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Natural pond clearing

 
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I have a large trout pond in my backyard. I've been told to use barley straw or barley straw extract to help keep the water clear. I can get and endless supply of used barley straw from a beer brewery. But I don't know if it will work or if it has to be "fresh" barley. Any input will help.
 
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Travis Storey wrote:I have a large trout pond in my backyard. I've been told to use barley straw or barley straw extract to help keep the water clear. I can get and endless supply of used barley straw from a beer brewery. But I don't know if it will work or if it has to be "fresh" barley. Any input will help.



What kind of aeration do you have and what is your objective?

We've tried straw in our pond (1 acre) and we have three different ponds where I work (.5-1.0 acres).

Based on my own observations, it's challenging for fish to thrive without proper aeration.

Once I am out of debt, aeration in our pond at the homestead will be one of the top priorities methinks.

 
Travis Storey
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I have an artesian well that pumps water through the air into the pond right now. My pond is probably 2500square feet. I plan on getting aerators eventually but for not just wondering if barley straw from a brewery would help or not.
 
Rob Kaiser
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Idk - I’m curious what people say.  We tried it years ago and it seemed to cause more of a mess than there was benefit from it...but I’m far from an expert on ponds.  
 
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What do the trout eat? Normally their poop, so do you filter that out? It basicly is plant/food, if there are no plants you can get algae blooms, algae are tiny plants. I don't know if trout eat waterplants, but the permie way would be to get a third of the pond established with plants, that will clean the water. In winter you take the dead leaves out for composting.
My friend has used some kind of wheat, it cleared the pond of algae for a while.
Please consider netting off a bit and grow lots of waterplants, it will attract insects and they will be food for the young trout that can swim through the netting, will keep the tadpoles in check too, so less of them will come.
 
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Any recommendations on types of plants?
The pond has been self sufficient for 20 years. The fish have survived on their own even without feeding them. I have started feeding them floating trout food. My real goal is to eventually make the pond swimmable.  I used the barley straw extract but it only cleared it for a few weeks. And at $120 a bottle I can't afford to do that every few weeks.
 
Hugo Morvan
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Ok, it was a nice ecosystem not long ago. Oxygenating plants will help getting the water full of good bacteria, so the fish stay healthy, fast growing ones that do well where you are would be wise to add, and helophytes like iris/ yellow flags if there is any substrate/mud/muck to grow into. Helophytes can grow in mud and take oxygen out of the air to feed into the substrate where it helps bacteria that like to change ammonia into nitrate which is plant food. They do multiply rapidly and can easily dominate a large part of the pond if not kept in check.
I've added whatever i could  to my small pond, from around my area after identifying it and if it wasn't rare, but was healthy and abundant i took a bit/few to try. One in three are still in i guess. They're all good in one way or another. Flowering beautifully, or just growing rapidly. What you scoop out has sucked up nutrients algae can't have anymore.
There is no fixed recipe as far as i know of what works plant wise, it depends on where you are and who you are. If you just want to plant and walk away be carefull, if you are capable and don't mind managing and observing you can be a bit more careless in your choices.
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