Pond Health #137445 - Ask Extension


Pond Health #137445

Asked June 28, 2013, 1:51 PM EDT

I recently purchased property in Floyd County. It is beautiful land with stream frontage and small springs. It also has two small ponds on it. They currently are getting a thick brown algae on top. How can I treat this? Someone suggested that barley placed in the pond can be an effective way to combat some algae outbreaks? Does it work? Fish are currently living in the pond, so I hesitate to use too many chemicals. What options do I have? Also, what advice can I get as to whether these were constructed with the correct flow of water, depth, drainage devices, etc to be viable for small noncommercial fish and to remain healthy year-round? Is it possible to arrange a site visit? Thanks.

Floyd County Virginia

Expert Response

Barley straw bales placed in the inflowing water will inhibit some types of algae growth.  If they are placed directly in the pond you may lead to just adding more organic matter to the pond and more problems later.   Barley straw will release "hydrogen peroxide" as it decays which impacts on the algae.  There are approved commercially available peroxide algaecides that do the same thing.  Copper based algaecides are the usually recommendation but their use depends on water alkalinity (carbonate and bicarbonate concentration) and types of fish in the pond (trout are susceptible to copper toxicity)

A site visit is possible.  I just got back from site visits and a pond side presentation in Roanoke.

You can email me directly at:

If possible an attached digital picture of the pond would be helpful.
Brian Nerrie
Extension Specialist, Aquaculture
Virginia State University

Brian Nerrie Replied June 29, 2013, 5:49 PM EDT

Thanks very much.
The Question Asker Replied July 08, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT
You can check with your county extension agent about arranging for a site visit by me.  It works well if there are other individuals in the county/area who may be interested in a visit.  That would be an efficient use of time and money.

Brian Nerrie Replied July 08, 2013, 4:39 PM EDT

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