Shad that die with red splotches
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Posted on Wednesday Jul 10, 2013 at 7:31 PM  
I've heard that shad that die with red noses means lack of oxygen. But what about if they die with red splotches all over them? I had this happen to me recently. I think its because when they were harvested, I let the quality of the water in the bait transport tank get too cruddy. I was about to come off the lake and wanted to take some shad back to the home bait tank - and I happened upon alot of big nice quality shad - then I GOT GREEDY. I directly loaded 100 large shad in a 35 gal tank (didn't do the intermediate bucket stage to let them relieve themselves - cause I was running low on time) , and I thought the filtration system would handle it. I think i burnt them out in some manner, so that when they got to the home tank, they were internally too weak to make it more than a day or two. Brought home 100 & then 80 died in the following days.
The more you practice, the luckier you get.
Posted on Wednesday Jul 10, 2013 at 8:26 PM  
Salt with Iodine will do that to shad - but most time any red is a indicator of not enough O2
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Posted on Wednesday Jul 10, 2013 at 10:43 PM  
Yea, I'd think the same, but this tank has supported big shad for multiple weeks at a time with no problems. I use a 500 gph, triple filtration (including carbon), plus a long waterfall for more O2 saturation. And to be on the safe side, a couple weeks ago I added a fairly high volume air pump w/ two stones. I think the O2 is good - but I'm not aware of any test to verify that statement. I use the blue salt at Lowe's, that most everyone uses. And I use the Prime chlorine remover (from PetsMart), that many others also use.
The more you practice, the luckier you get.
Posted on Wednesday Jul 10, 2013 at 11:06 PM  
I think that is improper Ph in your home tank if it was big red blotches on their body. I had the same problem before my biological filter was established. Get some litmus strips at the pet store and test it. It will tell you for sure.
Posted on Thursday Jul 11, 2013 at 6:18 AM  
It happens in summer time. I think its like Tony said,lack of oxygen. I have taken them out of the lake in the summer and they would already have the blotches. That's the beginning of the death march. Its gong to happen no matter what you do in the summer.
I don't believe in Miracles, I rely on them.
Dave Clark Hybrid/Striper/Sandbass Guide
 Fishonok.com
YETI Pro staff,
Pro Staff Baitbuster Cast nets 1.5lbs per foot and six panel
Posted on Thursday Jul 11, 2013 at 2:12 PM  
Getting a bigger air pump for my tanks really helped my shad last longer.
"You can't catch'um if you don't go"
Posted on Thursday Jul 11, 2013 at 3:28 PM  
Mike Kelly an I were getting some of our bait at the port this past winter in about 25fow, thay had the red blotches on them. The blotches did clear up and the shad lived good.
I don't believe in Miracles, I rely on them.
Dave Clark Hybrid/Striper/Sandbass Guide
 Fishonok.com
YETI Pro staff,
Pro Staff Baitbuster Cast nets 1.5lbs per foot and six panel
Posted on Thursday Jul 11, 2013 at 11:11 PM  
Dave, that's a twist I didn't see coming. hmmm. Bird Watcher - i test my pool all the time, so it would be easy for me to test my ph. What ph would you consider toxic?
The more you practice, the luckier you get.
Posted on Friday Jul 12, 2013 at 8:49 AM  
Hey Dan, I'm going a little off memory here, because I decommissioned my home tank over a year ago, but somewhere around 6-6.5 is what I was shooting for. It's more a symptom of the Ammonia-Nitrate, Nitrite cycle though. If memory serves, somewhere above 7-7.5 the shad in my tank would develop open lesions on their body and their fins would burn off. Really though, if you don't have a biological filter of some sort to provide bacteria which will break down the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite, you probably just want to do a major water change if your levels are high. There's really no other way to get rid of it.
Posted on Monday Jul 22, 2013 at 8:39 PM  
BW - I think you are right. I think my problem, when it happens, is Ammonia related. That, and my tank surface area is limited, because I have a tall 70 gal tank that doesn't have that much surface area to deal with the ammonia. My ph was 7.1 when I had my last significant die off. I had 130 baits, and the water quality was clear. Yet, next morning, there were 40 baits dead and the water was getting dingy. I don't think I have any bacteria breaking down the ammonia - nitrate. I use a small wet bar gravity filter - that has filter mesh before and after, with a layer of active carbon in between (in some panty hose). Is a biological filter system expensive?
The more you practice, the luckier you get.
Posted on Monday Jul 22, 2013 at 9:54 PM  
Hey Dan, I made one that worked really well and was fairly inexpensive. It's kind of hard to explain though. Let me see if I can sketch something up that makes sense and if I can't I'll go out to my Dad's barn and take pictures of it.
Posted on Tuesday Jul 30, 2013 at 10:35 PM  
Hey Dan,

Sorry it took me so long to get this done.  Strangely enough, Dad and I decided to start the tank up again after going fishing on Saturday.  We drove 2.5hrs to fish and then spent 6 hrs catching bait.  It was kind of a bummer and we decided to get the home tank running again so that we can start taking some with us. 

First off, we started with a Little Debbie honey tank that we picked up from Ed Wampler.  The only reason I mention this is because it had a bung on the bottom that we utilized for an outlet Attachments #3 and #4.  ( I can't figure out how to rotate them, and they are out of order,  but hopefully you get the idea)

So, we used a male insert and coupled that to a ball valve, attached a elbow, about a 3' piece of pvc, another elbow.  Next, we used a Rubbermaid tub, put a pond pump from Lowe's in the bottom, put a piece of wire shelving on top of three larger rocks and put two bags of lava rocks for the grill on top of the shelving.  I got the idea for all of this from studying my old sunshine bait tank that I bought off of Ed Wampler.  As the pond pump puts water back in the tank, atmospheric pressure forces water back up the pipe and it drains into the Rubbermaid tub.  The lava rock is a great habitat for the bacteria and the water flushing over it outgasses ammonia as well.  It actually works really well.  (attachments #1, #2, #5.)

Sorry if this isn't real clear, but if you have any questions, let me know and I'll do my best to answer them.
Posted on Thursday Aug 1, 2013 at 10:55 AM  
I think i see my next project. How much does the lava rocks cost? Where did you get them? Is additional filtering involved?  Do you go direct from tank to a mesh and/or active carbon filter, and then this bio filter, or visa-versa? 
The more you practice, the luckier you get.
Posted on Thursday Aug 1, 2013 at 11:27 AM  
the Lava rocks are cheap.  They are something like 5$ a bag and I think I bought them at Lowe's.  They are the replacement rocks for Propane grills.  You can use a lot of different things, the Lava rocks are just well suited because they are porous and provide a lot of surface area for bacteria to grow.  Just make sure you rinse them well first.  We sometimes place a screen under the outlet of the pipe when we put fresh shad in to catch scales, but if we purge them correctly and hold them correctly, we really don't lose much scale once they get home and for the most part if the shad are losing scale at the house they are going to die anyway.  The bacteria colony and aeration provides all the filtering of contaminents.  The pond pump will be your single largest purchase.  I think it was about 30-40 bucks if I remember right.  The other thing is, have patience.  It takes us 3-4 weeks of putting shad in the tank and them dying before the bacteria colony in the filter is built up enough to process the ammonia, but just keep monitoring your ph.  I didn't think it was ever going to cycle and kind of gave up on it, but low and behold, went out there one day and the ph had dropped from about 8 to 6 in a week.  now i know that you can pretty much smell it when the colony is established.  it smells like creek gravel when the bacteria are established.
Posted on Monday Aug 12, 2013 at 7:28 AM  
Ok. I got the container, lava rocks, matched water level with main tank, gravity feed, and return small pump, all in place. So I added some dead shad to get some solids going. Well, let's say I added a few shad for a few hours. I cannot abide the smell - no way, no how. I think I need a different solution. 
The more you practice, the luckier you get.
Posted on Monday Aug 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM  
Could you jump-start getting the bacteria culture going by mixing the lava rocks with actual creek gravel?
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Posted on Wednesday Aug 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM  
AllenOK - interesting idea.... I might retry it. I've been doing some research. Didn't know I needed a degree in chemistry to make this all work :-)  I think this device is called a "refugium". 

The more you practice, the luckier you get.
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