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In the Middle Ages sheaves of corn were ceremonially thrown
into village ponds and wells to ensure the purity of the water.
More recently farmers have found, often by accident, that
a bale of straw in the farm pond keeps it clear. Research
over fifteen years at the Centre for Aquatic Plant Management,
an outstation of The Institute of Arable Crop Research at
Long Ashton, has proved the effectiveness of barley straw
in keeping pond water clear.
Pond Pads and Pond Strip have been developed to provide a
natural, chemical free solution to clarity in ponds. Made
from a matting of barley straw and natural cotton netting,
Pond Pads have a large surface area allowing easy access of
water and oxygen to the straw and free release of natural
compounds. Since they are cut from a wide sheet of matting,
there are many open ends of straw all round the edges of each
Pond Pad which allows water to penetrate into the hollow stems,
greatly speeding the breakdown process. Soluble carbohydrates
released from the surface of the straw act on the monocellular
green water algae causing them to clump together (flocculate)
and sink to the bottom of the pond. In this way green water
is often cleared in just a few days. Making the best use of
the oxygen in water, safe aerobic decomposition is assured
and the natural compounds which keep ponds clear are released
into the water. The process continues for about six months
giving long term protection.
Positioning Pond Pads
It is important to position the Pond Pad so that the natural
compounds released during breakdown can reach all areas of
the pond. In the case of a natural pond, without pumped circulation,
it should be near the middle. Where there is a flow, place
the Pond Pad close to the water inlet, fountain or waterfall
and the Floater will keep the Pond Pad in this optimal position.
Inspection and Replacement of Pond Pads
The rate of decomposition of Pond Pads depends
on may factors including the ambient temperature. The Floater
can be lifted briefly from the pond to enable the Pond Pad
to be examined and replaced as necessary. Fun and Games Some
egocentric fish believe that Pond pads are toys, specially
invented for them to play with. Should you wish to discourage
their games, then the Floater will do that for you!