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On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 09:05:45 -0700
jmarella at attbi_com wrote:
> Subject: Let's Talk About Enemas...lol
> My response time these days is lagging, but the idea about using
> disposable enemas as a PO4 source made me chuckle and also intrigued
> me. So, there I am the other day in the enema aisle at the grocery
> store inspecting every brand of enema that I could find for info
> about the ingredients. The pharmacy booth was directly across from
> where I stood and needless to say, the pharmacist looked a bit
> puzzled about why I was spending so much time reading enema boxes,
> lol. I suspect I didn't look too bright just then. I came up with
> nothing in the way of ingredients. Couldn't find that listed on any
> of the packages.
> Surely I'm not the only person who pondered the idea of giving my
> tank an enema. Has anyone else discovered what enemas are usually
> made of or tried this?
As the one who started this thread, I guess it's incumbent upon me to answer
the questions. When I first noticed the ingredients, they were on a CVS
brand disposable enema. The active ingredients are listed as 19 g. of
monobasic sodium phosphate and 7 g. of dibasic sodium phosphate. I was
reasonably sure that if I checked the more famous "brand name" Fleet enema,
they would be identical. And so they are. If you can't find them on the
box, you can go to the web site of the C. B. Fleet Co. at:
where the ingredients are also listed.
There is, I believe, a minor error in the statement that these are the
ingredients in the delivered dose of 118 ml. According to my calculations,
this would provide 150 mg/ml PO4. But, according to a person I spoke with
in their laboratory, the concentration is actually 131.36 mg/ml. That could
only be true if the ingredient quantities are for the entire 133 ml of water
in the bottle. No big deal.
So, in a 100 liter tank, 1 ml would add 1.3 mg/L of PO4. If that's too
much, the bottle has a dropper, and on the basis of about 20 drops/ml, you
could use about 7 or 8 drops to add 0.5 mg/L to the same size tank.
To be complete, I should mention that the bottles contain 0.045% sodium
methyl hydroxy benzoate, more commonly known as methyl paraben. This is a
preservative, also used in food and beverages. With 1 ml added to a 100L
tank, the concentration would be 0.0045 mg/L. You have to make your own
judgment call on this, but my guess is that it's harmless.
> Assuming an enema would be useful, the only question remaining would
> be where to insert the nozzle.
Well, umm, my No. 2 son e-mailed me, "Dad, you can't even catch the fish.
How are you going to give them an enema?" But, considering the application
under discussion is for the plants, not the fish, I would just hold the
bottle over the tank and squeeze out the number of drops required.
John T. Fitch
E-mail: jtfitch at spamcop_net
Web Site: www.fitchfamily.com/aquarium.html