View Full Version : Do minerals intended for human consumption work for aquarium plants too?

03-24-2003, 09:39 PM
Wondering if plants would also uptake these minerals. Sorry but my bio-chemistry is very limited!


03-24-2003, 09:53 PM
I have heard (don't quote me) that the little iron pills from a birth control pill pack can be used on aquarium plants.

They are very small and are not in every brand/type of birth control pill, but they are the "placebo pill" taken for one week out of four by some women who want extra iron.

03-24-2003, 10:29 PM
I don't know if they are 100% safe but I use human mineral pills because of their price. I use human calcium supplements and iron supplements. I just make sure that the ones I buy are sugar free, additive free, etc. I think the ones I buy consist of the mineral and a binding agent and that is it. I place them under the roots of my swords.

03-25-2003, 12:05 AM
wow, this is all very interesting. Some academic help on this topic would be great too. From your experience, do you think the 'human' minerals have worked well?


03-25-2003, 11:48 AM
I have never used the iron tabs from birth control pill packs, just heard some folks have.

For iron, i use a small amount of an Ortho product called "Greenol". It's a liquid iron. Got it at Franks for about $6.

Human use vitamins and minerals for fish and plants are an interesting subject.

03-25-2003, 12:08 PM
I use calcium Citrate suppliments for my potted and planted swords and Ferrous sulfate pills as well.Both for humans... Biologically The Ferrous sulfate is easily absorbed by the plants.


I think it works well :)...


04-07-2003, 06:23 PM
This is an interesting question:

Some of the chemicals commonly found in my house that I also use for plants:

Baking Soda - kH manipulation - Sodiumbicarbonate
Salt Substitute - Potassium Cloride - Macro nutrient
Tums (600mg) - Calcium Carbonate - GH and calcium for plants
Calcium Pills - same as above
Epsom Salts - Magnesium sulfate - Macro nutrient
Fleet Enema - Phosphate additons - Macro nutrient

Garden Fertilizer -

Miracle Gro - Have heard some people use this with some success otherwise just causes algae
Grants Stump Remover - Potassium Nitrate - Macronutrient
Muriate of Potash - Potassium Cloride - Macronutrient
Sulfate of Potash - Potassium Sulfate - Macronutrient
(Much more inexpensive than commercial products)

Most micro-nutrients sold commercially are chelated (held in solution) with some sort of agent (EDTA, Gluconate, etc). I doubt that just adding Ferrous Sulfate, "Birth Control Pills", or Iron Supplement plills to the water column will help in anyway to the health of the plants. This form of Iron will just precipitate out of solution. Making it unusable/unavailable to the plants for uptake. If they were placed in an anerobic place (under the substrate), biological activity may turn this Iron into a usable form. Many of the older literature on planted aquaria suggest using iron fillings in the bottom layer of the substrate for this reason.

Most of the macro additons have worked quite well for plant growth. Still trying to find a micro-nutrient supplement.