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All-Natural Algae Control with Barley Straw Extract – Water Garden Q & A

Barley Straw & Barley Straw Extract

Q: I have heard that barley straw will control algae. Is this true? Also I have noticed a product on the market called barley straw extract. Why can’t I just use a bale of barley straw? – Samantha of California

A: Barley Straw has been known for a long time to help in the control of algae. The concept is that as the straw decays, a chemical is released that will reduce algae growth. The problem with using actual Barley Straw is that it takes up to 8 weeks for the straw to decay and begin to work. It also “decays”, which means it puts nutrients back into the pond that will cause future algae growth.

We strongly recommend using an extract (liquid) such as Barley Straw Extract. The extract is the by product of rotting barley straw. This starts to work on contact instead of having to wait weeks for the straw to decay. It also will not contribute to the nutrient load and is all-natural and safe.

Another great benefit of using the Barley Straw Extract product is that it contains muck & sludge reducing bacteria.

4 Responses

  1. The best thing I have ever bought for my pond is a UV filter. They are fantastic and worth the money many times over in just money spent trying to control algae alone. With minimal effort my 350gal. pond stays clear, odor free, and in 4yrs I’ve never had a sick fish. I live in St. Augustine, Fl and have a UVF that can go in or out of the water. I have it out of the water and had no trouble with it in our especially cold winter this year!

    • UVs are very helpful in controlling green water in the pond. Just be aware of a couple things. One, a UV will not control string algae, only green water. Two, UV bulbs do need to be replaced every year to maintain effectiveness. Last but not least, if you are having problems with green water there is usually an underlying cause such as water quality, too many fish or not enough biological filtration. Adding a UV filter will give a quick fix to the problem and can be very useful, just make sure it doesn’t become the life support system of your pond.

  2. I have small pond(figure8,16″ deep,@500gal) barley extract not working. Very dissatisfied,water green, have pond partially shaded, change filter every couple of days, several small goldfish,two pumps circulated water and airateing it ,any suggestions??

    • Don,

      Planktonic Algae (Green Water), is a good sign that there is quite a bit of nutrients getting into your pond. Also, planktonic algae can replicate very fast so sometimes treating it can show little results.

      One question I have for you if you have “several” goldfish. Do you know approximately have many and how big they are? Having too many fish in a 500 gallon pond can definitely be a reason why you are having such a hard time with green water.

      Another question, what type of filtration do you have? Is it just a pump in the water? Do you have an external filtration system such as a pressurized filter? Do you have a waterfall or skimmer filter? This would help as well.

      If you don’t have a lot of fish and you still cannot get it under control I would highly suggest a UV Filter. They are fantastic for situations like this.

      Hope this helps!

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