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Barley Straw Natural Algae Control



A Natural Solution to Algae Control

Now you can promote a healthier ecosystem for your aquarium or pond by using authentic Scottish Barley Straw, a technique which has been employed since the Middle Ages to naturally promote an ALGAE FREE environment!

Algae growth in ponds or aquariums can pose several problems. It can clog pumps, block filters, cause odor problems, and is generally considered to be aesthetically unacceptable. The proliferation of algae appears to be closely associated with the high levels of certain nutrients, especially phosphates & nitrates in the water. High nutrient levels are often found in ponds and lakes associated with parks, golf courses, housing complexes and industrial sites. Conventional control of algae can be either mechanical or chemical. Both methods can be expensive, inefficient or even harmful to the environment! Depending on the pesticide or herbicide used, chemical control may limit irrigation use or harm non-target aquatic plants and other aquatic life and fish.

In most instances your algae problem will increase over time if competitive plants and algae-feeding fish are not present. In addition to using beneficial bacteria, along with algae eating fish & snails, barley straw has been used in ponds & aquariums for algae control for as long as many can remember.

Our family raises livestock, domestic & exotic, every water trough & pond has a bundle of barley straw added to naturally prevent algae. We’ve done this since 1995 and it makes a difference in water quality. Once the mesh bag contents are nearly dissolved, you simply replace it with a new one. Barley straw will decompose faster and leech more of those lovely humic acid tannins when the temps outside are warmer, we average a couple bundles per year per trough. In water garden features and ornamental ponds, replace around every 3 – 5 months.

The barley, as it decomposes, slowly releases hydrogen peroxide and humic acid into the water at levels that are toxic to algae. This process begins around the 29th day of the barley soaking in your pond, so consider this time requirement when it’s time to add a new bundle. You may want to overlap bundles so you are not without. For example, since most barley used up by the 4th month, add your new barley on month 3 so that by the time your old barley is done, your new one is already making the humic acid.

The algae are suppressed best when the straw is decomposing in a well-oxygenated environment. The barley works best when it is at or near the water’s surface. It is better to use multiple “barley stations.”

No negative side effects have been reported; in fact, increased invertebrate populations and improvement of gill development in fish from ponds where barley straw was applied have been observed.

Barley Straw is 100% safe for ALL wildlife, including the most delicate shrimp, fish, and plants because it is 100% natural and biodegradable. You CANNOT overdose or overuse Barley.

In the home aquarium, install a small portion (about a handful) of barley in your canister filter using a mesh micron filter bag, or for best results add it to your hanging filter, or sump system. We recommend using a micron filter bag. A 16oz bag of barley would last a normal home aquarist for years. In commercial aquatic exhibits 2,000 gallons or less, you would use one 16oz bag, replaced every 6 months. You could also add our Organic Peat granules to your micron bag to lower your pH at the same time. (see related items below)

In the pond, install in your waterfall spillway, skimmer basket, or just throw it in anywhere where it will float in your water. It will generally sink shortly thereafter. Most smaller ponds will require the 4, 8 oz or 1lb size barley straw. (4, 8 oz & 1lb barley come pre-packaged in a mesh bag, the 30lb bale comes with 3 mesh bags)

Here are some other important features:
-These are made from High Grade Scottish Barley (the same kind high quality Scotch is made from) Not the kind of straw you might find in a feed/tack store
-They are fully biodegradable.
-They can provide natural food for your fish.
-Each bundle comes with it’s own sturdy mesh bag. 30# bales will come with three (24×36) mesh bags.
-This method can be started any time of year, new or old.
-No chemicals used ever in the processing of this barley!
-Barley Straw Bundles Available in 4 oz., 8 oz, 1lb., and 30 lbs.



We will discontinue offering the 4oz & 8oz sizes as soon as they sell out so qtys will be limited.  We will continue to package and offer the 16oz (1  Pound) bundle and the 30lb bales.

16 oz. Barley Bundle treats up to 2000 gallons of water for 4 months
30 lb Bale (bale size is compressed into 24″ x 18″ x 10″) treats up to 1/4 acre or 10,000 sq ft of water surface area for 4 months

Additional information

Choose Size

4 oz. Barley Bundle, 8 oz. Barley Bundle, 12 oz. Barley Bundle, 16 oz. Barley Bundle, 30 lb Barley Bale