Manic Botanix BioMass
Advanced Hydroponic Nutrients
Manic Botanix BioMass is a new generation enzyme and beneficial microbe product that our researchers have developed over several years of horticultural field trials and extensive lab work. An in depth explanation of why we researched and formulated BioMass in the way did follows; however, in short, enzymes alone do not have the advantages that the beneficial microbes provide. Enzymes do not actually consume wastes; they simply break complex compounds into simpler compounds. Beneficial microbes, which consume these wastes, are still needed to finish the job. Other manufacturers seem to have missed this extremely important scientific point, so we decided to get it right.
While enzyme and beneficial microbe science is extremely complex, let’s talk about enzymes first (knowledge is power!).
Manic Botanix Solid Logic and Enzymes
Just one of the advantages of purchasing hydroponic nutrients and additives in dry powdered form is that in the case of Biomass you can be assured that the all important enzymes required to break down cellulose (decaying plant matter etc) and enhance plant growth are biologically active when you receive our product.
The Problem With Hydroponic Store Liquid Enzyme Products
The key problem with the extremely costly liquid enzyme products that you are currently purchasing through hydroponic stores is that, in many cases, by the time they reach the end user the enzymes have become biologically inactive (inert) – or exist at such low levels that the product is largely ineffective.
Or, as Advanced Nutrients puts it:
“Our scientists visited a bunch of hydro stores and bought enzyme products made by our competitors. Then they tested them for enzyme concentration, variety and viability.
The tests showed that our competitors products were dead in terms of enzymatic units of activity…”
“Enzyme products made by our competitors were found to contain far fewer types of enzymes and they had inferior manufacturing standards. To put it bluntly, their enzyme formulas were junk.”
Not exactly the way we like to put things (see author’s note) but Advanced Nutrients make a good point. In simple terms, the moment free or encapsulated enzymes are added to water they become unstable and their shelf life, dependent on enzyme type, is speculative at best (this also applies to ANs SensiZyme, regardless of claims to the contrary!)
Author’s note: Technically, enzymes aren’t living things so they can’t be “dead”. However, they can be “biologically inactive”, or inert, or be present at such low levels that the liquid enzyme product is ineffective. Either way, you’re being ripped off and in many many cases purchasing a placebo.
Why Biomass Differs from the Rest
We send you carefully selected European researched and manufactured enzymes as dried and “immobilized” (stabilized) powders that when added to solution remain viable (biologically active) in significant quantities, when stored correctly, for approximately 3 to 5 months.
Similarly, we send you beneficial bacteria and fungi as suspended spores that when added to your hydroponic solution become active and begin colonizing the rhizosphere and plant tissue. The bacteria and fungi are sourced from European producers and we only use registered products that have been scientifically trial proven to meet the claims their manufacturers make.
However, let’s put the promotion of us against them aside and get down to some science as to why dry enzymes are far more stable than those found in water based products.
BioMass – Biologically Active Enzymes Guaranteed
In order for enzymes to remain stable (biologically active) for long periods they need to be “immobilized”. Immobilized enzymes typically have greater thermal and operational stability than the soluble form of the enzyme. The advantages of immobilized over soluble enzymes arise from their enhanced stability and ease of separation from the reaction media, leading to significant savings in enzyme consumption.
Immobilization methods range from binding to prefabricated carrier materials to packaging in enzyme crystals or powders.
While enzyme immobilization science is extremely complex, different enzyme types require different forms of immobilization in order to ensure; 1) viability; 2) shelf life/stability and; 3) the highest level of activity possible (i.e. some forms of immobilization reduce biological activity while others are shown to increase biological activity – dependent on enzyme type). Research shows that in many cases immobilized enzymes are “substantially” more stable than free enzymes.
There is a variety of methods by which enzymes can be immobilized, ranging from covalent chemical bonding to physical entrapment. Immobilization can be broadly classified as:
- Covalent bonding of the enzyme to a derivatized, water-insoluble matrix.
- Intermolecular cross-linking of enzyme molecules using multi-functional reagents.
- Adsorption of the enzyme onto a water-insoluble matrix.
- Entrapment of the enzyme inside a water-insoluble polymer lattice or semi-permeable membrane.
You will note that in all cases in order to best stabilize enzymes they must be made water insoluble first (when added to the right catalyst they then become active). Odd then that the hydroponic enzyme products that are currently being sold through hydroponic stores are sold as liquids – the vast majority of which is water.
An enzyme is an organic complex made up of amino acids, proteins, or RNA (ribonucleic acid which plays a role in transferring information from DNA to the protein-forming system of a cell). The composition of an enzyme depends on its function within the metabolic process. Enzymes are the primary mechanism by which all living things – e.g. plants – depend on for regulation of metabolic activity. In simple terms, enzymes are required for life and they are responsible for greatly increasing the metabolic activity (among other things) in biological organisms. For instance, there is an enzyme in the liver that helps hydrogen peroxide break down into water and oxygen. What’s amazing is that one enzyme can process 5 million hydrogen peroxide molecules in one minute.
Enzymes all function as an aid in the general process of converting minerals into absorbable food for the plant, with a little help from various types of bacteria in some cases. Without enzymes, plants cannot effectively use the minerals available to them. Enzymes are used in ALL chemical reactions in living things; this includes respiration, photosynthesis, and growth. One of the key actions of enzymes is they are catalysts for growth, increasing metabolic activity at substantial rates, while also protecting biological organisms – plants etc – from disease and stress.
Because a particular enzyme catalyzes only one reaction, there are thousands of different enzymes in a cell catalyzing thousands of different chemical reactions. Just one example, is that at least five enzymes (e.g. Rubisco, ribulose-5-phosphate kinase etc) play a pivotal role in the Calvin (C3) cycle.
In very simple terms, while there are about 2500 types of enzymes, individual enzymes are highly specific and work only on a very limited range of substrate and perform a single process. For this reason, the correct choice of enzymes that best promote plant health and yields is crucial in developing enzymatic products for use in agriculture.
It should be noted that most of the agriculturally important enzymes, are those that catalyze the digestion or “hydrolysis” of certain large organic molecules like starch, cellulose, and protein. The enzymes actually attack these complex molecules, accelerating their digestion and yielding simpler substances such as simple sugars. Since this process of digestion is referred to as hydrolysis, the enzymes that catalyze the process are considered to be “hydrolyzing enzymes” or “hydrolases”.
The hydrolyzing enzymes include:
(1) Amylases, which catalyze the digestion of starch into small segments of multiple sugars and into individual soluble sugars.
(2) Proteases, (or proteinase), which split up proteins into their component amino acid building blocks.
(3) Lipase, which split up animal and vegetable fats and oils into their component part: glycerol and fatty acids.
(4) Cellulase (of various types) which breaks down the complex molecule of cellulose (e.g. decaying root and plant matter) into more digestible components of single and multiple sugars.
(5) Beta-glucanase, (or gumase) which digest one type of vegetable gum into sugars and / or dextrins.
(6) Pectinase which digests pectin and similar carbohydrates of plant origin.
Using Enzymes in Conjunction With Beneficial Microbes
Bacteria and Fungi are living cells which have the capabilities of consuming wastes of different types, reproducing, and producing enzymes.
Commercially available enzymes are often derived from bacteria and fungi such as Bacillus, Aspergillus and Triochoderma species (among others).
For instance, bacteria have the capability of producing many different types of enzymes. They are living organisms that respond to their environment. In general, bacteria are capable of producing enzymes that degrade a wide variety of organic materials such as fats, oils, cellulose, xylan, proteins, and starches.
Thus, bacteria and fungi are factories that produce enzymes. When the right bacteria and fungi are present in the right quantities and in the right conditions, they produce enzymes much more economically than people can manufacture them.
As another example, Cellulase enzymes are typically laboratory manufactured using Trichoderma spp. (species) such as Trichoderma reesei (a fungus) and/or Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus terreus (bacterias). Fungal and bacterial enzymes, including cellulases, break down lignocellulosic tissues such as plant matter, turning them into fermentable sugars (beta glucose), which in turn act as a food source for the fungi and bacteria. In addition, Trichoderma produces high levels of Xylanase enzymes. Xylanase is the name given to a class of enzymes which degrade the linear polysaccharide beta-1,4-xylan into xylose (a sugar), thereby breaking down hemicellulose, one of the major components of plant cell walls. Polysaccharides are made up of mono saccharides such as glucose, fructose and maltose which act as food for bacteria and fungi. Which brings us to our next point…
Are Beneficial Bacteria, Fungi, and Enzymes Compatible in Hydroponics?
Absolutely! Hence BioMass!
Bacterial digestion is the process of bacteria, consuming organic matter. Enzymes act to break the organic matter into water-soluble nutrients, which the bacteria digest. Using complex chemical reactions, the organic waste is metabolized down to water, carbon dioxide and sugars (the final metabolic waste products), providing the bacteria with energy for growth and reproduction. Thus, the combination of bacteria, fungi, and enzymes create a synergistic relationship whereby each (compliments the other.
In the past, biological products have come in two forms; bacteria formulations, enzyme producing bacteria formulations and enzyme only formulations. However, in understanding the microbiology of enzymes and microbes, all bacteria produce their own specific enzymes to aid in the digestion of the food source that Mother Nature created them to eat. By using a “bacteria only” or “enzyme producing bacteria” (remember that ALL bacteria and fungi produce enzymes), you are counting on the microbes to produce their own enzymes to do the job they were bought to do. Unfortunately, since the majority of products are not stabilized, you are asking the ineffective strains to perform a task that they simply cannot handle. By using an enzyme only product, you simply are not “finishing” the job. Enzyme only products simply convert food sources into simpler forms without digesting them completely. Enzyme only products usually only pass the problem down the line to cause substantially larger problems later. By combining the proper bacteria strains with the appropriate enzymes, these formulas have an immediate action. This immediate digestion enables carefully selected bacteria strains to “adhere” to food sources, where they continue to eat until the food source is gone. Read more about beneficial bacteria and fungi here…
European Sourced Food and Pharmaceutical Grade Enzymes:
European Sourced and Registered Beneficial Microbes:
Storage Instructions: Once the enzymes, bacteria and fungi have been added to the liquid concentrate, store Biomass in the fridge at 0-4 degrees Celsius. Do not store below 0 0C as freezing enzymes can result in damaging the enzymes at approximately 30 – 60% due to breaking down the molecules which make up the cell structure.
Usage: Use at 2ml/L throughout grow and bloom