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Sure-Life bait problem solver
Problem Appearance Cause Proper Action Notes
Acidic Water
(Low pH)
Water may appear yellowish. Baitfish may dart and at surface. Acidic water supply, decaying fish waste or food. Bring pH up to 7.0 (neutral) with pH-RAISE. To help maintain a more constant pH, change 20-30% of water in tank on a daily basis, siphoning from the bottom of the tank.
Adding New Water Baitfish are distressed. Chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals or ammonia in water supply. Treat water with proper SURE-LIFE water conditioner, such as BETTER-BAIT or FINER-SHINER. All of our water conditioners remove chlorine, heavy metals, and harmful gases instantly.
Ammonia Dead fish's gills are brown instead of red. Water may be cloudy. Infrequent water changes, decaying food, and or chloramines in water supply. Perform daily partial water changes of 20-30%. Use NO-MMONIA to remove chloramines. Monitor your pH, as ammonia is more toxic at a high pH. Use NO-PIKE or pH-DROP to help lower pH.
Anchor Worms Half inch, threadlike white worm, attached to fish A parasitic crustacean (Lernaea). Use PARA-GONE. Maintain strong aeration while using PARA-GONE.
Basic Water
(High pH)
Baitfish pike at surface, and white water marks visible around tank. Hard water supply. Use NO-PIKE or pH DROP. Hard water maintains a high and stable pH where ammonia is more toxic. If possible, soften water with a water softener.
Bass Hook Wounds Flesh of bass injured with hooks. Use of treble hooks. Place a pinch of PLEASE RELEASE ME on wounds. PLEASE RELEASE ME helps insure that bass are alive and healthy for weigh in and later release.
Bass Losses Bass lose their sense of stability and cannot swim upright in livewell. Bass have lost electrolytes and have stopped producing slime coating. Water may be fouled from accumulated waste and/or water may be to hot. Use PLEASE RELEASE ME in livewells and weigh in tanks. Use ice to help cool water. Use PLEASE RELEASE ME year round to help keep bass alive for later release. PLEASE RELEASE ME helps increase chances of winning with live bass.
Bass Tournament Fish Die Off Bass are found floating in release area days after bass tournament is held. Bass are placed under great stress during weigh in. Each individual bass fisherperson should treat their livewells with either
PLEASE RELEASE ME granules or TIME RELEASE TABLETS in their boats throughout the day.
Tournament directors should be using PRO-BASS TANK FORMULA #1 & #2 in all weigh in tanks. It is the responsibility of each tournament director to ensure that proper handling techniques are utilized throughout the entire tournament.
Blue Back
Herring Losses
Herring become soft, lose their scales and die. Water lacks sufficient electrolytes. Water may be too hot and foam may be present on water surface. Use SHAD-KEEPER at double the recommended dosage. Use round bait tanks along with SHAD-KEEPER and ice to cool the water.
Calming Bait Fish injure selves while being transported. Overcrowding of shipping container. Use TRANQUIL in shipping water. Read instructions on TRANQUIL bottle completely before using. Shipping fish in water which has temperature of 85° F (or higher) is not recommended.
Chloramines In
City Water
Fish die from chloramine toxicity. Gills are brown instead of bright red. Water company uses chloramines instead of chlorine to make water safe for human consumption. Use NO-MMONIA for removing chloramines. Use an ammonia test kit to check for ammonia levers. Always use one of our appropriate water conditioners such as BETTER-BAIT or FINER-SHINER along with NO-MMONIA.
Chlorine In
City Water/Ice
Fish become distressed and die from chlorine burning their gills. Chlorine added to city water to make water safe for human consumption. Use BETTER-BAIT, FINER-SHINER, LCR, SHRIMP-KEEPER, CRAWFISH-SAVER, CHOVY-SAVER, or POGEY-SAVER. All SURE-LIFE water conditioners remove chlorine instantly from city water.
Clamped Fins Fins on fish are held close to body. Gill or body parasites. Use PARA-GONE. Maintain strong aeration during the use of PARA-GONE to avoid clouding water from decaying parasites.
Columaris White cottony growth resembling a fungus, sprouting from fins and body. Bacterial disease caused by Flexobacter (Chondrococcus). Use FUNGUS-AID FUNGUS-AID readily dissolves and is compatible with all SURE-LIFE products.
Corner Gathering (Bait Not Schooling) Baitfish gather in corners of bait tank and do not school. Fish are unaccustomed to city water which lacks tannins and lignins which are common to their home waters. Use NO-PIKE. NO-PIKE helps simulate the natural water where baitfish are raised. Fish begin to school again and losses are reduced.
Crawfish Losses Crawfish become soft and large losses occur. Crawfish are susceptible to chlorine, ammonia and disease causing organisms in bait tank water. Use CRAWFISH-SAVER CRAWFISH-SAVER removes harmful chlorine and ammonia from water and helps reduce fungus and bacteria.
Dingy Water
With Odors
Bait tank water is cloudy and has odors. Tank should be cleaned and partial water changes done on a more frequent basis. Be careful not to overfeed and remove any dead bait often. Perform 20-30% partial water changes on a daily basis. Treat water with one of SURE-LIFE's appropriate water conditioners. Clean tanks with TLC (Tank & Livewell Cleaner). Use SWEET-WATER BLOCKS in water to keep cloudy water and slime build-up to a minimum.
Dirty Bait Tanks And Livewells Tanks have stains, hard water deposits and slime build-up. Infrequent cleanings of tanks and possible hard water supply. Use TLC (Tank & Livewell Cleaner). TLC (Tank and Livewell Cleaner) may be used straight from the bottle or used as a diluted cleaning solution.
Dropsy (Fish Bloat) Fish bloated with scales standing out edgewise. Damage to kidneys from disease. Use FUNGUS-AID. FUNGUS-AID readily dissolves and is compatible with all SURE-LIFE products. Maintain partial water changes during treatment.
Dry And
Soft Baitfish
Fish lose their scales, feel soft and are "dry" to the touch. Fish are stressed and in need of electrolytes. Use a SURE-LIFE water conditioner along with
BTS (Bait Tank Salt) to replenish electrolytes and reduce stress.
All SURE-LIFE water conditioners reduce stress. BTS (Bait Tank Salt) is especially useful in replacing electrolytes and in hardening scales.
Filtering Water Water is cloudy and has odor. Ammonia problems from infrequent water changes and lack of filtering device. Install filter using BAIT BOX FILTERING CHARCOAL and AMMONIA EXTRACT. Using these products helps set up a biological and chemical filtration system.
Fin Rot Fins are frayed and eaten away with visible redness. Pseudomonas or Aeromonas bacteria with secondary infection of Saprolegnia fungus. Use FUNGUS-AID. Maintain daily partial water changes to help keep water fresh and free of cloudiness.
Fish Louse Fish rub against sides of tank trying to remove small skin parasites which may be seen with close observation. Argulus, or more commonly referred to as Fish Louse, which is a blood sucking saucer shaped parasite. Use PARA-GONE. Maintain heavy aeration of the water during the use of PARA-GONE to avoid the clouding of water from decaying parasites.
Foam On
Water Surface
Foamy bubbles on surface of water. Protein breakdown from thrown slime coat, decaying fish and/or uneaten fish food. Use FOAM-OFF. If foam is not removed, fish may suffocate, since 90% of the oxygen transfer in water occurs at the surface of water.
Ghost Shrimp Losses Ghost Shrimp die in captivity. Ghost Shrimp are very sensitive to ammonia poisoning and special care must be given to properly treat the water. Use SHRIMP-KEEPER in holding tanks and SHRIMP-BUDDIES in small 1-2 gallon shrimp buckets. SURE-LIFE saltwater conditioners remove ammonia and reduce incidence of diseases.
Gill Flukes Gills are pumping rapidly and hang open. Small gill parasites properly called Gyrodactylus. Use PARA-GONE. Maintain heavy aeration of the water during the use of PARA-GONE to avoid the clouding of water from decaying parasites.
Goldfish Losses Fish are distressed, become soft, and eventually die. Water needs to be properly treated and fish need addition of electrolytes to reduce stress. Use FINER-SHINER in water at all times and especially BTS (Bait Tank Salt) is useful for hardening scales and reducing stress. FINER-SHINER totally conditions water removing chlorine and reduces the incidences of disease. BTS (Bait Tank Salt) is useful for hardening scales and reducing stress.
Hardwater Deposits White water marks seen on tanks and equipment. Hardwater deposits are from high content of calcium and magnesium salts in water supply. Clean tanks and equipment with TLC (Tank And Livewell Cleaner). TLC (Tank And Livewell Cleaner) keeps tanks and equipment looking and working like brand new.
Hauling Bait Water may be cloudy and foam may be present. Fish tend to become soft. Tanks may be overcrowded and water may be too warm. Fish may have not been purged prior to hauling. Condition water with an appropriate water conditioner such as BETTER-BAIT or FINER-SHINER. Also use TRANQUIL to help calm bait. Use FOAM-OFF to remove surface foam. BAIT-SHIPPIN' STICKS may be used to remove organics from water and SHINER-START should be used prior to shipping. Proper care of baitfish prior to and during transport will reduce losses and help ensure that the finest bait is available to customers. Quality bait helps secure more customers and helps maintain customer loyalty.
Heavy Metals
In Water Supply
Fish may be lethargic and losses occur for no apparent reason. Heavy metals such as copper may be present in water. Always use a SURE-LIFE water conditioner depending on the type of bait being held. SURE-LIFE water conditioners instantly chelate out heavy metals. Heavy metals disrupt the immune system of baitfish.
emmorrhagic Septicemia Red streaks on fins and body. Caused by a bacteria: Aeromonas (liquefaciens) hydrophylia. Use FUNGUS-AID. Keep FUNGUS-AID close at hand since disease outbreaks can happen quickly and large losses can occur.
Herring Losses Fish become distressed and die quickly. Lack of proper electrolytes and possible foam on water. Use SHAD-KEEPER at twice the recommended dosage. With the use of SHAD-KEEPER we recommend the use of round bait tanks and the monitoring of water temperature.
Ick (Ichthyopthirius Multifilius) White knots (1/25" in size) on eyes, skin and/or fins of fish. Caused by the ciliated parasite, Ichthyopthirius multifilius. Use ICK-OFF. Left untreated, the ick parasite easily reproduces and may infect the entire tank of fish.
Mouth Rot Flesh around mouth is eaten away. Dual infection of primarily Psuedomonas or Aeromonas bacteria with secondary infection of Saprolegnia fungus. Use FUNGUS-AID. Keep tank water in top condition by maintaining daily partial water changes during treatment.
Nets & Brushes (Dry and Dirty) Nets are abrasive from being dry and spread disease from being dirty. Brushes become dirty between uses. Nets left out in open and become dry. Nets also carry disease organisms from tank to tank. Dirty scrub brushes spread disease between tanks. Use NET-GUARD. NET-GUARD solutions should be used for storing nets and brushes in between use. NET-GUARD keeps nets moist and soft plus stops the spread of disease between tanks. It is a good idea to also keep scrub brushes in NET-GUARD solution between use to help keep clean.
Nitrite Poisoning Blood in gills is brown instead of red. Biological filter is not working properly or tank is in need of cleaning. Always use the correct SURE-LIFE water conditioner depending on the type bait being held and maintain daily partial water changes. Check filtering material to make sure that nothing is clogged up. Replace old and clogged components. Clean tank with TLC (Tank & Livewell Cleaner).
Oxygen Depletion In Bait/Shrimp Buckets Bait comes to surface gulping for air. Overcrowding of bait bucket causes short supply of oxygen in water. For freshwater bait, use BAIT-BUDDIES, for Saltwater baits, use SHRIMP-BUDDIES. BAIT-BUDDIES and
SHRIMP-BUDDIES not only deliver oxygen to bait bucket water for 24 hours, but also totally condition water to keep bait alive longer while fishing.
Parasites Various symptoms include baitfish scratching against sides of bait tanks, fins clamped together, and/or gills pumping rapidly. Parasites include anchor worms, fish louse, and other parasitic worms. Use PARA-GONE. Maintain strong aeration during use of PARA-GONE to avoid clouding the water from dead parasites.
Pogey/Menhadden Losses Baitfish become stressed and losses quickly occur. Pogeys and menhadden are especially sensitive to ammonia poisoning and become stressed from lack of electrolytes. Use POGEY/MENHADDEN-SAVER. POGEY/MENHADDEN-SAVER works also on croakers, mullet, mud minnows, piggy perch, goggle eyes and pilchards.
Receiving New Bait occur after receiving new shipment of baitfish. Lack of partial water changes in holding tank may cause ammonia problems. Have water freshened up with either partial water change or by changing out entire tank prior to receiving new shipment of baitfish. Treat water with an appropriate SURE-LIFE water conditioner along with BTS (Bait Tank Salt), and clean empty tanks with TLC (Tank & Livewell Cleaner) prior to filling with new water. Maintain high water quality with daily 20-30% partial water changes. If possible, avoid adding water from your bait haulers tanks.
Saprolengnia Moldy looking slime on body of fish and fins may be frayed. Parasitic fungus called Saprolegnia attacking fish. Use FUNGUS-AID. Saprolegnia is usually associated with a primary bacterial disease which is also properly treated with FUNGUS-AID.
Shad Tanks Shad lose scales, become soft and die. Foam is present on water. Improper and inadequate water conditioning. Improper bait tank. Use round bait tanks and SHAD-KEEPER. SHAD-KEEPER adds all necessary electrolytes, removes harmful ammonia and keeps foam from forming on surface water.
(Wild & Hatchery)
Shiners turn soft, lose scales and die quickly in captivity. Stress leads to lost slime coating, lost electrolytes and possible disease. To purge freshly caught shiners, use SHINER-START for three days followed by continuous use of FINER-SHINER. During certain times of year, shiners will pike at surface of water. Use NO-PIKE with FINER-SHINER to shop piking.
Shrimp Losses Freshly caught bait shrimp die in captivity. Ammonia in water causes shrimp to die quickly. SHRIMP-KEEPER. SHRIMP-KEEPER removes ammonia from saltwater, retards surface foam formation, fights fungus and bacteria, and removes chlorine instantly.
Skin Lesions Open sores on body of baitfish. Caused by Aeromonas Salmonicida bacteria. Commonly referred to as Furunculosis. Use FUNGUS-AID. When treating this disease, clean water is very important. Maintain daily 30% partial water changes.
Slime In Bait Tank Bait tank is covered with layer of unsightly slime. Infrequent water changes lead to bacteria, fungus, and mold growing on walls and bottom of tank. Clean tank with TLC (Tank & Livewell Cleaner). Maintain quality water conditions with SWEET-WATER BLOCKS. TLC (Tank & Livewell Cleaner) works on plastic, fiberglass, concrete, glass and metal surfaces.
Soft Bait
(Losing Scales)
Scales found floating in tank. Fish are soft to touch. Fish are stressed and need electrolytes. Check water ammonia level. Add double dose of BETTER-BAIT or FINER-SHINER along with suggested amount of BTS (Bait Tank & Salt). Use NO-PIKE if fish are surface swimming. Check water temperature and make sure it is not too hot. Maintain daily partial water changes.
Stain In Bait
Tanks Or Livewells
Tanks have stained sides and bottom. Stains originate from normal use and/or use of water conditioners. Use TLC (Tank & Livewell Cleaner). TLC (Tank & Livewell Cleaner) works on plastic, fiberglass, gel coating, glass, concrete and metal surfaces.
Surface Swimming Baitfish do not form schools, but instead gather in corners, swim erratically and die off in large quantities. Fish react negatively to city or well water which lacks the organic compounds they are used to in their original ponds where they were raised. Use NO-PIKE along with either BETTER-BAIT or FINER-SHINER. If the fish are very soft also use BTS (Bait Tank Salt). NO-PIKE replaces in city and well water the natural tannins and lignins baitfish must have to remain healthy and in good shape.
Thin, Starving Bait Fish bellies are sunken in and fish die for no apparent disease reason. Fish have been out of their home waters for several weeks with no one offering them any food. Feed BAIT-VITTLES, which is available in either floating pellets or granules. Simplify the need to feed on a daily basis by using our automatic BAIT-VITTLES FEEDING BLOCKS. Fish losses may occur not to disease or improper water conditions, but because they are simply starving to death. Cut your losses by keeping our fish food handy.
Walleye Losses Walleye die in livewells during tournaments. Walleye go belly up in boats' livewell after being caught. Use WALLEYE-SAVER in either granules or TIME RELEASE TABLETS. WALLEYE-SAVER replaces lost electrolytes, fights fungus and bacteria, removes harmful pesticides and have metals from livewell water. WALLEYE-SAVER also calms walleye to reduce injury and removes chlorine so city ice may be used to cool water.
Warm Water Fish are very distressed, lose their balance and become soft. Water is hot and low in oxygen content. Cool water temperature with either ice or mechanical means. When cooling water with ice, be sure to use a water conditioner to remove any chlorine which may be in the ice.
White Spot
Disease (Ick)
White knots (1/25" in size) on eyes, skin and/or fins of fish. Caused by the ciliated parasite, Ichthyopthirius multifilius. Use ICK-OFF Left untreated, the ick parasite easily reproduces and may infect the entire tank of fish.
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