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Re: Barley Sraw Revisited

Mickey wrote:

>Addressing the issue of Dulpa and their fermenting straw in dark reactor:
>Since the anti-algal properties are due to phenolic that solubilize from
>barley straw, it doesn't really matter what material the reactor is made
>of. Dupla used dark plastic because decomposing barley straw is probably
>not a pretty sight in a well- planted Dutch tank. In anyway, I suppose you
>can throw a bale of barley straw in your sump and have the same effect as
>Dupla's reactor.

Several weeks ago, I put together an "anecdotal experiment" on the
effectiveness of Barley Straw as a preventative/antidote for aquarium
algae.  A nutrient rich over fertilized substrate was prepared in
order to encourage algae growth in an aquariun L44" x H12" x W20".
2-shoplight fixtures w/ 2-Chroma 50's and 2-Cool whites.  No water
changes were conducted on this tank.   As soon as the tank was THICK
with algae (seemed like all kinds) I added four Florida Flag Fish
(Jordanella floridae) FFF aka: American Flag Fish because I didnt care
about the straw's effect on hair algae I was only interested in
testing its effect on other pernicious algaes (green water, blue green
[pasty] algae).  Sure enough, the aquarium never developed hair algae
(FFF action I attribute).

THe straw was placed in a filter that followed the "Easy Filter"
design: http://floridadriftwood.com/easy2.jpg  I replaced the coarse
filter sponge w/ two fistfulls Barley Straw.  This design allows me to
view the progress of the straw's decay.

There was little change in the algae situation in the aquarium...till
the straw began to break down 2weeks after.  As the straw decomposed,
so there was a lifting of the algae.  It is now day 29 of that tank
and it is almost "photo-clear" of algae.  The exception is that
"dot-algae" that oft appears on glass. 

I am particularly pleased to note the total decimation of that hated
nasty blue-green- pasty smothering algae that appeared briefly in one
corner on the glass, never spred and disappeared soon after.

This is an aquarium that under normal circumstances had enough excess
nutrients to ensure a persistent and protracted algae war lasting
several months.

In conclusion, I will attest to two things:

1.	It take a little while to get going (straw has to decompose first). 

2.	It does seem to be very effective against the gang of slimey persistent
BG algaes many of which did'nt show up or were present for only a short
while.  Hair algae was not tested against, since the aquarium had FFF .

3.	It looks god-aufull ugly when it has decomposed.  I can now see why the
chaps at Dupla hide it behind dark plastic.

Liquid Barley Straw for Aquariums & Ponds: