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Bass Boat Oxygenator Opinions
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Posted by Tony M
4/22/2020 8:51 AM
Any of you have any firsthand experience using these bass boat Oxygenators in summer bass tournaments? I know they do not compare with the real oxygen injection systems like Bass Cats Tiger Tank Oxygen Systems but they are a heck of a lot cheaper and the electrolysis of freshwater will fraction out pure oxygen and pure hydrogen gas… by volume 1 gallon O2 and 2 gallons hydrogen gas.
It is also clear that both the Oxygenator and the Tiger Tank O2 systems are seriously limited as to how much O2 they are capable of producing as well as the volume of O2 they can deliver. The dose of O2 for both is fixed and cannot be increased as the fish or bait load is increased in the livewell.
The product poop-sheet doesn’t provide any 3rd party DO research, publications and evaluation about the Oxygenator.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department fishery biologist (3rd party research) say, “During the most extreme conditions (i.e., 15 + pounds of bass in a livewell over 85 degrees), these oxygen-injection systems are the only way to maintain optimum oxygen levels.” This is regular every day summertime July/August conditions this biologist is talking about and you don’t have to be a Bassmaster Classic pro to catch a 15 lb. tournament sack of bass.
I don’t understand the point of buying and using the Oxygenator if you must use the noisy battery draining aerators and water pump all day too like the biologist recommends.
T-H Marine O2-BK3-DP Oxygenator Pro Livewell Flush Mount is $117 and free shipping @ Amazon. But will it generate enough O2 when you really need it to work with a winning sack of bass in July?
If 1 fish dies in you livewell, you will lose the money so the reliability and dependability of this Oxygenator is necessary unless you want to worry about this all day. It’s like a COVID-19 patient in ICU depending on a ventilator to deliver enough oxygen to keep him/her alive.
Posted by FishingwithRusty
4/22/2020 10:40 AM
ive had them in previous boats and used them with success. i personally would not spend the money to install them in a boat if it did not already have them.

i use these:
https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/marine-metal-products-power-bubbles...

https://www.newproproducts.com/photos/
Posted by jimwarden
4/22/2020 11:28 AM
I don’t fish tournaments, but I notice the single big fish I put in the livewell for photos all have their heads right next to the TH Marine oxygenator when I get them out and release them. You see the bubbles coming out constantly when it is covered with water.
Posted by 31airborne
4/22/2020 5:40 PM
I have the TH Marine gizmo on my sled. It works fabulously. I can't cite dissolved O2 concentrations but I can tell you the fish coming out of my livewells at the end of a hot day are spunkier than when they went in. No dead fish.
Posted by Aries 181
4/22/2020 7:25 PM
I use a pair of these, they work very well and a lot cheaper than the bubble maker from TH Marine. https://thmarinesupplies.com/products/v-t2-livewell-ventilation-syst...

Paid $35.00 for the set from Rusty and used his hole saw too. I don't haul green or brown fish around all day but paper mouths go bat dung crazy when I remove them at the end of the day.

Bill
Posted by jb366
4/22/2020 10:34 PM
Oxygenators aren't worth it imo. Several studies show they do next to nothing.
For the price of the oxygenator I'd buy the VT2 vents aries posted and the bubbler rusty posted a link to and use those together. That setup imo could only be beat by a true oxygen system.

My phoenix has the max air system them when recirc is running pulls air from a fitting in the gunnel and send it into recirc'd water in the wells which is essentially the same thing the bubbler does. I've never lost a fish and they're always lively at the end of the day. I don't use ice or anything in the water.
I'm going to add the VT2 vents as a little extra precaution this year to keep hot air and ammonia from building up in the wells
Posted by churly
4/23/2020 8:25 AM
Oxygenators are a joke! I have a dissolved O2 meter and I can show you why. If you fish tournaments in the hot summer months and you dont have an O2 injection system, you are a bone head. I built my own system for less than $200. I have posted the article of how to go about it many times on this page. Its very easy and the O2 is super cheap. probably 80% of the livewells I have tested had insufficient O2 levels. Do you research. All you need is the regulator, O2 diffuser stone, and some hose.

How do you think TWRA transports thousands of trout in a tank wagon that has to travel 100 miles to get to a stocking location? Oxygen injection!

https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/didyouknow/inland/livewells.pht...

http://oxyedge-chum.com/tips/

https://www.slideshare.net/raminlandfish/livewell-oxygen-injection-8...


Ive had an O2 injection system in my boat for 2 seasons now. I dont even have to run my recirculate and I dont have to mess with ice. My fish come out healthier than they were when they went in. I would encourage anyone who puts fish in a livewell for release, to check into it.
Posted by FishingwithRusty
4/23/2020 9:10 AM
id like to see your set up Churly
Posted by Tony M
4/23/2020 1:03 PM
churly - 4/23/2020 8:25 AM

Oxygenators are a joke! I have a dissolved O2 meter and I can show you why. If you fish tournaments in the hot summer months and you dont have an O2 injection system, you are a bone head. I built my own system for less than $200. I have posted the article of how to go about it many times on this page. Its very easy and the O2 is super cheap. probably 80% of the livewells I have tested had insufficient O2 levels. Do you research. All you need is the regulator, O2 diffuser stone, and some hose.

How do you think TWRA transports thousands of trout in a tank wagon that has to travel 100 miles to get to a stocking location? Oxygen injection!

https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/didyouknow/inland/livewells.pht...

http://oxyedge-chum.com/tips/

https://www.slideshare.net/raminlandfish/livewell-oxygen-injection-8...


Ive had an O2 injection system in my boat for 2 seasons now. I dont even have to run my recirculate and I dont have to mess with ice. My fish come out healthier than they were when they went in. I would encourage anyone who puts fish in a livewell for release, to check into it.

Thanks for everyone’s opinions about the Oxygenator.

Churly - I’m really interested in your 3rd party DO testing research as that kind of testing information is seldom to never heard of nor found on internet fishing forums. It is certainly not available from the folks that manufacture those Oxygenators probably for good reason. Oxygenators probably work as well as V-T’s livewell air vents, both do operate quietly.
DO meters cost too much and totally foreign to the average tournament bass fisherman. I would really appreciate seeing your DO test results you mentioned, a few question please:
In your opinion and DO testing history…

What do you consider an optimal safe DO Saturation in summer livewells containing a limit of tournament fish?

Compared to fish hatchery live haul DO transport standards and requirements which is no doubt the Gold Standard DO transport water quality standard. Their fish do not suffocate in hauling tanks from low DO’s, their job depends on their live healthy release success. They all use either compressed oxygen-injection or LOX and none, none use mechanical aerators, bubblers, water pumps with air venturi’s, spray bars or Oxygenators to oxygenate their hauling water. This in not unlike tournament live release boats using pure compressed oxygen-injection and serial testing DO as fish bio-density is constantly increasing and the dose of O2 is also increased in proportion to the changing fish stocking density. None, none try to oxygenate their hauling tank with mechanical aeration, bubblers or ambient air because there is simply not enough oxygen in air to insure minimal safe oxygenation for all the fish in the tank.

What did you find to be an unsafe DO in livewells that contain fish in the summer with your DO testing?

How low was the DO you found in 80% of the livewells you tested in the summer?

Are you saying that fish were actively suffocating in 80% of the boat livewells you tested?

I do realize that the EPA DO environmental water quality standard for US rivers and lakes in the steady state is very different than the US fish hatchery live fish transport DO water quality standards found in abnormally high stressful hauling conditions, especially traumatic capture and all day transports in overcrowded small boat livewells (20-30 gallon livewells).

Thanks
Posted by churly
4/24/2020 10:38 AM
So my "test" was archaic as you could imagine a hayseed bass rat running around at the docks before weigh in testing livewells. I did not record any of my results. My dissolved 02 meter Shows the amount of O2 in mg/L. Once I had ran my O2 for about 30 minutes at a moderate temp (75*) I would reach 100% O2 saturation which is somewhere in 8.0-8.5mg/L at that temp. Many of the livewells I tested were as low as 3.0 mg/L. At that level, the fish are dying slowly. I hate to talk trash about any brand of boat or livewell, but in my testing, I noticed the Triton livewells had some of the poorest readings. Im sure that's got to be attributed to the livewell design, because I noticed the guys with Bullet livewells were all 5.5mg/L+. I own a ranger and was surprised how low my levels were without 02 injection and the recirculate running. The most mind blowing thing I learned while testing was how much 02 stressed summertime fish consume. The larger the fish, the more they consumed, and as you add fish to the well, the consumption rate increased exponentially. Ive literally watched the 02 go down 1.0mg/L per minute with 5 nice bass in a well. In fact, I learned to keep my water super saturated with 02, I needed to fill my well and have the 02 pumping to get it to 100% before I started boxing fish. If I waited till I had a limit to cut the bottle on, It was hard to get the water up to 8.0+ in warm water as the fish were consuming the 02 at a fast rate.

So to answer a few of your questions Tony, The DO meter I have was borrowed from a friend who started showing me these 02 injection systems. I do not know what they cost but it is hundreds of dollars I believe. The unsafe level depends on the water temp but I was seeing sub 4.5mg/L in 80% of the wells I tested which isn't good, and yes, those fish are slowly dying. While I was testing wells, I kept checking the lake levels too. The day I recall was a June day tournament, water in the low 80s. The water up near the bank around the hydrilla, and pond weed would show 7.7-7.9 mg/L and the end of the dock away from the grass was reading mid 6s. I was loaned the meter to test to see if my system was getting enough 02 in my water, not to conduct a scientific test. But, the readings I got were eye opening!! I have made a post every late Spring for th past 2 years encouraging tx fisherman to look into these systems on this page as well as Facebook. I don't know of one other person who has installed one....

The last and most important piece of data for me to express to you or anyone paying attention is; I no longer have to use continuous recirculation, Ice, or release aid. I have not lost a single bass in any tournament since installing my system!! Ive seen gill hooked fish bleeding everywhere first thing in the morning come to life and be safely released hours later. I am believer! If you take the time to read the links to the research articles I posted, you will too!
Posted by Tony M
4/26/2020 5:18 PM
Churly - Thank you for all your bass boat livewell DO testing information, summary and conclusions. You won’t see anything like this in any bass boat sales literature touting their livewells or hear this from a Triton salesman.

A DO meter and DO testing is not archaic for a few 21st century bass tournaments. It is a vital piece of equipment not unlike O2 meters found in hospitals and clinics. Oxygen is a big deal. Not having or using a DO meter to test livewell oxygenation in bass boat livewells and live release boat hauling tanks is what’s archaic. A DO meter cost no more than a good Mustang flotation device, a fancy bass jersey or a good rod and reel autographed by Mark Menendez.

First, I am absolutely shocked that any bass tournament director would ever allow you to test DO’s in any contestants livewell containing a limit of bass because that my friend is extremely taboo area to dabble with, much less test and publish the devastating DO results you discovered and revealed publically. Doubt that you will ever have an opportunity to do that again at any summer bass tournament.

Is a bass boat livewell really “functional” or is it really actually “non-functional livewell” when it is not capable of insuring minimal safe water quality (minimal safe DO all day for a limit of bass. You really let that low DO cat out of the bag when you tested the DO all these non-functional bass boat livewells. The DO meter doesn’t lie or perpetuate myths about livewell water quality; what DO is safe and what DO is definitely not safe and insures sustained suffocation.

Now that you haves tested and know how much oxygen is in standard bass boat livewells containing bass in the summer, using your oxygen-injection equipment; what DO meter reading would you need to see to insure that you have plenty of dissolved oxygen for a limit of (5) 4 lb. bass for a 7 hour transport all day in any bass boat livewell in the summer? And your limit of bass will not suffocate in your boat livewell from any low oxygen problems.
Posted by churly
4/27/2020 7:50 AM
Tony, I have a real good relationship with some guys that run a trail and would be happy to let you watch me check DO levels in livewells...

If I am not mistaken, you want to stay 5.5Mg/L + to maintain healthy fish. With a Do injection system, you can easily maintain 100% saturation which would be 7.5-8Mg/L depending on temps. Obviously water temps are the X factor which why this becomes so important as we get into May-September months.
Posted by Tony M
4/27/2020 11:06 AM
It’s such a pleasure to talk with someone that has real firsthand experience testing DO’s in summer tournament bass boat livewells containing limits of bass and has access to a tournament operation that allows you to test contestants boat livewells. I’m sure that your DO testing has been a serious eye-opener, a reality check for you and all the others that actually see your work first hand. It becomes crystal clear why total summer bass tournament mortality and morbidity has been so high over the past 40 years – chronic livewell hypoxia and suffocation.
I would like to see more of your DO testing this summer when the water temperature warms more, especial your DO test results in late July – August 2020.

Have you tested any livewells using these popular air vents yet? Some of the air vent product literature makes a very bold claim about oxygenation: “The V-T2 allows continuous oxygen to flow inside of your livewell…” This advertisement sounds like more air insures more oxygen or something like that. More air will never mean plenty oxygen in summer livewell conditions. Mother just can’t increase the oxygen concentration in ambient air regardless of the how much air blows through the box when the boat is moving or the wind is blowing hard. It’s really slick to confuse oxygen with air, more air means more oxygen, these 2 words are interchangeable as they slip from the salesman’s tongue soooo-easily.

Over the years I have still not seen or read any published scientific DO testing that verifies this oxygen claim. I would like to see you test the DO saturation in a bass boat livewell using these air vents to see how much the DO changes with a limit bass in the livewell. These oxygenation claims with the air vents sound great, but to date, again I have seen no 3rd party scientific DO testing to back up any of these wild-A claims.
Your DO meter cuts to the chase, separates the facts from the hear-say, the boat ramp bro-science and fiction about Dissolved Oxygen in livewells in a heartbeat.

Testing livewell water with no fish in the box is quiet meaningless. Testing DO with a limit of bass in the box is far more realistic and accurate in real time summer tournament conditions. It is amazing just how much DO a winning sack of fish consumes. The drop in measured DO demonstrates that total oxygen demand and oxygen consumption of all the fish in crowded livewells combined with extreme sustained transport stress and continuous maximum adrenaline production (the fight or flight hormone) the most sever stressor being the sustained hypoxic stress (suffocation) during the 7-8 hour all day transport in a bass boat livewell.

You might find this fodder interesting as well as factual:

Oxygenation of Livewells to Improve Survival of Tournament-Caught Bass
https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/didyouknow/inland/livewells.pht... At a moderate water temperature of 70°F, 100 percent oxygen saturation is 8.8 mg/l of oxygen, whereas at the higher temperature of 80°F, 100 percent saturation is 7.9 mg/l. Both of these 100 percent saturation oxygen levels are suitable for keeping bass alive. Concentrations of oxygen can and often do exceed 100 percent saturation, and when this happens, oxygen naturally escapes from water.

HOW MUCH OXYGEN LIVE BAIT AND FISH NEED IN LIVEWELLS,BAIT TANKS
http://oxyedge-chum.com/how-much-oxygen/ Dissolved oxygen water quality in livewells and bait tanks during live bait and fish transport (Sustained DO Concentration 100% DO Saturation or greater DO super-saturation) is very different than the EPA steady state environmental DO requirements 5 PPM DO Concentration). The EPA DO requirements for lakes, rivers is only 5 PPM DO which is considered “safe” for fish living in lakes and rivers in America.

US Fish Hatchery DO Standards: Live bait and live fish transports require 100% DO Saturation or greater continuously whether you transport 1 lb., 200 lbs., or 1,000 lbs. of live bait or mature tournament fish.

What kind of DO meter do you use?
Posted by jimwarden
4/28/2020 11:56 PM
Fishermen are taking better care of fish than they ever have, which is a very good thing. I love the movement toward catch, weigh, and release, and I know it will become more popular as time goes on. And look at all of the double digit bass that are carefully released back to spread their superior genetics. That is a major change from the past and a very good one.

A lot of goood info here, but it also explains why so many fish die when the tournaments are held in the hot summer months. Maybe 1% of fisherman are pumping dissolved oxygen into their live-wells. Hauling bass around in warm water is still a pet peeve of mine, but times are changing and I see a little hope for the future with more MLF or Kayak rules or Toyota Bass Fest type tournaments going forward.

Edited by jimwarden 4/29/2020 12:01 AM
Posted by Tony M
4/30/2020 5:50 PM
“Fishermen are taking better care of fish than they ever have… Maybe 1% of fisherman are pumping dissolved oxygen into their live-wells.”

Does that means that 99% or more of all the bass boat customers have rejected the Oxygenator and chosen not to buy nor use Oxygenators, right?

Sounds to me like these bass boat salesmen are doing a poor job and need serious additional training in selling Oxygenators to their customers if the boat dealers and manufactures want more sales.
Bass fishermen that like and buy Bass Cat Boats have made no bones about rejecting those Tiger Tank O2 systems. Their attitudes ad choices are crystal clear, they chose BCB livewell aerators and water pumps over the Tiger Tank Oxygen Systems any day.

I understand that rejection is probably why Bass Cat Boats aborted their Tiger Tank O2 system, customers just did not like then and thought they are totally unnecessary. Although the O2 tanks fit neatly in the bass boats bilge, out of the way and looked good, BCB customers would not take the bait and flat rejected the concept of oxygenating livewell even though using supplemental oxygen is scientifically solid and used by professional to oxygenate live fish transports worldwide for decades. BCB squandered their time, energy and money on these Tiger Tank Oxygen Systems and failed miserably. Whoever thought this bright idea up at BCB probably has another job somewhere now.... what a marketing failure!

I have also read recently that Oxygenators are temperature cycled. Add ice, chill livewell water like bass fishermen usually do every summer to chill the livewell water and Oxygenators cycle into the OFF MODE because of the chilled water temperature and they don’t generate any O2 or Hydrogen gas. The warmer the livewell water the longer they operate in the ON MODE producing a little bit of O2 foe what a little bit of O2 is worth for a limit of bass… *TP&WD found in their 3rd party research that fishermen had to run the boats’ mechanical aerator and or livewell water pumps in conjunction with them in the summer months. .

After reading some of this 3rd party DO testing done by TP&WD and other people of interest, they have exposed the real effectiveness of these bass boat Oxygenators. The fisherman cannot regulate the dose of oxygen required for the biomass of fish in the livewell all day. And the Oxygenator will not generate enough 100% O2 to insure minimal safe oxygenation and require additional mechanical aeration in the summer…. Just more electrical stuff in the livewell, more noise, more cost, more battery drain. Water pump noise causes boat vibration that scare bass away.

So what was the point of buying and using a livewell Oxygenators in summer tournaments when they fail because they will not produce enough oxygen for the catch without using the boats aerators and water pumps in tandem?

From what I have seen and read to date, if I were going to spend the additional money to provide the best summer tournament bass care, supplemental livewell oxygen is best choice. The oxygen-injection systems are far quieter and more dependable than Oxygenators combines that must be used with the old noisy aerators and water pumps any summer tournament day so say the fishery biologist at the fish hatcheries. I believe the biologist and the published fishery research.

I appreciate all your different opinions, this has been an interesting discussion a month or so before summer arrives as predicted, the lake water gets hot and the livewell suffocation caused by low dissolved oxygen begins again.
Posted by Tony M
5/25/2020 5:52 PM
Hey Churley, summer is only few days away now and lake water is getting warmer every day. How is you livewell DO testing with fish limits of bass or other fish in boat livewells coming?

I am anxious to see your DO test results (DO % O2 Saturation and DO Concentration PPM) with fish consuming oxygen in livewells this summer 2020.
WHICH BASS BOAT LIVEWELLS ARE REALLY “FUNCTIONAL LIVEWELLS” AND WHICH ARE “NOTFUNCTIONAL” AT ALL WHEN THEY CONTAIN A LIMIT OF BLACK BASS IN SUMMER TOURNAMENTS. CHURLEYS DO METER WILL SCIENTIFICALLY IDENTIFIED THE FUNCTIONAL AND THE NON-FUNCTIONAL LIVEWELLS. Commonly called “Death Wells.”

Most fishermen are quick to offer fishing forum bro-science based testimonials for many all kinds livewell devices they have bought and use, but you seem to be the only fishermen on this forum that has and knows how to use your DO Meter and willing to provide your non-biased scientific based DO test results demonstrating the actual oxygenating effectiveness of these livewell devices, all proposed to insure safe oxygenated livewell water, ie: Oxygenators, livewell air vents, aerators, water pumps, spray bars, oxygen generators, compressed oxygen–injection systems, hydrogen peroxide, livewell chemicals that oxygenate livewell water [Bait Buddies].
Posted by churly
5/26/2020 8:05 AM
Well, first off. Ive not put a bass in a livewell in a day tournament since early March. I have put bass in my livewell the past couple of monday nights, with O2 injection of course. My DO tester needs a couple AAs, but I will get it going....
Posted by Dgreen
5/26/2020 8:16 AM
Check out this link if you want to find a really cheap way to add oxygen to water. The bass professor Doug Hannon on hydrogen peroxide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8K0AjcFqK0
Posted by WaterChap
5/26/2020 2:55 PM
That video on H2O2 is brilliant. I should also say, as an aquarist, that nitrites and ammonia are the killers of fish and they don’t get removed in the nitrite cycle in a live well. This is why ventilation helps some. Ammo Lock tablets can knock down the ammonia by rendering it inert. This is critical in modern live wells which are small and build up toxins quickly. I have a 1986 Winner and the live well is huge compared to modern boats. You can buy a test kit for nitrites, nitrates and ammonia and use it on the water and you’ll get more info than just dissolved O2.
Posted by finbully
5/27/2020 7:23 AM
This is an interesting, informative thread. If I leave my system recirculation off and instead use the auto position, will that solve the problem of low DO? It's a 2018 Ranger Z521L with the factory oxygenating system Ranger uses.

Edited by finbully 5/27/2020 7:42 AM
Posted by churly
5/27/2020 7:53 AM
finbully - 5/27/2020 10:23 AM

This is an interesting, informative thread. If I leave my system recirculation off and instead use the auto position, will that solve the problem of low DO? It's a 2018 Ranger Z521L with the factory oxygenating system Ranger uses.


In the hot summer months, you should fill your well with cool water and go ahead and put some ice in to help cool the water. once your well is full, switch to recirculate and leave it there. If you notice foaming or fowl stink I would switch to empty allow about half of the water to drain out and then refill with fresh water, the trick is you have to add ice as you refill because during the day the surface water is hot and can be low in DO. before I had an O2 injection system I usually did this twice during a tournament day. And, I run the aerator pumps on recirc all day. some things to keep in mind; cooler water holds more O2, fish are cold blooded and the cooler they are the less 02 they require, and most importantly the more fish you have in the box the quicker they absorb O2, while creating more ammonia and nitrites.

Now that I have O2 injection, I rarely have to use the pumps. I may refill during the day if notice a strong stink or foam, no ice, and no more rejuvenade.
Posted by Tony M
5/27/2020 9:03 AM
Churley, These DO test do not have to be done in actual tournament conditions, they can be done any time, in any boat livewell containing any species of fish, any day, anywhere or any boat livewell.
If the livewell water has been treated with Rejuvenade, your DO meter reading will be inaccurate. Your meter will go hay-wire immediately when you put the probe into the water… the reading will immediately peg off the scale. And when you test the water, please record the date, the biomass of fish in the well, the well water temperature, the DO Concentration (PPM) and the DO Saturation (% Saturation)… DO % Saturation and biomass of fish being most important. Also note if the livewell is being aerated with air bubblers, water pumps and spray bars, livewell vents, Oxygenators, compressed oxygen –injection systems, etc.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Degreen, Thanks for joining the discussion.
Yes, I have seen this Sure Life infomercial staring Doug Hannon the bass pro promoting the use of hydrogen peroxide to oxygenate livewell water to bass fishermen. Your right, H2O2 is still somewhat popular around the bass tournament fishing industry; it’s cheap and available at any drug store or 7/11.
Here’s a couple other more scientific based opinions about using hydrogen peroxide to oxygenate livewell water you may not have seen or be aware of.
I am far more impressed with the opinions and validity of the H2O2 research published by TP&WD and B.A.S.S./ESPN professional fishery biologist.
Check this out when you have time if you like:
Hydrogen peroxide for bass boat livewells published February 14, 2012 by Randy Myers, Fishery Biologist, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries Division District 1D, Management 12861 Galm Rd. San Antonio, Texas 210-688-9460 http://www.slideshare.net/raminlandfish/hydrogen-peroxide-for-bass-...
Keeping Bass Alive A Guidebook for Anglers and Tournament Organizers
http://assets.espn.go.com/winnercomm/outdoors/bassmaster/pdf/Keepin...

By: Gene Gilliland [Gene Gilliland is currently the B.A.S.S. National Conservation Director effective January 1, 2014.]
Oklahoma Fisheries Research Lab
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Norman, OK 73072

By: Hal Schramm
US Geological Survey
Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Center
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762
By: Bruce Schupp
National Conservation Director B.A.S.S.*
Montgomery, AL 36117

Published by: ESPN Productions, Inc./B.A.S.S.
5854 Carmichael Rd.
Montgomery, AL 36117
Copyright 2002 B.A.S.S.* Montgomery, AL

CHEMICALS
Another chemical that has sometimes been used to treat livewell or holding tank water is Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water in the presence of organic matter. However, this chemical can injure fish and should not be used. Most people have used this colorless, odorless, tasteless liquid to disinfect a cut or scratch. You can see it fizzing and bubbling on the skin as it oxidizes. Now imagine what it does in a livewell full of bass. The bass’ mucus coating protects its skin from the oxidation reaction, but there is no such protective coating on the delicate gill filaments. Unfortunately, anglers that use Hydrogen Peroxide think that is a little is good, a little more should be better. Wrong! Damage to gill filaments, suffocation, and death may result. DO NOT USE HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IN THE LIVEWELL - pg 21
Looks like a no-brainer to me when/if you actually compare this Sure Life infomercial staring Doug Hannon (G bless Doug’s soul) to the published research from these TP&WD and B.A.S.S./ESPN organizations and their fishery experts.
_______________________________________________________________________
WaterChap, Thanks for joining the discussion today.
Actually maintaining safe water quality is very simple and easy with steady state aquarium conditions; controlled environment, no stress, controlled water temperature, never overstocked with fish, very low to no stressors.
Transporting traumatized tournament caught mature bass for 5-6 hours in a vibrating rough bass boat livewell on a hot summer day in August is continuous unnatural extremely high stress during summer tournament conditions compares to the home aquarium environment. Managing water quality is also very different in summer bass boat livewells during all day transports vs. managing water quality in your home aquarium.
Running the livewell pump a few minutes occasionally during the day totally controls ammonia and nitrites in bass boat livewells. Running the livewell aerator aerates the well water reducing dissolved CO2 and some of the carbonic acid in the water the water pump doesn’t flush out.
You may or may not know that hypoxia (lack of oxygen) can kill fish and people in a few minutes. For captive tournament caught bass being transported in boat livewells; ammonia, nitrites and dissolved CO2 take many hours to build to lethal concentrations. These toxic concentrations are continuous being minimized, flushed out with the livewell water pumps during the day… unless the livewell water pump fails.

Finbully, thanks for joining in and sharing.
You ask, “If I leave my system on recirculation, will that solve the problem of low DO? It's a 2018 Ranger Z521L with the factory oxygenating system Ranger uses.”
Maybe… have you tried that yet?
Do you or have you ever had any problems with low DO killing bass in your livewell?
Most tournament fishermen have never had any problems with low DO’s because they have never overstocked their livewell with a tournament catch. They have never caught 5 bass large enough to overstock their livewell and cause a DO deficit in their livewell water. The boat aerator and water pumps provided enough DO for the catch.
Generally when a low DO problem exhibits and you see your bass suffocating in boat livewells is when the oxygen demand of the total biomass of fish has exceeded natural oxygenating limits using air, aerators and water pumps. That’s common in the summer around 2 PM when you have a winning stringer of bass in your livewell hoping and praying that 1 or 2 bass don’t die before the weigh-in and you’re popped with the “dead fish penalty” and lose the money.
What kind of factory oxygenating system came with your Ranger boat? Do you have any idea how much that oxygenation system added to the price if your boat? It definitely was not free.
Posted by WaterChap
5/27/2020 9:54 AM
Summary of the TP&W slideshow:

1) If you add 3 oz of H2O2 to your live well, the O2 level will rocket up
2) You have to do it every 30 minutes
3) They didn’t observe it hurting fish, but they can’t say that it doesn’t.

Don’t use H2O2 isn’t the conclusion I would draw from that.
Posted by WaterChap
5/27/2020 10:10 AM
Tony M. The very helpful book you linked seems to support the concern about ammonia in the live well. It can build up very quickly. The admonition to avoid H2O2 seems to both be entirely conjectural and seems to be based upon further conjecture that fishermen can’t or won’t measure the chemical, which is an interesting conjecture for them to make given that they seem to support using salt and assume both that anglers will measure correctly and that they will be careful to use non iodized salt. I think rather than taking these as two sources which agree with one another, we could say that the TP&W research seems to cast doubt upon the BASS book’s conjectural warnings.

It turns out that the aquarist and aquaculture industries have done extensive controlled research on the use of H2O2 to boost oxygen levels, treat disease and combat algal blooms. The overwhelming consensus supports the use at controlled levels. It’s difficult to imagine black bass being more delicate than tilapia, koi and tropical fish. The research is easy to find and has been replicated many times so I don’t think I need to give citations, but here’s one: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170823145352.htm

Edited by WaterChap 5/27/2020 10:31 AM
Posted by finbully
5/27/2020 1:14 PM
Tony M - 5/27/2020 9:03 AM
Finbully, thanks for joining in and sharing.
You ask, “If I leave my system on recirculation, will that solve the problem of low DO? It's a 2018 Ranger Z521L with the factory oxygenating system Ranger uses.”
Maybe… have you tried that yet?
Do you or have you ever had any problems with low DO killing bass in your livewell?
Most tournament fishermen have never had any problems with low DO’s because they have never overstocked their livewell with a tournament catch. They have never caught 5 bass large enough to overstock their livewell and cause a DO deficit in their livewell water. The boat aerator and water pumps provided enough DO for the catch.
Generally when a low DO problem exhibits and you see your bass suffocating in boat livewells is when the oxygen demand of the total biomass of fish has exceeded natural oxygenating limits using air, aerators and water pumps. That’s common in the summer around 2 PM when you have a winning stringer of bass in your livewell hoping and praying that 1 or 2 bass don’t die before the weigh-in and you’re popped with the “dead fish penalty” and lose the money.
What kind of factory oxygenating system came with your Ranger boat? Do you have any idea how much that oxygenation system added to the price if your boat? It definitely was not free.


I have not had any issues carrying fish around in my livewells, but soon I will retire and spend MUCH MORE time fishing. I do use ice but wondering if the chlorination will bother the fish.

This is what Ranger used for my boat: https://thmarinesupplies.com/products/oxygenator-livewell-oxygen-gen...
Looks like it is a $220 retail option (I didn't pay retail).
Posted by churly
5/27/2020 4:39 PM
Tony. I work 60 hours a week so I will try to gather a bit of data as the summer moves on. I will say its gonna be hard to find a livewell at a bass tournament that doesnt have rejuvenade or release aid added to it.

For pretty cheap You can add the O2 injection system and not worry about rejuvenade, ice, dead batteries, and all the other crap. the only other thing I use to protect my fish are flip clips for the deep caught ones. I feel these are a must for deep caught bass in the summer.
Posted by Tony M
6/2/2020 7:10 AM
Churley - The cheapest commercial made store bought oxygen-injection systems I’ve seen on the net ranges from $126 to $199 and change. Anyone can build a very cheap homemade DIY system shopping used components < $50 (used O2 tanks, used regulators and cheap bubblers).

The Rejuvenade may kill your DO testing research at bass tournaments since it is often provided free to fishermen promotionally. I know no tournament bass fisherman that would ever turn down any free bass safer chemicals at tournaments. Oh well, you seem to be a pretty bright guy and scientifically motivated, maybe you can figure something out this summer. There’s o telling what chemical is in the Rejuvenate witches brew that causes the DO meter to fail… secret stuff. It definitely lights up the catch over stimulating all the fish. Add a little extra Rejuvenade to the livewell water before the weigh-in and really supercharge those bass before weigh-in. The irritant makes the fish extremely hyperactive.

The Oxygenators generates chlorine gas if the livewell chemical contains electrolytes (sodium, salt). There is a simple test that any fisherman can do to determine if any bass saver livewell chemicals contain sodium salt electrolytes and the test is quick and free… just taste a little dab of it out of the bottle and see if it taste salty.
The U2 livewell chemical advertised and promoted by T-H Marine that makes Oxygenators too claims their U2 bass saver chemical (G-Juice) does contain electrolytes and electrolytes are great for stressed tournament caught bass. They advertise that their U2 Formula is the only bass safer livewell chemical that will not generate chlorine gas when used in conjunction with their Oxygenator. The probably make much more money selling their U2 Formulas that selling Oxygenators. The U2 bass saver sales goes on and on whereas their Oxygenator sale is a 1 time sale, the Oxygenator is the hook to buy more jars of U2 Formula over and over for years.

It's all about the magic of marketing...
Posted by silvertalon
6/2/2020 9:53 AM
Ice is essential when the water gets over low 80's (IMO). What ice? Do not use bagged ice unless it is a little at a time or unless you put it in zip lock bags. Chlorine is the issue. I fill gatorade bottles and freeze them. Fill your cooler with them and every hour drop one in the livewell while keeping the recirc pump on full time. It will lower the water temp about 5-10 degree's. Also, 5-10 degree's lower is the magic number. Too much ice can shock or kill the fish when they are exposed to very warm water afterwards. This is why too much ice in a tournament release tank is a very bad idea. Potable air bubbler's are the cheapest way to go if you can't afford a fancy o2 system. I use them in my weigh-in cooler on wheels and this cooler is my primary livewell in my 16' boat. I've never lost a fish using o2 bubblers and a frozen bottle of water. Then comes the gas's- checking fish frequently will eliminate most of the toxic gas's above the water line however lid vents are a good idea so that the toxicity will not build up in the water. Single livewell's with a divider have been in IMO, the best system. I can't ever remember ever loosing a fish in my Champion livewell in over 20 years. 1 fill pump on a timer or constant on. Ranger uses a patented pump manifold system- when it is set on auto the full time recirc pump also draws fresh lake water from the intake side of the fill pump mixing it with recirc water, allowing for only 1 pump running. Separate dual livewells need 4 pumps to operate both of them at once creating battery issues if you are not using a giant agm. Or, when in the excitement of boating some nice fish you have found later that you flipped on the wrong pumps when you find a 5lbr floating belly up.
Posted by Tony M
6/2/2020 2:39 PM
Good points Silvertalon,

A little trivia about DO Concentration and DO Saturation right from the DO Chart; is chilling water 10 F with ice really necessary when the water already contains 8 PPM DO before you ice it down?
It take a lot of ice hauled in a bass boat all day to maintain chilled liewell water continuously 10 F for 7-8 hours in June and for all the rest of the summer tournaments 2020.
With no bass in the livewell consuming DO, at sea level, fresh lake water is 100 % DO Saturated @ 8.1 PPM DO Concentration @ 70 F.
With no fish in the livewell consuming DO, at sea level, fresh lake water is 100% DO Saturated @ 8.8 PPM DO Concentration @ 80 F.

All the work, cost and effort to chill 80 F lake/livewell water 10 F down to 70 F increases the CO Concentration only 0.7 PPM

The EPA safe DO water quality standard for freshwater lakes is 5 PPM DO concentration that is considered great, safe water DO quality for bass.

Question for you: If there is already plenty of dissolved oxygen (>8.0 PPM DO) in 80 F lake water/livewell water what do you believe is the real point of chilling lake 80 F water to 70 F when that lake water in your livewell is already 100% DO Saturated with > 8 PPM DO?

Ice may be no more than just an old, old ingrained habit. An auto response that has been read and practiced faithfully by bass fishermen and live bait fishermen for decades in the summer?

I don’t really see any low oxygen problems with 8 PPM DO for a regular limit of tournament bass in the box. Do any of you see any problem with this much natural DO in 80 F livewell water?

I have also heard biologist say at fishing shows that that IF you do not/never overcrowd your livewell with bass and run your aerator continuously and livewell water pumps, and there will be plenty DO in warm kivewell water,
Posted by drdetroit
6/2/2020 6:07 PM

Very interesting!!!

Dr Detroit  

Posted by silvertalon
6/2/2020 10:02 PM
Tony M - 6/2/2020 3:39 PM

Good points Silvertalon,

A little trivia about DO Concentration and DO Saturation right from the DO Chart; is chilling water 10 F with ice really necessary when the water already contains 8 PPM DO before you ice it down?
It take a lot of ice hauled in a bass boat all day to maintain chilled liewell water continuously 10 F for 7-8 hours in June and for all the rest of the summer tournaments 2020.
With no bass in the livewell consuming DO, at sea level, fresh lake water is 100 % DO Saturated @ 8.1 PPM DO Concentration @ 70 F.
With no fish in the livewell consuming DO, at sea level, fresh lake water is 100% DO Saturated @ 8.8 PPM DO Concentration @ 80 F.

All the work, cost and effort to chill 80 F lake/livewell water 10 F down to 70 F increases the CO Concentration only 0.7 PPM

The EPA safe DO water quality standard for freshwater lakes is 5 PPM DO concentration that is considered great, safe water DO quality for bass.

Question for you: If there is already plenty of dissolved oxygen (>8.0 PPM DO) in 80 F lake water/livewell water what do you believe is the real point of chilling lake 80 F water to 70 F when that lake water in your livewell is already 100% DO Saturated with > 8 PPM DO?

Ice may be no more than just an old, old ingrained habit. An auto response that has been read and practiced faithfully by bass fishermen and live bait fishermen for decades in the summer?

I don’t really see any low oxygen problems with 8 PPM DO for a regular limit of tournament bass in the box. Do any of you see any problem with this much natural DO in 80 F livewell water?

I have also heard biologist say at fishing shows that that IF you do not/never overcrowd your livewell with bass and run your aerator continuously and livewell water pumps, and there will be plenty DO in warm kivewell water,


Great trivia and tech stats on D.O. Something every bass angler should know. The point here is , bass are cold blooded and the cooler the water, the lower their motabolism meaning they require less o2. Release rates at tournaments easily show little to no mortality when the water is below 80F. Go to a CBA or big tx event in july or august and hang out near the release tanks. You will see a lot of fish struggling to survive or become rejuvinated. So lets assume we all have in- dash DO meters to monitor our livewell water. What does a guy do when pumps are running and a low 02 alarm goes off? Add ice I guess, lol. I think the big bene to additives like G Juice is for slime coat restoration and it is supposed to calm your catch. Maybe more hype. It's cheap and easy for me to refreeze my sports drink bottles and load them back into the boat. I use them for cooling my food and drinks anyway and it only takes a whopping 5 seconds to drop one in the well every hour. I don't measure the water temp . I know by feel that it is for sure cooler than the lake surface temp when I compare the two. Another consideration is - closed livewell lids with dark carpet get downright hot in the summer and transfer a lot of heat to the 02 layer above the water line heating the well water even more. Tip here is to run the fill and recirc pumps full time. (according to KVD , lol). You've inspired me to pick up a floating thermometer!
Posted by Tony M
6/3/2020 3:23 PM
For most tournament bass fishermen I know, the whole point of the tournament exercise is winning the $$ and if 1 fish dies in your livewell for any reason and you are punished for turning in 1 dead bass at weigh-in, all that work, preparation and tournament cost is all wasted.

But, why isn’t 100% DO Saturation with > than 8.0 PPM DO Concentration plenty of dissolved oxygen in any livewell water?
This DO concentration exceeds the minimal DO Concentration established by the US Environmental Protection Agency as healthy, “safe” DO level (5 PPM DO Concentration @ 100% DO Saturation) for fish by 3 PPM DO Concentration.

The minimal safe EPA Standard of 5 PPM DO is exceeded by an additional 3.0 PPM DO in excess of the safe DO oxygen concentration for the natural environmental DO Saturation @ 80 F (> 8.0 PPM DO).

What’s the point of chilling that livewell water with ice 10 F to increase the DO only 0.7 PPM increasing the DO up to > than 8.7 PPM?

Seems me that the 8.0 PPM DO concentration is plenty of oxygen in livewell when the “safe” EPA requirement for DO Concentration is only 5 PPM DO. 100 % DO Saturation.
Could there be a fishery biologist watching this thread and would join in, share opinion tell us why the 8.7 PPM DO is necessary because 8.0 PPM DO is not enough DO in livewell water and requiring intervention with ice, hypothermia and potential temperature shock for the additional 0.7 PPM DO going from cold livewell water to warmer holding tank water at the weigh-in and warmer live release boat hauling tank water.
Posted by Tony M
6/26/2020 7:25 AM
Hello Churley – Summer began last Saturday June 20, 2020. We’re a week into summer now and lake water is getting hotter every day.

Have you done any DO testing in any bass boat livewells yet?
It will be interesting to see your DO Test results in livewell containing fish… be sure you get the DO % Saturation test results when your testing with live fish in these livewell.

Testing DO livewell water with no fish in the livewell is totally meaningless… that’s like testing DO in a glass of water.
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