Can any straw be used as an algae control in a pond?

When barley straw rots it releases hydrogen peroxide that can reputedly be used to control blanket algae in a pond , (although there are conflicting reports about this.), but what about some unidentified straw that I just happen to have at my disposal?

Has anyone actually tried barley straw or any other straw ; and did it work?


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lizarduvoz7 years ago
Barley straw works better than i thought it would. my pond was nearly covered in algae, one week after i put in the barley straw its clear. I used a kit that looks like a plastic hamster ball; you put in a 3rd of the supplied barley straw, close the lid and toss it in. You can get this type of kit at large home supply stores. Aeration of your water helps also.

XcI2 years ago

Also notable: Never crush the algae, it releases the spores. I use a dryer cleaning brush and swirl it against the side of the pond to capture the "hair algae" which is exacerbated by sunlight. I put up an umbrella over the area to try to shield it and am constructing some sort of lean-to soon. We have lots of wind here so this will be interesting, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

XcI2 years ago

I tried lots of things including chemicals. now I have wheat straw in (new, clean) paint strainer bag with a water bottle to float it. It did clean a little but been a week. I now have barley but it is hulled so darn. I have salt which I'm going to try and peroxide but love my 5 year old Koi so being VERY careful. They went from $2.50 little Koi to (pan size) 12" fish. Last year they did the "wiggle dance" at the end of the year and had hoped for eggs but cleaning likely disturbed all of that. I won't EVER use another chemical no matter if I can see the bottom or not. HOWEVER seeing the bottom is SOOO important. I had a little solar light turtle which I set by a waterfall pond (no fish). My son's doggie liked it and kept taking it. Last week he dropped it into the Koi pond. I've lost three little fish, a comet and two Plecostomus. Sadly, I found things he had dropped but only after I'd cleaned and could see the bottom of the pond.

XcI2 years ago
typo7 years ago

I'm a townie & hence ignorant about things agricultural. What's the difference between hay and straw?

Hay is made from grasses like fescue and weeds whatever happens to be in the field when it is hayed. Straw is a byproduct of a crop like wheat of barley.
s.barr typo7 years ago
Hay is typically used for feed while straw is used for mulching, animal bedding, and so on. Hay is finer and softer in texture and often is very fragrant, while straw is coarser and can hurt you if you don't wear gloves when you handle it! Trust me... getting straw stuck in your nail bed in no fun. *Shudder*
FriendOfHumanity (author) 7 years ago
 I just used the straw that I had; Tied up into a couple of bundles and left floating around.
The algae cleared up so quickly, (within two days),  that I just can't believe that it was the straw thaw that did it.
Anyway something worked.
hogthrob7 years ago
Hi , just use barley straw it takes so little to do a large volume. And its so much cheaper than a pump  UV filter and mech filter. 
I've not tried it, but reportedly other types of straw such as wheat, seed rape, lavender, linseed or maize stalks can be used, but they are less effective than barley and thus require more to be added to the water than barley straw.
I would assume that as long as what you have is proper straw (i.e. not hay), it should be usable, but determining the correct dosage could be tricky.