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Re: Dixon and the Barley Straw

>From: "Dixon, Steven T. (BEn)" <stdixon at ben_bechtel.com>
>Subject: Barley Straw
>The recent APD references to barley straw, humic acid, and algae reduction
>reminded me that I intended to report some time ago on my anecdotal
>experiments with barley straw.  I purchased about a cubic foot of barley
>straw from one of the pond supply houses soon after the first report on the
>APD that barley straw was used by pond enthusiasts to reduce algae.

I've also used Barley Straw in my small pond with success, but I havent
performed REAL experiments on it to determine exactly what its impact is
independent  of other factors (I let the British studies Guide me instead).
 I am now "messing w/ it " on one of my new aquariums ... its got a MAJOR
green water bloom.  This algae is clearing rapidly but there is another
major factor to consider; I'm using Water Lettuce over 1/4th of the tanks
surface as a nutrient sink.  

In addition, the Brits pond experiments clearly recommend the straw be
placed in ponds way before you have an algae problem: 

"Once the straw has become active, the time taken for control to become
effective varies with the type of alga. Small, unicellular species which
make the water appear green and turbid, usually disappear within 6-8 weeks
of straw application. The larger filamentous algae, often known as blanket
weeds, can survive for longer periods and may not be controlled adequately
in the first season if the straw is added too late in the growing season
when algal growth is dense. It is, therefore, preferable to add the straw
very early in the spring before algal growth starts."

[I've got the full text on my site: http://floridadriftwood.com/straw.html
and yes, I sell the straw to pond-ers but I can only recommend it for
aquariums for those who wish to experiment]

Now, our aquarium temperatures are far more hospitable to "activating the
straw" than a cold English pond.  However, the challenge IMHO is to find a
way to plan ahead and place the straw in water to get it active a week or
two before you setup the tank.  That way, the straw would be active before
the green water and thus prevent its reproduction.  There has got to be a
formula to get the benefits of the straw in a tank as opposed to a pond.  I
just havent had the time to work it out in a conclusive way.  I am planning
to set up new tanks with day-old wet straw, week-old wet straw, month old,
three months and a cotton or sponge filter medium as a control to attempt
to quantify the straws effects on green water.  I'll let you know.  Anyone
got a turbidimeter I can borrow?

HOMEPAGE:  http://www.floridadriftwood.com
eBay specials;  http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/boukmn/