different types of minnows. Pretty tough to get around it though unless you have well water without a softener.

Posted on: 1/24 8:36:41
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
01/15/2008
From Mille Lacs/Landfall
Posts: 1130
Having a perm on Mille Lacs has made me an expert in this field, years of trial and error. Temp is most important, closer to freezing the better. I dont even use a bubbler anymore. I keep all the minnows separate, combining them never works well. I have a small pail for fatheads, they last forever. Shiners and rainbows each get a separate 5 gal. bucket. I'm sure I have some minnows that last the entire year, but i did run out last weekend! it's a pain but it saves me a few hundred bucks a year.

Posted on: 1/24 8:45:41
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
12/28/2005
Posts: 1331
I'll keep crappie minnows and fatheads together but if I have shiners or suckers which isn't often I'll keep them in a separate bucket.

I've never used an aerator I just changed the water often. When I was keeping the bulk of my minnows I was living in St. Paul but didn't have a water softener. I would fill gallon jugs with water and let them sit for a few days to let the chlorine in the city water off gas before using it on the minnows. I would also grab buckets of snow and add it to the minnow buckets. The snow would do 2 things, it would obviously melt and add a little fresh water but it would also help keep the buckets nice and cold.

Depending on how many minnows I had at any given time I'd have to tend them roughly every other day and I could keep them alive that way indefinitely.

Posted on: 1/24 9:45:41
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Re: Keeping minnows from one weekend to the next
LSF Member
Joined:
12/20/2009
From Princeton
Posts: 266
Right now I am keeping the fatheads, rainbows and shiners in the same 120 quart cooler with an aquarium pump that I believe is rated for 20 gallons. It has two ports and i have a 2 foot hose with a 4 inch long diffuser on the end of it. I get my water where it comes into the house from the well, before being treated. I will start adding a frozen milk jug to the water. I probably fill the cooler with 12" of water that comes out at about 49 degrees.
I probably have 2-3 dozen minnows in the cooler. I guess I can try separating them.

Posted on: 1/24 11:39:37
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