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Bass Boat Oxygenator Opinions
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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.
Posted by Tony M
7/30/2020 9:03 AM
Hello Churley – Here we are in the middle of the Dog Day 2020, lake water is hot. The old problem with high summer mortality is back in full force. Aerators, livewell pumps and air vents are not working well now. Tournament fishermen are very concerned about livewell mortality and losing the prize because 1 fish died in their livewell, Same old deal just a different summer (2020).You know the July-August routine,

Anyway, have you done any livewell water quality DO testing with your meter yet or did you decide not to do any DO testing in bass boat livewells that contain a limit of bass gone away this summer?

Your tournament officials are not going to like or appreciate your DO testing in their tournaments because it will identify the suffocation problem that is the root cause for the high summer tournament bass kills… then the tournament directors have a lot of explaining to do as to why these tournament fish are suffocated in bass boat livewells. You know what I mean? The DO Meter doesn’t lie.

Are you going to do any DO Testing this summer, or no?
Posted by churly
8/4/2020 8:21 AM
No. Thanks to the Chineese Virus and our County government, I havent been able to fish a day TX since the first of June, and neither has anyone else in the CBA. Its been all night tournaments. If thats the case next year, Im going to have to find another trail to fish as I cant stand night tournaments. I have however fished a beneifit tournament held by some guys out of state and it was a massacre. Thankfully they didnt have many boats and those folks didnt catch many fish. But the weighed: dead fish ratio was disgusting.

We have had one great victory though. One of the hottest new young anglers on the lake (That killed some big fish in a night tx) has made the decision to install a system in his livewell. thats the first time Ive known of someone else installing one, other than the guy that showed me.
Posted by Tony M
11/3/2020 12:36 PM
The China virus has definitely changed life as we knew it last Thanksgiving/Christmas 2019.

A tournament fisherman’s attitude about livewell oxygen equipment can change quickly and dramatically when that fisherman realizes he has lost the price $ because he has failed to keep 1 winning fish alive in his livewell is a summer tournament. All that grief because the of poor livewell water quality, lo-dissolved oxygen saturation and a fish suffocated to death.

Not that fishery conservation isn’t noble or honorable, but to be perfectly frank; it’s clear to me that there are many summer day and night tournament fishermen may intentionally enjoy many hours of stress and anxiety… can I these fish to the weigh-in alive enough to avoid that dreaded “dead fish penalty?” If 1 fish dies in your livewell you will earn 1 dead fish punishment. It takes only 1 dead fish and you will lose the $ or prize. Hours of chronic livewell suffocation (hypoxia) is a horrific death that can be prevented.

By the way, livewell morbidity and mortality is markedly worse for summer night tournaments vs. summer day tournaments, especially for smallmouth bass.
Hopefully you can do your livewell DO testing next summer or summer 2022-2023 after an effective vaccine for the China virus becomes available. You will probably need new DO meter batteries by them.

If you are unfortunate to have purchased a Keep-A-Live oxygen system or you have a warranty issue with Keep-A-Live oxygen regulators, rocks or O2 tanks; Keep-A-Live The This Oxygen Infusor company is effectively went out of business for some reason. If you have a problem with their O2 Infusor equipment, they cannot be reached by phone, email, snail mail, Western Union, subpoena, private detective or carrier pigeon. They do have an answer machine, you can leave a message, but don’t get your hopes up expecting any return calls from Keep-A-Live.
This livewell Oxygen Infusor company in Florida has closed its doors and vanished!
Posted by churly
11/4/2020 4:21 PM
As long as my regulator doesnt screw up, Im fine. I buy my stones from an aquarium supply company and my lines from Ace hardware. My O2 comes from the local O2 company. I didnt loose a single fish all year.
Posted by Tony M
11/4/2021 2:26 PM
Interesting that you that mentioned using Ace Hardware air tubing for pure oxygen service. Plastic air tubing is real cheap and available at many stores. Cheap and easily available are pros, but there are also cons to consider too with that cheap, plastic air tubing when the source gas pure oxygen at 50 psi, not air @ 10 psi.
I’m aware of and just sharing some very important oxygen fire safety information with you and others that may use oxygen today for what that’s worth. For some fishermen that are using pure O2, this fire safety information may be T-totally worthless, considered a pathetic joke and a waste of internet broad band-space.
You may have heard or even read on fishing forums and websites that the combination of petroleum (oil base products) and pure oxygen are dangerous, not compatible and the fire/explosion hazard is combo is real and extreme.
Question: Do you use regular plastic air tubing or rubber tubing Ace Hardware sells or maybe plastic aquarium air tubing sometimes?
Fact: All plastic air tubing sold at Ace Hardware stores, big box stores, aquarium stores, retain petroleum in the plastic post manufacturing.
Fact: Ambient air and pure oxygen are 2 extremely different gases, always have been and always will so be awake, be wary to the bro-science brothers recommendations and be vigilant. Never confuse the fire safety difference between oxygen, air and contact with petroleum. Your life may depend on knowing this fact someday.
Fact: Inside your Ace plastic or rubber air tubing is pure 100% compressed O2. The oxygen tension (partial pressure) inside your Ace air tubing is near 3.5 atmospheres tension. That increase the heat and fire potential of that pure O2 X 3.
Fact: Like you just said, “I didn’t loose a single fish last year.” You have 1st hand experience that oxygen absolutely keeps fish alive and healthier than mechanical aeration, livewell water pumps, spray bars and livewell chemicals in the summer season. “The proof is in the pudd’in” so they say.
Fact: When you see or hear these words, “Oxygen-rich and oxygen-enrichment” what do they mean? These word combinations both mean the same thing; both mean the gaseous environment contains 23.5% oxygen to 100% oxygen or oxygen supersaturation concentrations. Ambient air only contains 20.9% oxygen at sea level or on the top of the Rocky Mountains or at Jackson Square in the French Quarter in New Orleans below sea level.
Oxygen–enrichment is not possible by pumping more ambient air or any oxygen concentrations below 23.5% oxygen concentration. Air is a mixture of gases containing only 20.9% oxygen gas and change/78.9% Nitrogen gas plus a few trace gases (< 0.2% more or less).
Oxygen-injections system and bass boat Oxygenators are both capable of delivering 100% oxygen, certainly capable of producing oxygen-enrichment and oxygen-rich environments.
Pure oxygen works extremely well when it’s necessary. In the summer when you’re hauling live tournament fish or live bait fish all day in livewell/bait tanks and for sick COVID-19 patients too… That’s only if the dose of pure oxygen is high enough and delivered continuously.
Fish care and transport success is dependent on the fisherman’s knowledge and ability to insure optimal transport water quality in the livewell/bait tank, gas chemistry, fish physiology and reducing and eliminating fish stressors. Sustained hypoxic stress being the most serious stress, the quickest and deadliest stressor for captive fish being transported in the summer months.
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