Eliminate Algae in a Pond Using Natural Ingredients

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Eng, Lynn

The modern day Green revolution has been motivating many homeowners to make use of organic or natural solutions to any imaginable problem that springs out. One of the huge issues that a property owner could have is pond algae proliferation. Algae are natural elements in ponds. They actually balance out the amount of carbon dioxide and dissolved oxygen in the pond water. However, there are certain factors that make algal growth a lot quicker. Because of busy schedules, pond owners sometimes lose control of these factors. This results in pond algae infestation, and that is never a desirable thing. The supposed centerpiece of the lawn becomes an eyesore. It also becomes a hazard to you and the members of your household. Eliminate algae in a pond using natural ingredients and you will always have a clean and clear body of water on your property without worrying about contamination.

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Choosing the Natural Way

It is often a conflict for homeowners whether to use synthetic or natural means to deal with any issue on their property, especially when it concerns their pond. A pond is as important as any component in your property. You need to maintain it well so that it won't be a source of diseases or vectors that could result in an epidemic. Pond algae encourages the deterioration of the pond. It deoxygenizes the water so that the pond could no longer support any life. Algae can be controlled naturally. If you go in this direction, you will be able to control algae without worrying about contaminating the surrounding environment and your clean water supply.

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How to Use Barley in Eliminating Pond Algae

Using barley as a means to control or eradicating algae in ponds is an alternative considered as organic, safe, and economical. Barley straw is easy to acquire and use. All you have to do is consider following in using barley straw to eliminate pond algae:

  1. 1
    Take the temperature of the pond water
    If the pond water is only 40 degrees, then it will take about two weeks for the barley straw's compounds to be released. If the water temperature is above 40 degrees, it will only take a week for the barley compounds to be active.
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  2. 2
    Make sure that the pond water receives full oxygenation
    Oxygen helps in the complete decomposition of the barley straw.
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  3. 3
    Loosen up the barley straw even if you have to apply lots of it
    Loose barley straw allows water movement in the pond while compacted barley straw inhibits water movement. This reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. The loose straw should then be placed in a sack or netting, which is then placed in the center of the pond. Remember that your algae-infested pond already has deoxygenated water. If you put compacted barley straw, you will only aggravate the situation.
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  4. 4
    Use floats to suspend the loose straw to about 3 or 4 feet deep into the pond
    You can anchor the floats with cement-filled containers or bricks.
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  5. 5
    Calculate the amount of barley straw that suits your pond
    The surface area of the pond is a factor that influences the amount of barley straw that you should add into the water. If your pond already has a history of pond algae, then for every 10 square feet of pond surface area you should provide 0.8 ounces of barley straw. This is equivalent to an acre of pond requiring 225 pounds of barley straw. You can try administering a lower dose of barley straw, but it should not be less than 0.3 ounces of barley straw per 10 square feet of pond (90 pounds per acre). You should consult a professional when it comes to calculating the right amount of barley straw so that you won't end up deoxygenizing your pond and killing the aquatic life.
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  6. 6
    Keep water movement going on the surface of the pond
    This will encourage proper oxygenation of the barley straw. Oxygenation enhances the decomposition that takes place.
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Barley as an Effective Ingredient in Controlling Algae

With barley straw, you will have a very effective form of pond algae elimination. In Europe, it was used to treat pond algae while maintaining the optimal conditions of the fish and aquatic plants. Compared to other types of straw, such as wheat, barley straw gives you long-term effectiveness. Hay is a type of straw that only increases the algal population because it readily releases more nutrients into the water. Using barley straw will surely discourage algal growth, especially if you do the treatment regularly.

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Barley's Speed

Barley straw becomes activated the moment you introduce it to your pond. Its effectiveness is dependent on the type of algae that your pond is infested with. For unicellular, small algae species, it will only take about six to eight weeks of barley straw treatment. If your pond is home to blank weeds or larger, filamentous algae, expect a longer period of treatment. Using barley straw in a pond that has a very dense algal population will not be very effective. It would be ideal to add the barley straw during the start of spring season, even before the algae starts growing.

Always monitor the weather before you apply barley straw. Never apply it when it is hot. During hot weather, the dissolved oxygen demand and the population of algae both increase. Adding barley straw at this point will completely strip the water of dissolved oxygen. Aquatic life will decrease when you allow this to happen.

What Barley Straw Does

The effectiveness of barley straw takes place the moment it starts to decompose. This happens when the pond and the barley straw are adequately oxygenated. If there is ample dissolved oxygen in the pond, the barley straw will immediately rot. Rotting of the straw brings about the release of the products needed for decomposition. Large amounts of barley straw will crowd the pond and decrease the amount of oxygen. The process will then become anaerobic decomposition. Anaerobic decomposition will not help eliminate algae because this process adds more nutrients into the water.

Below are the things that barley straw does in your pond:

  1. 1
    Algal growth is inhibited
    Barley straw releases chemicals that inhibit the growth of algae.
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  • 2
    Aquatic plants and animals are kept safe.
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  • 3
    Invertebrates thrive in barley straw
    Fish thrive in turn because of the invertebrates.
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  • 4
    Gill function is improved
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  • 5
    Phosphorus in the pond water is reduced
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  • Truly, barley straw is a natural ingredient that could effectively eliminate pond algae. With it, you will be able to keep the pond organisms and the surrounding environment safe. Discuss its proper use with your pond expert so that you can maximize its benefits and not end up aggravating the algal problem.


    • A muddy pond deactivates barley straw's decomposing products.
    • If you have many aquatic plants, you will have less pond algae.
    • You won't have to add barley straw if you have lots of higher aquatic plants in and around your pond.
    • It will benefit the pond if you have few or even no fish at all.

    Questions and Answers

    How to calculate oxygen need for algae infested pond?

    There is no sure shot method for calculating oxygen in an algae infested pond. However, you should remember that, the more the algae, the more the levels of oxygen in the pond.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


    Article Info

    Categories : Green Living

    Recent edits by: Eng, Mian Sheilette Ong

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