Last Updated on December 31, 2019 by Aiden Lindow

Barley Straw For Ponds and Algae Control

Using barley straw for ponds is an all-natural way to clean your pond that also prevents more algae from growing!

Barley straw is also safe for all aquatic life and does not reduce the growth of other plants in your pond.

This cheap and simple way will keep your pond in pristine condition so you’ll never have to worry about your pond looking like a jungle of moss and algae.


How To Use Barley Straw For Ponds?

How To Use Barley Straw For Pond?

When you have purchased barley straws, do not just throw it into your pond and hope it works.

This will not be very effective.

To get the most out of your barley, you need to make sure it is in a place where there is high water flow and circulation.

While installing make sure to fluff up the bag and loosen up the straws to maximize the rate of water going through.

Some great places to place your barley straw is in a waterfall basin, under a waterfall where the pond meets it or nearby a fountain in your pond.

I recommend putting it inside your waterfall so it cannot be seen.

By placing it in one of these locations will ensure you get the most out of your barley and prevent any further algae growth.

If your pond is full of algae I recommend using barley extract for the first two months as the extract works much faster.

After the first month add you can start to add in barley straw to start the decomposing process.

By the end of the second month of using extract, the straw will be able to maintain algae growth so you will not have to use the extract anymore.


How Long Does It Take For Barley Straws To Work?

Barley straw is the most effective when it is applied during fall through the beginning of spring before algae is at its most prominent.

When you have placed your barley straw, you won’t see any effect for 3-6 weeks.

After it’s been there for those weeks, it begins producing the chemicals that prevent algae from growing, which makes your pond very clean.


Is Barley Straw Safe For Fish?

Barley straw in reasonable amounts will not affect your fish.

Although if you do go overboard with the barley, then you’re sure to encounter some issues with the water quality.

Water quality is very important when it comes to your pond, as this can cause problems with your fish and even your plants.

I always use my water testing kit, this helps measure pH levels, ammonia, bacteria, pesticides, nitrates, nitrites, and chlorine.

so I know if I overfed my fish, put in too much barley straw, too much chlorine, etc. All of this can be tested almost instantly.


Benefits Of Barley Straw For Ponds

Barley straw is truly amazing, here are some benefits of barley straws for ponds;

  • Prevents new algae from growing, although does not kill algae that is already living in your pond.
  • Cleans pond
  • Safe for all aquatic life, if used in reasonable amounts
  • Helps water clarity
  • Does not affect other aquatic plants


Barley Extract vs. Barley Straws

The result will be the same when choosing between barley straw or barley extract, it is a matter of how much time you have.

Barley straw is a slow process but will keep your pond clean and clear for up to six months.

Barley extract works much faster but you have to reapply every month.

For my pond, I use barley straw because I do not have a large algae problem and it helps make sure it stays that way.

For someone with a large amount of algae growth, I would recommend the use of barley extract for two months then switching over to the straws once the algae have been cleared up.

Both options help to balance pond water and improve water clarity year-round.

Using barley in any form will keep your pond free of algae and to keep your pond water crystal clear.

They are both safe to use with aquatic life.


Barley Extract

Pond Size (gallons) Initial Dose Every Week (Until Clear) Upkeep Dose (Every Month)
0-1,000 2 ounces 2 ounces
1,000-2,000 4 ounces 4 ounces
2,000-3,000 6 ounces 6 ounces
3,000-4,000 8 ounces 8 ounces
4,000-5,000 10 ounces 10 ounces


Barley Straw

Pond Size (gallons) Initial Dose Upkeep to Keep Pond Clear
0-1,000 .5 Pounds Change Out Every 5-6 Months
1,000-2,000 .5-1 Pounds Change Out Every 5-6 Months
2,000-3,000 1-1.5 Pounds Change Out Every 5-6 Months
3,000-4,000 1.5-2 Pounds Change Out Every 5-6 Months
4,000-5,000 2-3 Pounds Change Out Every 5-6 Months


How Does Barley Straw Work?

Few people truly understand how barley straw works.

People believe barley straw kills existing algae, which is wrong, it prevents new algae from growing.

Here’s how it works, when barley straw is exposed to sunlight and also has a plethora of oxygen, it begins to produce a chemical that inhibits the growth of algae.

The best part is, it doesn’t affect anything else in your pond!