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Barley straw extract

Discussion in 'Freshwater Equipment, Products, & DIY' started by gmh, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. gmh

    gmh AC Members

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    I bought some Barley straw extract (with peat) for my aquarium in hopes it may help combat algae and release some tannins in the water collumn. It's designed for pond use but I thought I'd give it a try. The stuff is supposed to mitigate phosphates and nitrate buildup and even lower Ph somewhat.

    http://www.stillpondfarm.com/Microbelift_Concentrated_Barley_Straw_Extract_p/rmlcbse.htm

    The stuff is extremely concentrated. I added just 1/2 tsp into my 40 gallon aquarium, which is about the recommended dose.
    After a single use I notice no water discoleration (its supposed to tint the water somewhat), but my Rams bred a couple days later so it does not seem to stress the fish.
    Has anyone tried this product?
     
  2. Slappy*McFish

    Slappy*McFish Global Moderator
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    It produces H202 (Hydrogen Peroxide) as it breaks down. This is what controls the algae growth in ponds.
     
  3. gmh

    gmh AC Members

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    It also supposedly releases tannins, but I see no evidence of that. Amazing how small the dosage is.
     
  4. Slappy*McFish

    Slappy*McFish Global Moderator
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    Barley straw does have a tendency to acidify water. I believe the H202 produced by the breakdown of the barley straw in acidic water oxidizes the bioavailable ferrous state of iron (Fe2) into the ferric state of iron (Fe3). This ferric state of iron also reduces the bioavailabilty of po4. This is probably what inhibits algae growth.
     
  5. dbosman

    dbosman AC Members

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    Barley straw, after several documented studies is still an interesting question.
    There really have been several scientific studies on barley straw and the results are not conclusive. It works for some ponds under some circumstances. The action is different then they got from testing with wheat straw or oat straw.

    Maybe you have to convince the pond and the placebo effect comes in to action. ;-)
     
  6. gmh

    gmh AC Members

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    I dosed a second time a week later with my water change today. I still see no hint of any tannins being released. I do see some signs of stress from my bronze crypts but other plants seem fine. I'll see how it goes.
     
  7. gmh

    gmh AC Members

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    6 Week update:

    I stopped using the barley straw. I saw no improvement in algae growth and actually had an outbreak of stagorn and black brush algae on some plants that had not been a problem before. I never saw any tannins in the water or any reduction in PH.
    My Vals are a bit stressed after this experiment, but other plants are fine.
    Maybe this stuff is helpful with ponds but I think it is not suitable for aquarium use.
     
  8. Lillyan

    Lillyan AC Members

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    It's extract, I don't see how a liquid will 'release' tannins. Solids like wood and leaves will, but not a clear liquid.

    I have two little bales in my pond, but also have a UV filter. I believe the filter is doing most of the work.
    Just don't use pond liquid algae killer from tetra or elsewhere. It just kills fish and makes the water uninhabitable for several water changes.
     
  9. rainbowcharmer

    rainbowcharmer AC Members

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    I tried the barley straw bales in my pond with zero results. Still pea soup green.
     
  10. Sjb1987

    Sjb1987 AC Members

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    I build ponds for a living... The best way to combat algae is to ditch the uv lights they just kill the BB.... Keep doseing your pond water with dry bacteria.. Dry bacteria is expensive but you can use ridx... It's basically the same thing.... We use it all our ponds and waterfalls we maintain...having alot of healthy plant life will help combat algae also.... But the ridx(dry bacteria) is the best way to having a very healthy pond... It won't bother the fish either
     

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