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Livewell experts needed

Rodfather73Rodfather73 Tampa, FlPosts: 31 Greenhorn
Hey guys. I have a 24 gallon moeller livewell. I've plumped the well with a fill and a drain. The issue i need to solve is the lid. It has two hole in the top and a half hole on the rim, not sure what they are for exactly. Looking to secure the lid. Any thoughts.


  • Rodfather73Rodfather73 Tampa, FlPosts: 31 Greenhorn
    One note, i have it draining to a fill capacity of 18 gallons for weight issues. it will double as a seat.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,563 Captain
    The two holes are for your fingers to remove the lid. The half hole in the lid edge is probably for an air hose if you wanted to add aeration. There are several ways you could secure the lid but that would only be necessary if you are using it in a small boat in rough  seas and/or the live well is being mounted in front of your console.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,098 AG
    edited May 2018 #4
    I'd cut the top in half and put in a stainless steel hinge connecting the two halves, then attach one half of the top to the tank if for some reason it doesn't stay in place (but it should) -- that way you can flip open half of the top to access the bait without having to remove the whole thing.

    If you need to attach the top, I'd cut two pieces of starboard (or similar material) and screw them into the top from below -- simply rotating under the lip of the tank to lock the top in place.

    That well should work well for sardines. 

    What size pump did you get?  How do you intend on getting fresh water into the tank?
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,563 Captain
    edited May 2018 #5
    You could just cut out two small notches in the lid on opposite sides and then mount two pieces of aluminum bent maybe 70 or 80 degrees in an “L” shape above the lid, so the lid could be turned a bit to cam lock it in place. You would have to bend a relatively thick piece of aluminum to serve as the cams. ¼ or even 1/8 inch thick alum would probably work. Cutting the lid in half might weaken it too much too serve as a seat.

  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,098 AG
    That would work too!  Good idea.
  • Rodfather73Rodfather73 Tampa, FlPosts: 31 Greenhorn
    Tarpon. I have a 500 gph pump. Supplying 8 gallons per minute . I have an adjustable rate fill opposite the drain about 2 to 3 inches higher.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,228 Moderator
    Baitwells  shouuld fill at the bottom and drain at the top for circulation
  • Rodfather73Rodfather73 Tampa, FlPosts: 31 Greenhorn
    Jack. I've never had my fill from the bottom.  But I guess it's possible and would work. But I like having the ability to aerate the water in the tank.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,228 Moderator
    You don't need to aerate it if it fills from the bottom and drains from the top,  You are always pushing old water out and fresh in, instead of filling from the top where it also drains right out
  • permit_mepermit_me Posts: 1,138 Officer
    make sure this is secure on the boat. a big wake, unexpected rough seas/storms, etc. could cause it to slop around, having 20 gals spill onto deck in a storm on a small boat would be a PITA
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,335 Captain
    If it were me I'd also want to get a look at Kodiak or KeepAlive,  and other systems that keep bait in really good condition - just to see exactly how they were plumbed since you not only want that bottom feeding clean water inlet - you also want it canted to induce a good circular motion to your water flow without beating up your baits. 

    In addition it's also handy to have drop in aerator (like KeepAlive makes) that will allow  you to catch or buy bait - then trailer down the road to where you'll dropping in and using that bait when your boat is back in the water and can begin to use that tank properly.   That's what I do with my in-hull livewell for keeping shrimp and crabs kicking and have to go fifty miles down to Flamingo from Homestead (the closest bait spot...).  My old KeepAlive has been in hard commercial service now for more than 20 years....

    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Rodfather73Rodfather73 Tampa, FlPosts: 31 Greenhorn
    Ive been fishing my entire life and never bottom filled my livewell. lol. Im definitely going to read about it now. Does it make that much of a difference? ive got it plumbed to top fill now and its in with 5200. I think im going to just run a piece of pvc from the fill on a 90 degree towards the bottom.
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,373 Officer
    Bottom fill is the way to go. Out with the old and in with the new. Air or oxygen injection is a lifesaver for traveling with bait overland. Oxygen will keep them frisky in hot weather.
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 17,098 AG
    edited May 2018 #15
    Jack and others are right about pumping from the bottom, particularly if you have a tall or deep well.

    However, that's not a deep well, so if you point your inflow down towards the bottom at a 45 degree  angle, it should flush the water off the bottom (and create a good circular flow) just fine.

    Bottom filled wells have one disadvantage -- they can drain themselves in certain circumstances (for instance the well gets turned off) -- so plumbing in a check valve is probably a good idea.

    Regardless of what you end up doing, I'd consider putting an even larger pump in it if you are considering putting a lot of bait in it -- like a 700 or even bigger.  

    No matter what you do, DO NOT run a pipe to the bottom along the inside edge of the well -- the bait will run into it or get stuck behind it and it will be a disaster.

  • Rodfather73Rodfather73 Tampa, FlPosts: 31 Greenhorn
    You guys are awesome again.  Tarpon .you're correct .the well is not very deep and the overflow is about 13 inchs from the bottom to achieve the 18 gallon capacity 
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