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Oxygen system for bait

Old 01-23-2019, 10:56 AM
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Default Oxygen system for bait

I've done all the searches and read all the threads but they don't seem to point to a clear consensus on whether the oxygen systems in the live wells help. I'd like to add one to my boat but last year I had a system in my mullet tank on the dock and didn't notice any increased time of life or that they were in any better condition. I'm wondering if that is because mullet don't need much O2. It might work better on pilchards or something. Anyone have good success with O2 systems?
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:58 AM
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We have a medical grade bottle that we use when running offshore. Easy and simple. We haven’t noticed that we keep bait any longer but that they are livelier. Trick to keeping bait longer is constant water change
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:21 PM
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Cool the water down before entering the tank and maintain a consistent temp and flow.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:02 PM
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I have a system. Like above I have noticed it makes the baits a bit livelier than not having it but actual on the water haven't noticed it keeping them alive longer. The biggest benefit is say you loose your pumps and don't have spares, O2 running will still keep bait alive. Same thing if you need to pull your boat out the water and keep bait living, you can run it and move from one ramp to another.
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:28 PM
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Keep Fish Alive with KeepAlive O2GO Fishing Oxygen Infusion Systems to keep bait and fish alive.

Like previously posted, keeps bait livelier, maybe longer, but not sure. I run it all the time with live bait.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by VaporTrail1 View Post
I've done all the searches and read all the threads but they don't seem to point to a clear consensus on whether the oxygen systems in the live wells help. I'd like to add one to my boat but last year I had a system in my mullet tank on the dock and didn't notice any increased time of life or that they were in any better condition. I'm wondering if that is because mullet don't need much O2. It might work better on pilchards or something. Anyone have good success with O2 systems?
So mullet are a pretty cool fish that have a pharynx that is believed to allow them to pull of what's called aquatic surface respiration and survive in water that would be too hypoxic for many other species. It may not have increased life, but it could have kept them from jumping as much. As for adding a oxygen to your boat, there are a lot of things I would recommend investing in before an O2 system. If you don't mind, I have a few questions about your current setup and fishing interests that'll help me guide you on where I would spend my hard earned American Greenbacks. What species do you target? How much do you typically spend a year competitive fishing (time and/or money)? What sort of bait do you usually use? How many gallons of livewell space do you have? What sort of pumps do you use? What color are the inside of the wells? Are they pressurized? Do you have a sea chest? Do you have a cooling system? Do you have tuna tubes?
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:02 PM
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We just added a keep alive recirc pump with oxygen infuser. We hope it will help in the hot summers and when running skinny so we can turn the fills off.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:13 PM
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The keep alive system is what I have with an upgraded Pentair diffuser. I put it in a 100 gallon tank fed by a 4500 gph pump. There was a lot of head loss on the 1 1/2” hose run is the reason for the size pump. Had a flow diffuser so the water was soft coming in. Tried the oxygen at different levels and completely off and never noticed any difference. Was going to mount the system in the console of my Pathfinder and replace the factory air bubbler with the oxygen bubbler so when I flipped the switch it would come on. I don’t want to go to the trouble if it’s not going to do anything
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by VaporTrail1 View Post
The keep alive system is what I have with an upgraded Pentair diffuser. I put it in a 100 gallon tank fed by a 4500 gph pump. There was a lot of head loss on the 1 1/2” hose run is the reason for the size pump. Had a flow diffuser so the water was soft coming in. Tried the oxygen at different levels and completely off and never noticed any difference. Was going to mount the system in the console of my Pathfinder and replace the factory air bubbler with the oxygen bubbler so when I flipped the switch it would come on. I don’t want to go to the trouble if it’s not going to do anything
Personally, I wouldn't mess with it. Cost/benefit is pretty slim, like others said it'll liven 'em up but not keep 'em longer. There's really only three instances that I can understand justifying an O2 system. The top two being competitive sailfishing and kingfishing. 15 min before you get to the reef or rig, you can kick the oxygen on and get a tank full of gogs or hardtail or whatever you're soaking all spry and it may be the difference that puts you in the money. It won't keep 'em alive longer, it won't allow you to put 2x as many in the well, it will make them ready to swim excitedly. The other realm where I see it justified is marlin kill tournaments and most of that justification revolves around the nature of it being so incredibly costly in the first place, why not. Another reason I would be apprehensive about it is the fact that you're standing on top of a gasoline fuel tank and a failure at that oxygen bottle could result in a disaster that is more catastrophic than I care to really think about. I think that investing in a live well cooler would definitely be an investment before I would run a oxygen system because otherwise you could end up wasting oxygen that the well water cannot even keep in solution.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:54 AM
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Good exchange rates across the entire water column is the key to keeping bait alive.
Oxygen systems ain't all that. And you really need a good diffuser to get the oxygen to be absorbed by the water.

I know for a fact those fine bubble like mist from a diffuser can actually suffocate pilchards as they need water on their gills not bubbles. That's how the gills work, they extract dissolved oxygen from water. Thus the reason fish don't breath air.

If you don't have good volume with low velocity your beating your bait up at the water inlets, blasting them.

Running on recirc allows ammonia and feces to build up in the well. That is what will kill your bait long before oxygen depletion will. Recirc also heats the water up from the pump heat transferring through the pump over time.

I always figure if the raw water I'm supplying ain't gonna keep might bait alive I need to be fishing somewhere else.

95% of my inshore trips my well looks like this and I very rarely lose any bait on an 8 hour trip.

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Last edited by 20biminitwist; 01-24-2019 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:41 PM
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I use the crap out of KeepAlive O2 setups. The difference can be night and day with hardtails. I have two 15-20ish gal built in wells on my boat and will black them out with pinfish, rubies, and hardtails prior to a 24-48hr trip. Without the O2 you can kiss the runners goodbye. Even if they are still kicking in that situation they are always much less visibly stressed with O2. In the situation of a pressurized, uncrowded well with great water flow and exchange, introducing O2 is like forcing crack on em.

I built a well out of a 35gal drum to use tournament fishing. I rigged the sprayer head to directly take the end of the raw water washdown hose. One day we were 80-100 miles offshore and I noticed the sprayer head wasn't going. I looked down and someone had turned off the raw water switch. We figured it had been several hours since it had happened but the O2 had the hardtails cruising around with no worries. We would have lost all of them before we realized it without the O2.

Another tournament I was on a buddy's boat and we got ~60 miles out and stopped for a pee break only to find about 10 runners gasping for air with all of the others stone dead. We got the washdown hose into the well and managed to save a few baits but they were in rough shape. Fished our spot starting at daybreak and got zero bites. A couple hours later another boat pulls up and catches a 65# king on their first bait in the water. I'm convinced that would've been our fish had our baits had been in better shape.
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Old 01-24-2019, 03:33 PM
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Lots of different opinions here. Bottom line you need good high volume directional flow and a good drain system. We have 2 directional fills and 3 adjustable drains. I can drain slightly from the very bottom, mid way up and then open my top drain all the way. This allows me to get all the stuff you want out of the well out no matter where in the well it's sitting. Our fills and pumps also adjustable so we can control the water at all times. Now we added a keep alive recirc pump with Oxygen but not a 02 tank. Also, the tank is pressurized. I sure hope that's the combo for some happy bait because we invested a lot into it.
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 76 Mako 23 View Post
Lots of different opinions here. Bottom line you need good high volume directional flow and a good drain system. We have 2 directional fills and 3 adjustable drains. I can drain slightly from the very bottom, mid way up and then open my top drain all the way. This allows me to get all the stuff you want out of the well out no matter where in the well it's sitting. Our fills and pumps also adjustable so we can control the water at all times. Now we added a keep alive recirc pump with Oxygen but not a 02 tank. Also, the tank is pressurized. I sure hope that's the combo for some happy bait because we invested a lot into it.
First you got to catch bait!
Nick, it won't hurt, maybe.

It is very difficult to get oxygen into the water from any type of atmospheric air as the 0 levels aren't that high to start with.

Pure oxygen from the bottle can add somewhat more dissolved 0 to the water in the right application. A large difusser is required to atomize for the water to absorb it.

Some stepped hull boats are having to deal with the fizz water as the air is getting to the pick ups for the well and basically making fuzzy water. It will attach to smaller baitfish gills and suffocate them. There are good papers out there about this and I have seen it with my own eyes. There are some of the 24 Avengers around of earlier models that had the issue due to live well pick ups being directly behind the step.

I am fairly sure your well without assist will be fine. It, seems to be designed well.

If the surface water in the well looks misty/smokey it will damage pilchards and may other smaller baits. It will also de-slime them like a par boil.

Bottom line if you have to recirculate, the oxygen will help. If not, I wouldn't even consider it.

Some baits may do better with 0 but that is not my experience.
I prefer to keep my bait in the same or as close to the environmental conditions I caught them in. That would be lots of clean low velocity water and no bubble bath. Kinda funny that when it's rough as shit those bait pods aren't dimpling on the surface and enjoying themselves in the white water. They tend to go down.

Read this carefully it points out some real important stuff from the guys that sell it.
They leave out a few things.
http://www.oxygeninfuser.com/guide.htm
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Last edited by 20biminitwist; 01-24-2019 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:49 PM
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The only circumstances I’ve ever seen oxygen be beneficial is when you can’t circulate fresh water through the tanks. Things like transporting bait in your boat’s bait tanks over the road while the boat is on the trailer. Another would be stirring up mud in shallow water situations where the water around the boat gets too silty/muddy. In the latter situation, it would be more healthy for the bait for outside flow to be cut off and begin to infuse oxygen until you moved out to cleaner water.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:08 PM
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When my O2 is on the water looks cloudy and you can’t see the bottom of the tank. That’s on a mid level setting on the valve
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by VaporTrail1 View Post
When my O2 is on the water looks cloudy and you can’t see the bottom of the tank. That’s on a mid level setting on the valve
I run mine on 1/16 or 1/8 with a diffuser in each tank.
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:56 AM
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If I was still tourney fishing it would be a mandatory option in my release well and live well. Which I had and if you have ever pulled a 8lb redfish out of a livewell that acted like it was just hooked, you would be sold. I could keep two fish that were caught at 8am until 3pm and they came out of the well like they were on crack. I rarely used it for bait. I made sure the livewells moved enough water in and out that bait never really was an issue keeeping alive.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by VaporTrail1 View Post
I've done all the searches and read all the threads but they don't seem to point to a clear consensus on whether the oxygen systems in the live wells help... Anyone have good success with O2 systems?
Hey Vapor Trail,
Actually the consensus is very clear, the concept of using supplemental compressed oxygen to transport live mature tournament fish, live bait fish, every specie of life Marine and freshwater fish is backed solidly with fishery science published throughout the USA and the world.

You got to really look for this stuff, but, it there.
Here are a few folks that have consistent great success transporting live bait and mature fish using plain old pure old cheap compressed welding oxygen; O2 tank, regulator and stone. Unlike the average C&R tournament fisherman or common live baiter, these people do not use nor do they ever rely on ambient air, air pumps, water pumps or any mechanical aeration systems to insure safe dissolved oxygen saturations for any of their live fish hauls… NEVER.

The people that manage these organizations listed below and staff that run the daily live haul transports are the real live fish transport experts. These are the professionals that know how to do it and haul live fish for their living day in and day out. There’s no dock-talk or fishing forum Bro-Science here. They don’t do livewell Bro-Science.

This might be quiet shocking for many fishermen trying to justify a livewell oxygen system.
All Federal Fish Hatcheries in the USA – all tournament live fish hauls
All State Fish Hatcheries in the USA – all tournament live fish hauls
All Private Fish Hatcheries in the USA – all tournament live fish hauls
All BassMaster Classic live release boats - all tournament live fish hauls
All Bassmaster tournament events - all tournament live fish hauls
Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Division/Share Lunker Program giant bass - all live Lunker Bass haulsArkansas Game and Fish Commission Live release boats - many tournament live fish hauls
Bass Champs Bass tournament Circuits live release boats - all tournament live fish hauls
FlatsMaster Redfish Tournaments Live release boats - all tournament live fish hauls
AFTCO Bass Buss live release boat - all tournament live fish hauls
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans – all Aquarium related live fish hauls
Elite Redfish Series - live release boat tournament live fish haulsRedfish Cup series - live release boat tournament live fish hauls

Google: “The Hundred Grand Live-Well -State of the Art Live Release-[boat]”

And these are only a tiny few… there are many, many more that use compressed oxygen exclusively to transport live fish.

All of these live fish haul operations have a good sound reason to use supplemental compressed oxygen… they must be successful. Successful meaning minimal/no mortality/morbidity during and post transport any time of the year anywhere in the world.

Looks and sounds like there are several KeepAlive salesmen on this thread promoting that KeepAlive livewell oxygenator, eh? They may know all this stuff too.

This is a great thread you brought up, I’ll do another search or 2 and see what other fishery science publications on this matter lies 1 or 2 clicks deep in cyberspace.

JJohnson here, the new guy on the forum.

Last edited by JJohnson37; 03-04-2019 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JJohnson37 View Post
Hey Vapor Trail,
Actually the consensus is very clear, the concept of using supplemental compressed oxygen to transport live mature tournament fish, live bait fish, every specie of life Marine and freshwater fish is backed solidly with fishery science published throughout the USA and the world.

You got to really look for this stuff, but, it there.
Here are a few folks that have consistent great success transporting live bait and mature fish using plain old pure old cheap compressed welding oxygen; O2 tank, regulator and stone. Unlike the average C&R tournament fisherman or common live baiter, these people do not use nor do they ever rely on ambient air, air pumps, water pumps or any mechanical aeration systems to insure safe dissolved oxygen saturations for any of their live fish hauls… NEVER.

The people that manage these organizations listed below and staff that run the daily live haul transports are the real live fish transport experts. These are the professionals that know how to do it and haul live fish for their living day in and day out. There’s no dock-talk or fishing forum Bro-Science here. They don’t do livewell Bro-Science.

This might be quiet shocking for many fishermen trying to justify a livewell oxygen system.
All Federal Fish Hatcheries in the USA – all tournament live fish hauls
All State Fish Hatcheries in the USA – all tournament live fish hauls
All Private Fish Hatcheries in the USA – all tournament live fish hauls
All BassMaster Classic live release boats - all tournament live fish hauls
All Bassmaster tournament events - all tournament live fish hauls
Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Division/Share Lunker Program giant bass - all live Lunker Bass haulsArkansas Game and Fish Commission Live release boats - many tournament live fish hauls
Bass Champs Bass tournament Circuits live release boats - all tournament live fish hauls
FlatsMaster Redfish Tournaments Live release boats - all tournament live fish hauls
AFTCO Bass Buss live release boat - all tournament live fish hauls
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans – all Aquarium related live fish hauls
Elite Redfish Series - live release boat tournament live fish haulsRedfish Cup series - live release boat tournament live fish hauls

Google: “The Hundred Grand Live-Well -State of the Art Live Release-[boat]”

And these are only a tiny few… there are many, many more that use compressed oxygen exclusively to transport live fish.

All of these live fish haul operations have a good sound reason to use supplemental compressed oxygen… they must be successful. Successful meaning minimal/no mortality/morbidity during and post transport any time of the year anywhere in the world.

Looks and sounds like there are several KeepAlive salesmen on this thread promoting that KeepAlive livewell oxygenator, eh? They may know all this stuff too.

This is a great thread you brought up, I’ll do another search or 2 and see what other fishery science publications on this matter lies 1 or 2 clicks deep in cyberspace.

JJohnson here, the new guy on the forum.
SO in other words, whether its a keep alive system or some other O2 system, your saying O2 works? Keep Alive and some others have just brought it to a smaller scale and giving boaters a more economical way of using O2.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wamc0206 View Post
SO in other words, whether its a keep alive system or some other O2 system, your saying O2 works? Keep Alive and some others have just brought it to a smaller scale and giving boaters a more economical way of using O2.
NO,

He ain't talking about the average live well. He is getting all crazy about the benefits if they are presented properly from such systems and not in any way being realistic to the average bait well in a boat.

The use of the word to transport tells all. That are for fish that have been captured and moved from their natural environment and stressed.

I haul bait all over hell alive while on the water. They need much more than O to survive from some gimmick
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