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Often people ask how to setup a live bait tank. While there is not correct way to set one up, there are a few basic rules that seem to apply to them, that makes them efficient and effective. Below you will see pictured a few tanks. Some manufactured & some home made. They all work & the only thing left is the individuals choice and application.
The tank should be anywhere from 40 litres up, depending on your application of course. Since we are talking saltwater, 40 litres would be the minimum in my opinion. The ideal tank would be round, since this allows the fish to school around the tank, in practice round is often unsuitable due to the difficulties involved in securing it, so most live tanks are square with rounded corners so the livies don't get there noses in a corner and drown. Pump size should be enough keep the water flowing at a good rate. 500 G/hr pump is minimum for say up to a 60 litre tank, above this a 800 G/hr pump would be required. Now in theory the water inlet would be at the bottom, via a tap, as would the drain for the tank. This allows aerated water to be present throughout the whole tank up the top is the overflow holes, which should be large enough for water not to over flow from the tank, but small enough so your livies don't escape. The disadvantage of this setup is that your pump would be running all the time, or the tap to be constantly turned off & on as required for fresh water to enter the tank. Most tanks you will see have the inlet at the top of the tank, this overcomes the problem mentioned. However aerated water enters the tank and literally flows straight out the over flows, making for some of the tank to not be oxygenated wholly. This is easily overcome by opening the bottom outlet slightly so that the water will exit via the bottom thus having the whole tank oxygenated.