BCB Livewells operation is based upon an adequate mixture of all the necessities for your fish. Oxygen is only a part of that. Other factors are the Ph or alkaline levels, as well as the ammonia content. We all excrete ammonia, and your fish are no different.
The ammonia is broken up by the recirulator as it is heavy and falls to the bottom of the livewell. The recirc. should always be in use if you have one. If you do not, then you depend on the valve ratio which is a 60/40 mixture of fresh and recirculation.
Several systems have programmable aeration, though todays only have timers and they are set up on manual, 1 mintue on and five minutes off, 1 mintue on and 3 minutes off. These are indicated on the Touch Pad as such. We would use one (1) and five (5) this time of the season. As water warms into the 80 degree mark, we would use three minutes off.
The BP dashes (400, 2000, 100 and 101) all have prgrammable aeration and recirulation. The default is 12 minutes off and 1 minute on. This is only a default setting, and they should be set to about 2 minutes on and 8 minutes off for this time of the year. Default times are fine in the winter time and cool water. Though in spring, lets bump that up to the 8 or 9 minutes off and 1 mintue on.
As spring resides to summer, lets put the programmable timers on 7 minutes off and 3 minutes on for southern areas. Northern areas can be best served by the 8 minutes and 2 mintues on rule.
Directions on programming are in your dash manual and you probably need a short course on the functions of your dash if you don’t kjnow about hte programming. It does way more than you probably know about. Some have security systems and much more.
Too much aeration makes your fish a bit more hyper from our experience. So we try to mix those ratios based on our experience and data.
The aeration on a BCB works by the small injection sytem from those 5 or 6 1/8″ holes per side. These create micro bubbles that dissipate the ammonia when they inject into the upper layer of livewell water. We are actually creating some agitation of the water when the spray bar injects that upper layer.
The use of the aerators and recirc, are depending on your needs. The only time we would turn off the aeration is in slack water where there is a drastic temperature difference from a main river system. We would use the recircuatlor on manual in that slack water. Then we would depend on the recirculator. Otherwise we would use the aeration and recircualtion together on timers.
The overflow may not keep up with the main aerator on all the time at manual. The overflow is about a 1″ outlet, though it is a drain at static pressure, and the head pressure is putting in more water than some systems use. So do not turn on the Fresh water in and the aeration together for long periods, you will overflow the welsl into your boat, storage and elsewhere.
The Fresh water in and pump out systems were initially for culling on those reservoirs where you have lots of small limits, and this eases that process. You can pump it down, tag your fish, and fill it quickly. If you need to redo the process later, you can reorganize those larger fish and smallest again by repeating that process. Gaining those critical ounces we all look for. And we already caught the fish, so let’s get the largest ones in the wells.
The secondary gain on these systems were the weigh in and ease of removing fish from the livewells. Though the realitiy is that it was created for the old Lake Guntersville BASS events and 60 fish a day on a trap in those tournaments on a 7 fish limit. It made culling a lot easier.
The spray bars can become clogged with debris, cradad parts, scales, grass and such. If they do they should be clean out. Some models have a flush valve in them for this reason. The spray bar should be cleaned by pressing a probe into the 1/8″ holes, and the trash is pressed into the spray bar. Next the flush valves are opened and the trash in the spray bar is flushed into the bilge.
If your model does not have a flush valve, then you can depress the trash when it is dry and try to dislodge the debris, or you can add a flush valve if you desire.
Otherwise you can reverse flush the spray bar on those systems without a flush valve. Though remove all of the screens so that the trash can go out, for this. You can try air in the spray bars on those dry also. DON’T make the holes larger than they are. The holes are a part of the aeration process, which evacuate ammonia by aerating the water on top with recirculation. Those large holes on other boats give you flow, though they flowing ammonia back into those wells and the active oxygen subsides.
That about sums up a simple livewell use segment. We hope this helps and that all understand the livewells systems in their “Cats”.