Phil's porch wabi kusa container garden
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:03 AM   #1
Phil Edwards
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Phil's porch wabi kusa container garden


Greetings from Japan!

After two months being in country I finally broke down and bought myself a little ADA wabi kusa setup for my porch. I have no idea if this'll be entered in the AGA contest, but I needed to be growing something. I've been without plants for too long.

Everything was bought at Aqua Pisces shop in Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka Pref. http://www.adana.co.jp/jp/shop/view.php?c=2238

The bowl cost 1300, the ball with the crypts was 2580, and the one with Rotala and Lysimachia was 2200. A regular sized bag of normal Amazonia runs 1300. These plants had better be worth it! On close external inspection ADA's wabi kusa balls appear to be straw wrapped around a rock, onto which 2cm-ish segments of stems are tied. Rosette plants were inserted into the straw instead of just being tied down. I'm pretty sure the worker bees just chop up emersed grown stems, grab handfuls, and tie the mess down. All of the balls I saw at the store had Riccia on them. I'm not sure if that's intentional or if they're a nice pest infesting the cultures. My guess is it's a little bit of both.

Without further ado, here are the 5.14.12 pics.










Crypt ball. My best guess at a species list is: C. wendtii 'green' or C lucens, L. brevipes, L. glandulosa, E. acicularis, R. rotundifolia, and R. fluitans.








Stem ball. R. species ('green'? I've never seen it emersed), L. numularia, L. glandulosa, and R. fluitans. If someone can positively ID the Rotala I'd be grateful.








Cheers,
Phil
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:37 AM   #2
kwheeler91
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Nice. Hopefully those prices arent american dollars...
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:57 AM   #3
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So how much would I have to bribe you to smuggle me one back to the states? I'm only 10% joking.

I'm super jealous. Thank you for the details on its composition. Could you explain more about the straw, such as anything you notice in particular about it, or what your best guess as to what type it is, and how it compares to sphagnum moss?
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:20 AM   #4
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Kwheeler,

The prices are in Yen. Two weeks ago the conversion was 75 Yen per dollar.

Dollface,

The straw looks pretty much like barley straw or dried grass clippings. I can't really be much more specific than that without taking one of the things apart. Sorry! I think sphagnum would be a good substitute for folks back in the states. I've been thinking about wabi kusa for a while and how to make them with stuff back home. I would think that a mineralized soil mixture like Aaron Talbot came up with covered with sphagnum or chopped grass straw would work well.

Cheers!
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Edwards View Post
Kwheeler,

The prices are in Yen. Two weeks ago the conversion was 75 Yen per dollar.

Dollface,

The straw looks pretty much like barley straw or dried grass clippings. I can't really be much more specific than that without taking one of the things apart. Sorry! I think sphagnum would be a good substitute for folks back in the states. I've been thinking about wabi kusa for a while and how to make them with stuff back home. I would think that a mineralized soil mixute like Aaron Talbot came up with covered with sphagnum or chopped grass straw would work well.

Cheers!
Thank you for the details! Other ADA wabi kusa have been dissected, and it's the straw material all the way through, there's no soil involved. I made a knock off out of sphagnum moss last month, and it has fared well, so it might indeed be a viable alternative. Did you also pick up any of the wabi kusa specific fertilizers?

Please please please keep this updated!
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:43 AM   #6
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Not yet Dollface. Do you use ADA ferts with your wabi kusa? If so, what do you recommend?
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:56 AM   #7
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I've been dosing a squirt of brighty K and Step 1 weekly when I do my tank water changes, which has helped a mint plant I have growing in moss in a vase next to it. I've ordered a bottle of "be Bright", the do!Aqua wabi kusa fertilizer to try out however.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:57 AM   #8
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Hmm, I'll see if the store has the wabi kusa fertilizer in stock. Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:00 AM   #9
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That looks great. I've read a lot about these and wanted to try them, but I always have a million things I want to try in this hobby and this is one that always gets pushed to the back burner.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:36 AM   #10
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Slavecorps,

I've been keeping planted tanks for 15 years now and these are my first wabi kusa. Have no fear, you'll get yours eventually.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:52 PM   #11
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So jealous! I'm really tempted to try to make my own wabi-kusa-inspired plant ball; I think I've got enough clippings and things to put something together. I'm just worried that it'll fall apart.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binako View Post
So jealous! I'm really tempted to try to make my own wabi-kusa-inspired plant ball; I think I've got enough clippings and things to put something together. I'm just worried that it'll fall apart.
They're quite stable, actually. All you do is place the soaked straw or sphagnum moss around stones, and then wrap it in thread to secure it, and then place the plants on top, and wrap those down as well.

Phil, if you don't mind another question, can you tell what type of thread is used for the wrapping? Is it just plain cotton thread, or does it appear to be waxed in any way?
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:14 PM   #13
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I'm more worried about my workmanship than anything, but this is good to know! I've made kokedama before, and it sounds like this wouldn't be too different.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binako View Post
I'm more worried about my workmanship than anything, but this is good to know! I've made kokedama before, and it sounds like this wouldn't be too different.
I believe they're based off of kokedama, so yes.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:12 PM   #15
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The thread appears to be ADA's brown cotton aquascaping thread. And to answer an earlier question; yes, they're definitely viable for instant aquascapes. The store I go to has done just that with one of their displays.

Cheers,
Phil
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