As we know the cooler the water, the more oxygen is penetrated. I hear allot of guys say they put soda bottles of frozen ice in there live wells to keep the water cooler, but does it really help?

 Sure it will cool it some initially but it will not maintain its coolness for long. My theory is, (water frozen in pop bottle dont work well) and here’s why.The diagram below  shows a bottle half melted, in the beginning as you initiualy put your frozen pop bottle in your live well, is when it will cool the most, but then after you get some melt water surrounding the ice and is trapped inside of a non-cold transferring material, the melt water kind of act like an insulator, preventing the ice from actually cooling your live tank sufficiently. 

now i understand why guys are doing this, for the fish. anglers are not wanting to harm the fish with tap,  chlorine water and i do applaud their efforts.

But honestly  a couple gallons of tap water will not harm your fish in a 60-100 gallon live tank, and the truth be known, the fish are probably living/swimming in more harmful substances than the chlorine now!

i have found that blocks or chunks of ice has worked best for me, i will buy it, or make it which ever, depends on the situation im presented with.  To make block/chunk  ice I will fill gallon zip lock bags with water and freeze them, but when I’m ready to cool my water, i will remove the zip lock bags so that my tank water is in direct contact with the ice, resulting a more efficient cool down and will also be easier to maintain a desired temperature through out the day.

P.S. be sure to discard your old zip locks in the proper place.


  1. jholl949 says:

    I usually don’t try and have more fresh bait than I need for my jugs/trot line.
    If I do, keeping them lively is important. I think the chunk ice is a great idea. I’ll have to try it 1st chance I get.

  2. mr. baker says:

    Great idea to pre-freeze a few bags of water. If fearful of the chlorine, why not put a drop of de-chlorinator in the water before the bag is put in the freezer?

  3. blackhorse says:

    Great topic Steve, I have been using frozen milk jugs for years. If you are worried about the chemicals in the water, set them out before freezing them for a day or so and the chemicals will disapate and the water will be fine.

  4. wyliecat says:

    Going from frozen state to liquid, a two liter bottle of frozen water will lower the water temperature just as much as bare block of 2 liters of frozen ice.

    It is simple chemistry and heat transfer.

    THE DIFFERENCE is that the ice will do it a lot faster. This can be good, and this can also be bad depending whether you are dealing with bait or a livewell of catfish. The bottles at least allow a slow decrease in water temperature, and this can be less tressful on the fish.

    You never really want to lower you water temperature more than 10 degrees anyway. So, rapid and radically cooling is not really neccesary.

  5. evilfud says:

    Funny that i am reading this as i just built a bait tank and was gonna go out and buy some 2 litres just for doing this. Now i think i will just buy the dollar bags of ice lol.


  6. Chris Cordia says:

    Great subject. I just bought a new Seaark and with the all aluminim livewell it gets hot. While on the water it seems better than when trailering. I will be bringing some blocks with me on tournament day. Thanks for the tip.

  7. reb says:

    Great tip,always used frozen jugs before,will give it a try.

  8. Doctor says:

    I’m currently working on a cooler method for my 125 gallon livewell, so far it is working well but still experimenting with it………Doc

  9. dallas1 says:

    i dont think froze city water hurts like people may think i keep a big tank in the basement for live bait.
    i keep it filled with city water i dont add cemmicals to it at all it is strait city water and i very rarely have a bait fish die. so i agree add the ice strait to the live well its not going to hurt them!

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