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Author Topic: Barley as a pond cleaner  (Read 1448 times)

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Online newoodguy78

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Barley as a pond cleaner
« on: March 22, 2022, 12:30:32 PM »
Has anyone used barley straw to clean up algae in a pond? Iíve been told by several old timers in the past that itís quite effective. 
Havenít really been able to find much info as far as how much is needed to work well, or if itís all barley or only certain varieties that will work. 
Iíve got two irrigation ponds that are probably 1/4 to 1/2 acre surface area each one is roughly 15í deep the other 10í max. 
Both of which have get pretty green in the summer. 
Plan on getting some barley in by the end of the week. The ground is fairly close to the ponds, so my plan is to let it mature then cut it and toss it in with a pitchfork. 
Any knowledge on this would be appreciated. 

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2022, 01:06:15 PM »
The barley straw is to be packed in a drum with holes in it, then submerged in your pond and the idea is the straw will destroy the phosphorus, that incourages alge growth.  Not sure on the ratio of straw to pond size. But with the rotting of the straw will come black water. Due to oxygen depletion.


I went with aeration and a natural pond bacteria (konders) that cleaned up all the sludge, then you can add a natural food dye that blocks the light they need to flourish.  We have gone from black water to drinking water through a reverse osmosis system, as well as no sludge on the bottom of our pond.
Well stocked with trout.
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Online newoodguy78

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2022, 01:21:57 PM »
Good information thank you.  Iíve got a couple drums kicking around.  Read about the oxygen deprivation that can effect fish. In this application itís a non issue, they get pumped down so far in dry years the fish population is pretty much  nonexistent. 

I agree aeration would help but for this itís not an option for multiple reasons. Doing this as much out of curiosity as anything. More to see if I can make it work and have them look a bit better is all. The water gets pumped for vegetable production. 

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2022, 02:00:33 PM »
Biggest help in controlling algae is to limit nutrients getting into pond.  The less natural buffer of some kind, the more NPK and other stuff will wash in, creating a good setting for algae blooms.

Don't know the particular circumstances here but in general, a band of native, emergent zone bulrushes, pickerel weed, etc, along with at a minimum a thick turf-native veg would be much better-will help to filter out some of these nutes.

Common mistake too is to mistake duckweed for algae.  Must've happened 100 times on the job, with homeowners and neighbors to our many ponds....they always saw algae, and when I got there, I always saw duckweed☺️.
I'm a life-long learner.  That's why I made sure to start out real dumb!

Offline gspren

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2022, 08:43:48 AM »
I've used barley straw in my pond but it takes time to work, I let the bales, the small rectangular size, whole and put some nylon rope around it to help if a binder twine fails and also to tie it to the dock. It will float high for a bit but eventually get lower and lower. In the fall when I want to remove the bale is HEAVY so I take a hand truck with a towing strap on it, submerge the hand truck until I can maneuver the bale on it and then tow it out with my ATV. While hooked to the ATV I tow it into the woods where I cut the twines and let it rot. I also used Aqua Shade pond dye, a little goes a long way and makes the pond pretty.
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Online taylorsmissbeehaven

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2022, 07:21:45 AM »
I have a very small pond/swimming hole on our property. In the winter when it is too cold to get it, the water is clear and very pretty. In the summer when it warms up it becomes very muddy. Me and the dogs are the only ones that will get in it any more!! I was told barley could help clear this up, but after reading this it sounds like that might not be the case. Looks like I may be back looking for a solar pump and fountain to turn it over. Anybody got an easier/cheaper idea??
Opportunity is missed by most because it shows up wearing bib overalls and looks like work.

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2022, 09:34:14 AM »
Work to control what's getting into the pond, sediments, erosion, fertilizers.

Fountains won't do much.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2022, 10:35:14 AM »
Duckweed is an excellent aquatic feed supplement.  If the conditions are right to grow algae, grow duckweed instead and feed it to livestock. It is high in protein and pretty much completely digestible for lack of structural fiber. 

 I bet the netting that goes around a trampoline would work quite well with soda bottles on the top strand and weights on the bottom.  A rope on each end.  Anchor one side to shore and hook the other behind a kayak, just wing arcs. 

Very high in omega 3 fatty acids and trace minerals.  Makes meat have a profile closer to seafood or stock thats been fed kelp. 

DUCKWEED - A POTENTIAL HIGH-PROTEIN FEED RESOURCE FOR.

Takota Coen on youtube has had (well, claims he has had.  I dont want to jump into trusting every claim made by a stranger on the internet) his duckweed augmented pork lab analyzed for fatty acid profile and its got a much better omega 6 to 3 ratio than straight grain feeding.  which i view as basically forcing stock to become rapidly diabetic for maximum profit at the expense of consumer health.
Revelation 13:11-18

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2022, 12:23:04 PM »
Interesting on the duckweed Mike.

Had to deal with neighbors to some of our ponds or the ones on the golf course we built over duckweed a number of times.  Hard to get some folks to believe it ain't algae😳.

Tiny individual floating leaves.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2022, 12:35:33 PM »
I have bubbler in my pond and all it seems to do is churn the already muddy water and make bubbles. Wintertime it thins the ice really well.

Offline gspren

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2022, 08:43:36 AM »
 Anybody got an easier/cheaper idea??
The Aqua Shade Pond Dye is cheap and easy! At $60. a gallon it sounds expensive but in a small pond that's several years worth, just a small splash of a few ounces will leave a big ink blob look for a few hours but by next day the entire pond will have a nice blue tint that reflects light and inhibits algae growth. The first time you use it put in less than you think needed and look again next day! 
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Online taylorsmissbeehaven

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2022, 07:02:12 AM »
     I am interested to learn more about this. I actually have a bottle of dye that was a door prize I got at a pond seminar. The City of Durham held a pond clinic every year up until budget cuts forced them to stop a few years back. Big loss for those that were interested. There was tons of info and several vendors, kids fishing tournament, a shock boat to do a fish count, and a fish fry lunch. 
     The dogs and I jump in this little mud hole most every afternoon when its hot. Will the dye have any impact on this? Any impact on the fish? Ill google it as well but its nice to hear some first hand experience!! Brian
Opportunity is missed by most because it shows up wearing bib overalls and looks like work.

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2022, 01:58:06 PM »
Swimming the next day isn't a problem, I believe on the bottle it says to wait at least 4 hrs but I always waited till next day. My dog that looked like a yellow lab swam in it with no color change, I would guess that if you swam into a concentrated spot before it was totally dispersed you may look like a big "smurf", that's the little blue people on cartoons. Remember to just use a small splash first time and then judge it next day. 
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2022, 08:26:41 AM »
A couple big Pekin ducks will gobble it up in a week or so .Those and an old sump pump for an aerator pretty much cleared up the 1/2 acre pond I had in a former life with a former wife .

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2022, 10:24:35 AM »
I've got a very small pond (maybe .15-.2 acre) that leaks but also gets almost all the runoff from the front yard, everything slopes towards it. When we moved in it was a lot of algae but after I put in a small aerator, bubble start on the bottom of the deep part, and it's strong enough to provide ripples for the whole pond it has cleared right up. Granted, it turns muddy if disturbed and there is some plant growth that starts around mid-summer but the aerator has done wonders for mine. I don't know how effective solar powered aerators are? 

It's a long, long term project but I plan to turn mine into a natural swimming pool. Other than the expense to keep water from leaking out it seems manageable and easy to maintain once it's going. It was a 5 year project but has extended to maybe a 10 year one. Every year I plan to throw some money at it, then find other things to throw money at.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2022, 10:58:38 AM »
Mans gotta have somethin to look forward to. 
Revelation 13:11-18

Online newoodguy78

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2022, 12:54:09 PM »
Planted my barley the other day, got looking around and found some old wire off greenhouse tables. 
My plan is once the barley is ready Iíll cut it and wrap it with wire and submerge. 
If it works great if it doesnít well wonít be out anything. 

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2022, 01:54:36 PM »
Best use for barley is malting it🍺.
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Online newoodguy78

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2022, 07:42:18 PM »
 You brew it Iíll grow it. I prefer lagers :D

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2022, 10:43:27 PM »
    The dogs and I jump in this little mud hole most every afternoon when its hot. Will the dye have any impact on this? 
   Not if you don't mind looking like a Smurf. :D :D 

(Sorry I have no knowledge of pond management other than 10:1 Bass to Bluegill ratio and high sides to help control weeds.)

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2022, 06:19:43 AM »
Up here, ponds with an outflow and mud bottom get infested with leeches. My cousin, about 40 years ago, thought it was a good idea to swim in her father's pond he had dammed up by a spring. Well, when she came out with 2 leeches latched on, that was the end of that adventure. My beaver pond at the back of the woodlot starts at the spring, it's full of leeches to.  :D

My father always used some kind of chemical, friendly to fish, to kill off the algae. That was years ago and I don't recall the name. He had a couple of dug springs for filling water tanks for the sprayer. Whatever it is, it is probably pricey stuff by now.
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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2022, 09:28:26 AM »
Some kind of copper.  Cutrine Plus is a common formulation these days.

Repeated use can lead to excessive copper levels for desirable vegetation.
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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2022, 10:38:00 AM »
Copper sulfate is what we use.

when you said 10:1 ration bass to bluegill you meant 10 bluegill to one bass right?

Cuase I have alot more bluegill than bass, but I also have some 5 pounders in there.

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2022, 07:01:55 AM »
The Blue Gill are what make the afternoon swim fun!!
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Offline Sod saw

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2022, 10:11:18 PM »
.


Speaking of Duck Weed?

I heard that Duck Weed is the only plant that migrates each year.

Most folks think of migrating Ducks or Geese or Elk or other animals.

SOooo, how does a "weed" in a pond migrate each fall and return migration in the spring?

Each plant leaf is attached to roots that extent down into the water, but not necessarily into the bottom soil.  When the water reaches a cooler temperature in the fall, those plants (duck weed) drift to the bottom of the pond and wait there till the water temperature rises in the spring when they return (migrate, rise) to the surface to continue its life.

Do any of you all know of any other migrating plants?

Why is it that one of our two ponds, next to each other, has a surface full of duck weed all summer and the other pond has never had any that is noticeable?  Year after year after year!   Both ponds are fed from the same drainage.




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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Barley as a pond cleaner
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2022, 12:33:07 AM »
Maybe oxygen or mineral composition?  
Revelation 13:11-18


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