Manic Botanix Fulvic Acid
High Purity Fulvic Acid For Use in Hydroponic Systems
‘Fulvic acid’ (FA) is the most important and active humate extract where hydroponics is concerned. It is highly water-soluble and is chemically active and readily available for uptake by the plant.
Humic acid has far less activity in hydroponic systems (while being ideal in soils for supporting microbial matter) and therefore, at least where hydroponics is concerned, a humic product that is high in fulvic acid content is the ideal.
Fulvic acid increases the absorption capacity of plant roots, aids the cell building process and enhances the passage of poorly transported ions into and throughout the plant’s cells by acting as an efficient organic chelator/complexing agent in hydroponic solutions.
Studies show that fulvic acid provides for excellent translocation of microelements, such as iron, throughout the plant. When added to an iron chelate in one study it stimulated more growth and better utilization of the iron than with the synthetically chelated iron (Fe EDTA) alone (Chen and Stevenson (1986) Soil organic matter interactions with trace elements).
FA use under conditions where adequate mineral nutrition exists consistently shows stimulation of plant growth when added to hydroponic nutrient solutions. Similar plant growth enhancements have been observed when FAs are applied to the foliage of plants grown in complete nutrient solutions. The degree of stimulation varies depending on the concentration of fulvic acid and on the quality/source of the fulvic acid (Plant Growth Stimulation by Fulvic Acids. K Day et al)
Manic Botanix Fulvic Acid vs the Rest
Generally the use of fulvic acid as a chemical carrier and biostimulant in hydroponics far exceeds the suitability of humic acid. The use of humic acid still has benefits but a large proportion of the humic acid is unsuitable because of solubility characteristics and the potential risk of locking up and precipitation of trace metal ions required for utilization by the plant. This is variable by the products source material and extraction methods. It is possible to produce a humic acid product suitable for use in hydroponics but an actual product developed specifically for this use is unknown to the author and possibly unlikely because of the limited markets. Products typically sold the hydroponics market are the result of normal humic acid extraction methods designed to be viable in conventional agricultural markets. By definition a properly extracted FA is suitable for use in any agricultural production whether for soil, foliar, fertigation or soilless culture. It’s range of compatibility in products or as an additive is far wider with humic acid suited to more specific product applications and in the soil because of low compatibility.
The problem is that most companies use Leonardite coal derived humic acid bases in their fulvic acid products.
It is important to note that Leonardite has, at best, less than 7% of fulvic acid and greater than 85% humic acid. While ideal for soils, this makes Leonardite less than ideal for hydroponics. For instance, in research conducted by Deborah P. Dick et al (2002) on multiple coal samples where they separated humic acid from fulvic acid, for all coal samples, the fulvic acid fraction was of such low yield as to be ignorable (FA content < 0.01% of total humic substances).1
Manic Botanix Fulvic Acid is very different – for one we do not use Leonardite humic acid bases in any of our products.
With new breakthroughs in humic research comes new products. One new technology is the extraction of HA and FA from black liquor which is a by-product of the wood pulping industry. Currently we know of only two companies who are producing humic substances (HA & FA) from black liquor with several more looking at this as a source. This idea came about because of the environmental push to reduce the waste produced in pulping and paper production, a high energy and high chemical input industry. Like most things we do, we looked very closely at this process and one of our partners, a molecular biologist, who is a member of the International Humic Substances Society (IHSS) was more than impressed. After endless hours of lab analysis we were able to ascertain that one black liquour source contained dependent on batch 80-85% fulvic acid with the rest being made up with extremely low levels of humic acid and low levels of lignosulphonates.
The end result – a product that is perfect for use in hydroponics!
1) Deborah P. Dick, Antonio S. Mangrichb, Sonia M. C. Menezesc and Betania F. Pereira (2002) Chemical and Spectroscopical Characterization of Humic Acids from two South Brazilian Coals of Different Ranks