Tropica "Nutrition Capsules" - contains resin balls???


HI all, I was recently looking for some good quality root tabs, and came across Tropica Nutrition Capsules. Tropica is a well regarded brand (at least where I am) for plants, and the content seems to be of good quality, so I thought I'd try them. However, I read a user review of the product online, and the person commented on the resin balls that are in the capsules. It sounds like the capsules themselves will dissolve over time, but there are a bunch of tiny, yellow resin balls that stay in the substrate, and don't ever break down (so assuming synthetic resin, not plant resin).

I checked this out on Tropica's website, and surely enough, it mentions these resin balls at the bottom of the page...

The capsules do not fully decompose and the small balls inside the capsules will remain in the substrate after all nutrients have been released. The balls are made of resin, which is biologically harmless.

I thought this was strange, for a root tab product... and figured there must be some reason for these little resin balls. So, I contacted Tropica via email and asked them. Here's how that went...

Tropica: Thank you for your interest in our product. This is the first that I am aware of this situation. It is my understanding that the capsules dissolve completely.

Thanks for the response. I'm getting this information directly from the Tropica website... It says :

The capsules do not fully decompose and the small balls inside the capsules will remain in the substrate after all nutrients have been released. The balls are made of resin, which is biologically harmless.

Here's the link. Tropica Nutrition Capsules - bottom layer fertiliser for planted tanks - Tropica Aquarium Plants

Tropica: Well you got me. I’m not sure why they are there and I would assume that you wouldn’t need to remove them. After all, they will be buried in the substrate about 1-2” deep.

So... has anyone here on Fishlore used this product, and if so.... what was your experience? Are the 'resin balls' a big deal? I just think it's a little strange to add something like this to a fishtank, knowing it's just going to sit there and build up over time. Sounds pretty harsh long-term on the environment as well (is this considered a micro-plastic?)
In the end, I didn't buy them - 1. because it took 9 days for them to respond to my initial email, 2. it bothered me a that the CEO of Tropica North America didn't even know the product, and 3. I just didn't like the idea of these little yellow bits lurking in my substrate indefinitely.

Thoughts? Answers? Much appreciated


If the resin balls remain after all the fert has been used up it sounds like they are being used as a filler material to make the actual product go farther. I would have passed on buying and using them too. I use Thrive capsules. As far as I can tell there is nothing left once all the ferts have dissolved and are used up.


I wondered about them being 'filler' too. The only other reason I can come up with that they're in there is to somehow keep all the bits from clumping together or something along those lines... which doesn't really make a lot of sense either...
I'm using Thrive liquid (which is great!) so I'll be getting some of the Thrive tabs next time I need some - I'm almost out of the API tabs I've been using.


There must be some manufacturing reason that they are in there like a way to motivate the product through their pumping system or something.
Here’s my thoughts
Whoever you spoke to shouldn’t be in the position they were in. If they don’t know they should have seemed the answer before responding. This indicates to me they don't make them and they just slap their name on them. I personally wouldn’t use them for a multitude of reasons.


Possibly the resin balls are saturated with the ferts and they release through dissolving so to speak ? The ferts leave but not the resin ball that held them ?
I honestly have no clue but using the resin balls as a vessel is all that makes sense IMO . Bio plastics [little resin balls possibly as they are plastic ] are used in a denitrifying set ups in Marine tanks ..They are called Bio Plastics but they do dissolve over time [part of the process] .?
The sad part is the person responding must spend more time at work on other sites besides their own to not even know their own words .
Long and short ;
Yes Tropica is a very well regarded plant company so I am sure they have a reason[ still not sure of what ] and employees who don't care enough to make their company look good like everywhere else ?

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