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Re: Allelopathic Barley

> Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 23:14:10 EST
> From: Duane Clark

> Anyway, I don't mean to sound like I am somehow trying to
> defend a study that has never been done or prove a theory
> that I have no direct connection to.  I am just curious and
> was hoping others would be as well.  I'm still going to give
> it a try and write my article :)

I'm opening with your closing paragraph so I can make it clear that I'm not
berating you for your position - only playing "Devil's Advocate". It seems
that, in a study where even the major universities can't arrive at a
consensus, it would be important to cover as many of the questions and
considerations as possible. Anticipate as many of the questions as possible
in order to validate the study itself, so to speak.

> The reason I raised the question at all is that I have heard
> from several people in other conversations, web discussions,
> etc., that they use barley straw in their ornamental ponds
> quite regularly...

Such is the root of technological advances - take a discovery and extend it
or its application.


> if all the sites selling the stuff is any indication of it's
> popularity, it is quite standard...

Popularity doesn't extend or substantiate validity. Probably one of the
prime examples of this was the "Liquid Protein" diets of the late 1970s,
followed closely by the Pet Rock craze. A good marketing strategy only means
someone's making money off of it, not that it actually does anything.

> As to water changes, yes, it also includes that...they are
> not performed during the testing period...

And I assume nutritional supplementation will continue during this period?
Will there be any fauna within the test tanks? Which water quality
parameters do you intend to monitor?

> I also wonder why the studies in the US were not as nearly
> successful as in England.  However, this is neither here nor
> there...

But I'm not convinced there *isn't* a separating point between US and
English studies. The soil composition at the pond's location, the types of
compounds washed into the pond or the type of barley and its source locale
spring readily to mind. Don't forget, barley, like hops or grapes, picks up
differing characteristics that are dependent on its production - one reason
certain types of barley are used for creating a "smooth pint" and others are
fed to livestock.

Even the pond's lattitude may play a role in providing sunlight of a
slightly skewed spectrum - the reason 5000K and 6500K lamps represent
"noonday sun", but in different parts of the world.

> As for the balancing act, I don't see it as difficult at all.
> Sunlight...well the UV sunlight is what is needed (supposedly)
> but again, if conditions in the average aquarium (what ever
> that would be) are not correct for this process to work (again...
> if it does in the first place) then the study would prove useful
> in that ...

As Thomas Edison was fond of saying, "Well, we just identified another way
that won't work."

I'm thinking of sunlight's effects on a normal aquarium. I'm wondering that
if the UV portion is separated out and used, then how do you isolate the
barley's effects from that of straight UV exposure? After all, quite a few
people use straight UV for things like Grenn Water control.

And I'm also wondering - if it's the effects on sunlight's interaction on
humics or humates that we're to study, would the addition of, say,
blackwater extract provide the same end results as a tankfull or bagfull of
rotting barley but without the associated mess?...