Straw for algae control in stock tanks

marcy_northlightsfarm Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

I use straw to prevent and control algae growth in my stock tanks. The recommended straw to use is from barley. I have oat straw available so that's what I use instead of barley. I recently dumped a water tank that was green with algae. After rinsing it out and a quick spray from the hose, I tossed in a handful of oat straw. It floated on the top at first, after a few days it sinks a bit. Slowly it will break down and eventually the algae will refuse to grow. A safe and natural way to save time and keep the stock tank clean without scrubbing it. Has anyone else tried this?


  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,482 admin

    That's an interesting concept, never heard of that before. Why does the straw in the water trough stop algae from growing? In the past we cleaned our water troughs for our stock, by scraping and scrubbing the trough, emptying and adding a couple handfuls of copper sulphate to the water. It kept them algae free for twice as long.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,374 admin

    I know that some folks throw a barley straw bale into some sloughs (small bodies of water) for this purpose.

  • marcy_northlightsfarm
    marcy_northlightsfarm Posts: 103 ✭✭✭

    @jodienancarrow As the straw begins to break down it forms humic acid, then the humic acid reacts with sunlight and oxygen to eventually form peroxide. The peroxide is in very low concentrations but it is very effective at controlling algae, just 2 parts per million will work.

  • VickiP
    VickiP Posts: 586 ✭✭✭✭

    I have used barley straw in my water gardens, it is effective. Interesting that oat straw works also.