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Old 02-25-2013, 12:08 AM   #1
pweifan
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Scott's wabi kusa collection


I've created 4 wabi kusas now with pictures below. Each one was a learning experience. I've tried a few different approaches with varying levels of success. Here's my suggestion on how to have the best success with yours:
  • Choose a container with smaller opening to hold in more humidity
  • Use clay as the base of your wabi ball, I just dug some out of my yard and rinsed the dirt out
  • Work lots of sphagnum moss into the clay ball, almost to the point the ball can't hold itself together
  • Wrap the entire wabi ball with sphagnum moss and tie it on with fish line (so it never breaks down)
  • Spray with water
  • Place live moss (java, peacock, whatever) over the top half of the ball and tie it on with cotton thread (it will eventually break down)
  • Spray with water
  • Use tweezers to insert plants as deep as possible into the ball
  • Spray with water
  • Place the ball into your wabi kusa container
  • (Optional) Cover the bottom half of the ball with substrate
  • Fill container with enough water to cover the bottom half of the wabi ball (to the top of the substrate if you used it)

Rationale:
The sphagnum moss in the clay ball binds it together and helps to distribute the moisture evenly. I've heard it also naturally repels the growth of mold. The live moss as a base for the plants to grow out of keeps everything green and plush right from the beginning and helps to hold moisture in the ball. Evaporation can be your enemy. The good news is it helps provide humidity in your wabi container, the bad news is your water needs to be replenished or the plants will dry out. I typically mist the plants 2-3 times a day, spraying enough to bring the water level up to the top of the substrate. If you do use substrate, make sure your wabi ball is sitting on the bottom of the container. If it's sitting on the substrate itself, and therefore not in the water, it won't wick enough moisture up into the ball. You'll have better success if you convert your plants to emersed growth before placing them into the wabi kusa. Some plants have a tough time transitioning and it's difficult to keep it humid enough in the container for most plants right out of the aquarium.

First wabi kusa:
In this wabi I didn't wrap the wabi ball in fishing line and the ball broke down a little bit. Click on the picture to see a timelapse video. I'm really proud of the timelapse concept. It obviously isn't perfect but I have always found timelapse videos fascinating and I've always wanted to do one. The section right in front is the part I've had the most trouble with but I think the HC is finally starting to fill in. I'll keep updating the video.


Flora:
  • Rotala sp 'Colorata'
  • Ludwigia repens x arcuata
  • Penthorum sedoides
  • Hygrophila sp 'Bold'
  • Staurogyne repens
  • Eleocharis sp
  • Glossostigma elatinoides
  • Hemianthus callitrichoides
  • Hydrocotyle sp 'Japan'

Second wabi kusa:
I made this one a bit smaller. It was also the first one I worked sphagnum moss right into the clay. It does retain water in the ball better.



Flora:
  • Rotala wallichii
  • Eleocharis sp
  • Glossostigma elatinoides
  • Micranthemum umbrosum
  • Peacock Moss
  • Unknown terrestrial moss
  • Croptocoryne sp 'Mi oya' (I don't think it's going to make it)

Third wabi kusa:
I just put this one back together yesterday. I had it growing for a few weeks in a much bigger container and it just wasn't working out. The one thing that absolutely did work was to use a live moss over the sphagnum. I'll probably be adding plants to this one in the next few weeks.



Flora:
  • Peacock Moss
  • Rotala wallichii
  • Hemianthus callitrichoides
  • Utricularia graminifolia
  • Staurogyne repens
  • Ludwigia arcuata

Fourth wabi kusa(ish):
Obviously this one is a very different style. I just made it yesterday and I'm not sure if it will work or not. I really hope so because I think it could be really cool.



Flora:
  • Persicaria sp 'Kawagoeanum'
  • Rotala wallichii
  • Hemianthus callitrichoides
  • Utricularia graminifolia
  • Staurogyne repens
  • Ludwigia arcuata x repens
  • Limnophila aromatica

Please let me know what you think.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:42 AM   #2
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I think that these look so cool, Scott!! I love the stop-motion video too! I'll be interested in seeing the updates as time goes on. Subscribe!! Good job!
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:30 PM   #3
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Thanks, Don. That Rotala sp 'Colorata' is what I got from you

To anyone who's interested, I've posted a RAOK to start your own wabi kusa.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:00 AM   #4
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Default Scott's wabi kusa collection

Very cool. Do you cover them at all (to hold in humidity)? I find it tough in my area since its cold to not have it covered. I want as much humidity as possible. I'm going to try the clay next time. I think that's what I was missing. I just used rocks and sphagnum and it didn't hold together to well. :/
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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frrok, the only time I've covered them was when I went away for a weekend. Otherwise I think it's the narrower opening at the top as well as doing everything possible to make sure the wabi ball can hold moisture. When we start planning a longer vacation, I'll probably want to setup some sort of mister setup in a humidity dome.

Last edited by pweifan; 02-26-2013 at 02:31 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:19 AM   #6
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Awesome ! Great wabis.
I'm trying to grow some aquatic plants in my viv.
BTW i didnt get-
Quote:
Use clay as the base of your wabi ball, I just dug some out of my yard and rinsed the dirt out
Are you talking about just the soil ? Or the red laterite or what ?
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #7
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Subscribed! Never seen these before and it seems like a fun little project! Thanks for the idea!
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:37 AM   #8
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Nice work!
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:56 PM   #9
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These look great! Your second one is my favorite.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:39 AM   #10
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Sumer, do you have pics of your vivarium online? I'll have to check it out. Update: I just checked out your vivarium. I recognized it once I opened it. Those frogs are cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumer View Post
Are you talking about just the soil ? Or the red laterite or what ?
In my yard, I have pockets of clay right in the soil. I just need to dig enough earth into a bucket and rinse it. I can find the pockets of clay and set them aside. It's slow and dirty work, so it might be worth just going to an artist shop and getting pottery clay. I've never tried that though, so I don't know if it would work or not.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:42 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for the compliments . I'll post some updated pictures when things fill out. The good news is I just saw the hint of a new leaf growing on the Croptocoryne sp 'Mi oya' in the 2nd wabi kusa. I also added some Ludwigia Arcuata to the big wabi.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:46 AM   #12
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Nice looking plants! Keep u the good work!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:50 AM   #13
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those are very very very cool. please keep us updated with the pics.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:31 AM   #14
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i have the perfect bowl for this... SUBSCRIBED!
and where can i get those various plants... haha so many cool looking plants
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:42 AM   #15
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I had to post a few WTB threads in the Swap and Shop section to get the variety I have, and I still didn't get everything I wanted
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