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#17321 06/06/07 09:37 PM
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After having read and re-read all 25 pages of "Cecil Envy" my wheels have been turning on how I might accomplish something similar. I work in the Storeroom of a local steel mill and have access to free plastic totes. Some of them have had hazardous materials in them and of course can't be used but we also have plenty that only had cleaning agents. None of the vendors we purchased the totes from want them back. Sometimes we have a hard time giving them away.

How would something like this work in raising fish indoors over the winter? Is there some huge disadvantage that I am not seeing? They do have a drain on the bottom, I believe its 1-1/2" opening but it can be reduced down. I realize the size could be an issue but I have garage doors into my basement.

I would love to raise 50 smallmouth bass this winter to be released next spring big enough so that they don't become a snack for the largemouth that are already present in the pond. Ok guys give it to me straight and hard - I can take it. \:\)

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Bigger's always better, right Buckeye?

Can you post a picture of the totes? What color are they?

Have you read any of the threads regarding feed training of smallmouth? Or are you thinking of giving them some type of natural feed?


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Condello, what color are they? what if not Cornhusker Red they will not grow fish as quickly?


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\:D Certain colors are harder to clean.


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Bruce, I'm getting to old to even begin to lie about the size ....... oh, you mean the tote. Yea, right!! ;\)
They are white and pretty much just like the picture Chris found on ebay. When I get a chance later on today I will take some measurements and pics.

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You could add a drain near the bottom pretty easy - all you need is a hole through the side, two flanges to bolt or screw together, and one or two rubber gaskets to put between the flanges and the side of the tote.

There is probably a cheaper way to put all this together, but it could easily be done using a pitless adapter for a water well. These are made to go on 6" or so diameter pipe, so they have curved mating surfaces that would have to be ground flat first (unless you mounted it on the corner of the tote???). But pitless adapters are brass, so grinding them is pretty easy. I modified one to go on a 3' diameter shallow well casing once, by opening up the mounting surfaces to fit the bigger curve.


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Around these parts used totes like that sell for $100 each. They get snapped up real fast by cement contractors and small hobby farmers like myself. Figure out a way to ship them to MN and you could make some money. I live near a surplus store that grabs as many of these as they can get and they sell right away.


Gotta get back to fishin!
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I've got 2 of those totes. They would make great tanks. There is a cheapie plastic butterfly valve at the base. The valve body is molded right onto the tank and it exits thru a 2" NPT nipple. As BEW noted, no problem to add fittings or valves. A jig saw would buzz right thru the top to open it up a bit.

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We used 6 of these and setup a flow through system this winter. It has worked well to hold fish for a few days. You can buy bulkhead fittings. We setup a stand pipe to contorl water level then flip it over and drain through slits in pipe to not lose any fish.

ANybody close to me want one. I have an extra (brand new) and a good price, free to PB member.


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bz, company policy does not allow me to resell anything that is taken out of the mill. Just too many years (37) invested now to get fired over.

Bruce, concerning the feeding of smallies, I guess I assumed that getting 3 to 4" fish from a hatchery they would already be feeding on pellets. Is this not true with smallmouths?

I am already thinking maybe I should set up 2 totes and try perch or gills. My wife just looks at me and shakes her head. What does it mean when they do that??

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 Quote:
Originally posted by BuckeyeWilly:
...My wife just looks at me and shakes her head. What does it mean when they do that??
It means just what you think it means.

Translation: "My Husband is an idiot. What was I thinking when I married him?"

I've seen that look so many times...I can't even begin to count.

If I'm not mistaken, some 3-4 inch smallies are feed trained, and some aren't. I think your supplier would know.


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 Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce Condello:
 Quote:
Originally posted by BuckeyeWilly:
...My wife just looks at me and shakes her head. What does it mean when they do that??
It means just what you think it means.

Translation: "My Husband is an idiot. What was I thinking when I married him?"

I've seen that look so many times...I can't even begin to count.

If I'm not mistaken, some 3-4 inch smallies are feed trained, and some aren't. I think your supplier would know.
There have been times my wife has shaken her head so much as to require a cervical collar.

IIRC Bill COdy indicated that SMB can be fairly easy to get eating pellets.


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Nother question. What kind of aerator would you guys reccomend for a set up like this?

Now for the wifes head shakes. I guess I thought she would understand a little better because she usually fishes right along with me. In fact, we are headed to Canada at the end of the month to fish for some smallies (of course), and she is more excited about the trip then I am. I tell her I'm doing this for her but I dont think she buys it.

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Once she hooks into a smallie that you grew in your own pond.........
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.Well, nothing maybe. It is odd how some pond owners really get crazy into their ponds while others do not. I mean, my wife, my brother, and my brother's wife are my partners in owning our pond, but they all love the pond and love the catch the fish, but they're not crazy (like all of us) into the pond thing.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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I get "the look" pretty often. It seems to mean; Well heck, you know what it means.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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OK guys, I have the tote set up in the basement, aerated and being filtered through a bog pond set up in a large cooler that sets on top the tote. Water temp right now is about 62 and I have a heater on order.

Drove out to Fenders Hatchery here in Ohio on Wednesday and purchased 100 3-4" largemouths, 20 3-4" smallmouths, and 20 hybrid bluegill which I hope will teach the bass to eat the pellets. So far I have lost 1 smallmouth.

The gills are doing their part in showing how its done but so far the bass have no interest in the pellets. I put in about 2 dozen small fatheads and within half an hour there were bass swiming around with little tails sticking out of their mouths. They also will gobble up red worms. Am I defeating my purpose by giving them natural food? I must admit it was a blast watching them stock the minnows. Some of the little guys were airborne!!

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BW, you might consider introducing them to artificial feed using FoodSource or some similar product. Here's a thread where it gets discussed a bit:

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthread...=true#Post97382

It's easy to imagine the fish transitioning from edible baits to pellets. (I have no experience raising pond fish)



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Here are some pics of my setup. Haven't lost anymore fish and they seem active and healthy. I'm getting good exercise going up and down the basement steps as I can't stop from going down and checking on them. GW, thanks for the link on food. I mixed up some pellets with the water and they are in the fridge now. Will give it a try tomorrow and see if the will take it when it sinks.





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What a great project Buckeye. Those container things are on Craigslist around here all the time. May have to pick up a few for future use.


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BuckeyeW - Your first step is to get the fish to eat non-swimming food that is dropping in the water column. Chopped worms into 3/8"-1/2" sections is one way to start. Another way is to add minnows that are almost dead and have very little swimming ability then gradually make additional minnows more lifeless, until the bass are eating dead minnows. Then switch to chopped minnows, then chopped fish. (Fish method is usually slower than worm method.)

Once you have them eating "dead" live food gradually add softened pellets to the chopped worms. I find it is beneficial to mix chopped worms or fish with soft pellets as a clay type mixture and pinch and roll it into small pellets. The chopped meat adds flavor to pellets and a higher percent of bass will initially accept soft pellets. Gradually reduce amount of worms and increase amount of soft pellets. The whole process should take about a week. After about 7-10 days the bass that will eat pellets will be eating the soft pellets. Non-pelleting eating fish will likely starve to death.

I think you have too many fish in the tote. The HyBG will be more problem for you than benefit. I do not think your bog biofilter is large enough for your final fish biomass that will occur in April 08. I would not risk water quality problems by having the HyBG take up the valuable water quality space (see next).

For teaching purposes, I would reduce the number of or eliminate HyBG. They will hog the "dead" live food that you use for teaching purposes and it will take way too much food to get the bass trained. You do not need more than one or two HBG (at most 4 HBG) to act as teacher fish. If you are primarily interested in getting the bass to eat pellets then you do not need any HBG since you have SMB. SMB as a rule will be much quicker/easier to train to eat pellets than the LMB. Then the SMB will act as all the teacher fish you need to encourage the LMB to feed if they are inclined to eat non-swimming food. Once you know (2-3wks) which bass are eating pellets then remove all non-pellet eating bass to make water quality "room" for the remaining feed trained fish. You will need all the higher water quality that you can get to successfully achieve your goal of pellet trained bass for spring of 2008.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/21/07 07:39 PM.

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BuckeyeWilly, Would it be OK if I linked this thread to the Cecil Envy thread because it is such a good variation? Keep the information coming.


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Thanks Bill, you sure have given me a lot to think about. I had wondered about the size of the bog pond. We had built one for the wifes koi pond in the back yard and it has really done a great job. I do have a shop vac that I use each morning to clean the bottom of the tank. I will work at netting out the hybrids tomorrow and begin with your feeding plan.

Bill, would it be possible to feed live food till next April if I "thin the herd down?" I'm really not that concerned about having pellet trained bass but rather getting these bass to a stocking size where they have a better chance surviving in the pond. If I'm missing the big picture here please let me know.

Thanks,
BW

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Buckeye,
Removing settled solids soon after deposition does a lot to take the bioload demand off the biofilter. The more solids that can be removed the better. Your biofilter may be large enough depending on how many fish you finally have going into winter. An important part of the system is how well you can keep the plants actively growing to clean the water in the biofilter. Don't forget the koi pond biofilter was outside and receiving ambient temperatures and sunshine.

It is not practical to feed most of those bass live ("dead") food all winter to accomplish decent average growth rates to stocking size by spring. Eating fresh food, they will eat you out of "house and home" and flatten your wallet if you DAILY feed them enough for them to stay fat and grow appreciably by spring. Getting as many as possible by initially intensively working with them to eat pellets, will be a much more practical way to get the desired growth from those "basement" bass.

If you use my methods expect at least 80% of the SMB to go to pellets and at least 60% of the LMB to learn to eat pellets. I've had very good luck training Fender's strain of SMB to eat food.

I am not sure how mixing LMB and SMB will affect the numbers of each that learn to eat food. I have never mixed SMB & LMB while feed training. I think the LMB could intimidate the SMB enough that SMB might be hesitant to feed or at least not feed enough to grow well. Only way to know is try it. Worst case if the intimidation is strong, you can net out all fish and use/install a fence or blocking net to divide the tank to segregate the two species.

Keep us advised of your progress. I am interested in how much growth you can get from your "basement bass" by spring. Do you have any length measurements of the LMB and SMB?. Whenever you remove some of the non-eating bass (live or dead) please measure their lengths for us.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 10/22/07 09:33 PM.

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Bruce, sorry I had missed your post. Absolutely link it.

Beginning to have success in getting them to eat the sinking pellets. They sure do love the cut worms though. What I love is I have a homemade spot light that aims at the side of the tote. When I turn it on its like ringing the dinner bell. They are up at the top waiting on supper!! No fear of me now. I have lost 3 smallmouths so far, no largemouths. All 3 of the smallies measured just over 3". I'm sure I am not saving any money at this but it sure is fun!!

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