Aeration Requirements for Bait Tanks
Tech Talk 50
It is best to hold and transport bait at lower water temperatures, if possible, and at a minimum of 6 ppm dissolved oxygen (D.O.) to minimize stress. The fish consume less oxygen when they are cold and cold water holds more oxygen than warm water. Oxygen consumption rates of fish at 80°F (27°C) can be double those at 63°F (17°C). Twice as many pounds of fish can be supported in 63°F water than at 80°F with the same aeration system. Note that aeration systems cannot bring D.O. concentrations above saturation (9.65 ppm at 63°F). If the oxygen level was higher than saturation, an aeration system would actually drive oxygen out of the water and bring it back down to the saturation point.
How Many Pounds of Fish Will A Bait Aeration System Support?
The following chart is based on test results with minnows at 63°F (17°C) fresh water. Note that the tests were done at two depths—one foot and two feet—and that air or oxygen induced at greater depths will result in greater oxygen transfer. However, low pressure compressors give less air deeper in the water, resulting in less oxygen transfer. Air by itself (20.9 percent oxygen) cannot get the D.O. above the saturation point.
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