Instructions: Barley Ball
The unique design of the Barley Ball suspends the active ingredients just below the water surface, where the clarifying activity is maximized.
In time, the Barley Ball will become colonized by beneficial aquatic insects and crustaceans, helping to supplement the supply of natural food for your fish.
While you may notice an immediate improvement in the clarity of your pond, it is more usual to see the effects after 2 to 4 weeks, when the clarifying process gets under way.
The Barley Ball is designed for ponds containing 260 to 2,600 U.S. gallons. It should not be used in ponds smaller than this. Multiple units can be used in larger ponds. For smaller ponds, use the Barley Pad.
Using the Barley Ball
The optimum time for installation is between early spring and mid-summer. For the best results, install the Barley Ball in early spring.
Remove the Barley Ball from the plastic bag and immerse it in the pond with the white float on top. It will take about one week for the barley to settle into its working position.
Allow the Barley Ball to float freely in your pond. If you have a fountain or waterfall, turning it on will assist with the water clarifying process.
Removal and Storage
Remove the unit from your pond in late fall and allow it to drain for a few hours. Then, clean the surface of the Barley Ball sphere with a damp sponge and allow it to dry.
To remove the residue from the sphere, we recommend you open it while seated, with an old towel over your lap. Grip the unit firmly with the center joint in a horizontal position. Twist the two halves in opposite directions until the round lugs on the protruding lip line up with the round holes. The two halves should then pull apart with light pressure.
Clean and rinse the inner surfaces of the sphere and allow to dry. Store the unit out of direct sunlight for use the following year. The Barley Ball can be used year after year with the insertion of a Barley Ball Refill.
Using Barley Straw in Fish Ponds
Barley straw not harmful to fish and plants; however, straw uses up oxygen during the decaying process, so it is critical to use the correct amount of barley straw to avoid depleting the oxygen supply in your pond.
Any or all of the following can cause low-oxygen conditions: hot weather, overstocking of fish, other decaying plant matter, and severe algae blooms.
Using barley straw in conjunction with any of these conditions can de-oxygenate the water to the point of causing stress or death to fish.
Fish seen gulping at the surface of the water may be an indication of low oxygen. If you observe this symptom, remove the Barley Ball or provide additional aeration. Low oxygen conditions are very unlikely to arise if there is a fountain, waterfall, or some other form of aeration.
If the Barley Ball starts to emit a strong odor, this is a good indication of low oxygen in the straw itself. The straw can be re-oxygenated by placing it close to a fountain or waterfall, or by taking it out of the water and allowing it to dry in the sun for a few days. If aeration is not available, the Barley Ball should be removed during prolonged periods of hot weather.
We do not recommend using barley straw unless you have had a problem with algae in your pond.