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Ethan's Wabi Kusa Attempts

10318 Views 37 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  ChemGuyEthan
Hey TPT'ers!

So I've been doing what I tend to do a lot, look into things planted tank related on the internet and came across Wabi Kusa.

If you don't know, they're basically little emmersed setups that are meant as stand alone pieces of "wild nature." There are a few threads on here where people have done them. I want to do a true Wabi Kusa, with the substrate ball, in the cylinder but lost steam tonight, haha.

Well, since I've got plenty of leftover amazonia, rocks, wood, and plant trimmings, I thought I'd give it a go! :bounce:

I went over to Michael's and bought some glass bowls originally intended for fake plant centerpieces. Dropped a whopping $15 for 3 different containers. One is a fish-bowl shape, a cylinder, and a shallow, wide bowl.

Here is the first I set up in the fish bowl with some driftwood. I wrapped the wood in java moss and some HC trimmings from my other tank (not sure if those will grow...). Planted some sort of bacopa, alternanthera reineckii, ludwigia sp red and rubin, hygrophilla pinatafida and polysperma, proserpinica palustris, and a bunch more HC. Oh and a myriophillum.



Just realized that picture is blurry...I'll get another picture tomorrow.



The second has similar plants plus some lobelias cardinalis, hygro compacta, and some glosso. The "scape" is with some leftover ohko stone I had. I thought the wider bowl would look interesting with the tall peaks.





And the two side-by-side all wrapped up. :icon_mrgr



One question, is it ok for the saran wrap to touch the plants? I don't want them to have some sort of negative reaction. And if you know of any of these plants that do poorly emmersed, let me know. Also, any tips on successful emmersion growth would be appreciated. :proud:

As always, thanks for looking!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I feel bad no one replied!! Lol. It looks great. Ill look forward to your progress!
Haha, no worries. People have been looking, so that's something at least. And thanks!

So cool! I love the idea. I'll be watching too see how it goes I'd love to set one up
How wet was the soil? Just like a dsm?
Thanks! I loved the idea too, so I jumped in head-first. :hihi:

I'll admit I had the soil too wet at first... :icon_redf I've never done DSM before either, so I didn't really know. What I've found works well for keeping things mold/algae free is similar to DSM, keeping the water level 2-3 cm below the line of the soil. I've also been misting once in the mornings with some tank water from one of my EI dosed tanks.

I don't think the misting is necessary though except at the beginning. I was away in SF for a week until Thursday and all I did before I left was top the water off, then left it 3/4 covered with saran wrap and things actually seemed better than they were when I left, haha. Guess the watched pot never boils...or the overly attended Wabi never sprouts? :icon_lol:
 

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This is an awesome thread! Don't know how I missed it. I have been wanting to do a Wabi Kusa for a while now. I am I. The designing process. I see you did kinda an emersed setup, did you try to make any of the wabi kusa balls? If so how did it go?
 

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Both bowls look great. I'm up in Northern California and I find that with our dry weather, some things died when I stopped misting every day. I was misting twice a day to help with the transition but all of my stem plants died (limnophila aromatica, rotala colorata). The only thing that's growing now are my four leaf clovers and anchor moss. Good luck though. Keep us updated. The reason I stopped misting was because the wabi kusa was supposed to be a low maintenance centerpiece and twice a day of misting did not seem low maintenance to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
This is an awesome thread! Don't know how I missed it. I have been wanting to do a Wabi Kusa for a while now. I am I. The designing process. I see you did kinda an emersed setup, did you try to make any of the wabi kusa balls? If so how did it go?
I haven't yet tried to make the wabi ball. I would like to, but it's a bit more of an involved process. I enjoy the aspects of designing in an aquascape, so the idea that I can do little mini setups without the work of maintaining a tank was appealing. I have mostly just been taking trimmings from my other tanks, so not much money spent other than the glass containers.

I guess technically these are not wabi-kusa in the sense of the Amano Wabis, with the ball and what-not, but the idea is similar.

I've been wanting to do a wabi kusa for some time now. I love the way your bowls are looking now, very colorful!
They're fun little experiments! The color is a result of the submersed growth, really. Most of it goes away or at least changes a bit from that when grown above water.

Both bowls look great. I'm up in Northern California and I find that with our dry weather, some things died when I stopped misting every day. I was misting twice a day to help with the transition but all of my stem plants died (limnophila aromatica, rotala colorata). The only thing that's growing now are my four leaf clovers and anchor moss. Good luck though. Keep us updated. The reason I stopped misting was because the wabi kusa was supposed to be a low maintenance centerpiece and twice a day of misting did not seem low maintenance to me.
Yeah, I've been experiencing some issues keeping the shallow bowl humid enough lately. It had been humid around hear for a few weeks, but recently it's been drying out a bit. The taller bowl is doing fine though, holds in the humidity much better. I'll probably be able to keep the saran wrap off it permanently in a week or so. I noticed initially there's a pretty substantial die-back of the submersed growth, but most of the stems I just left in and in a week or so they had resprouted. Some definitely didn't make it though...like the hygro pinnatafida, which was a shame. I'm hoping mine will be good in a few weeks when they've thoroughly rooted themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update!

Hey everyone!

As promised I have pictures of the bowls! :cool:

Here is the shallow bowl


The HC is starting to grow in nicely, and that bacopa is growing like mad. The hydrocotyle tripartita (sp japan) is doing great too!


Some ludwigia sp. red in the back, hoping it grows a little taller but it's quite slow-growing. I believe that's rotala indica next to it there that's doing well. I don't remember what the fuzzy one is on the right that's struggling...


Shot of the alternanthera reineckii which looks pretty cool, nice burgundy leaves. The bacopa flowers have since shriveled up, which is too bad. Maybe I'll get some more though! :icon_surp


And now the taller bowl, which is my favorite at the moment (mainly cause it's growing better, haha). I did suffer a complete loss of all the HC due to the white/yellow spider-web like mold. It took the whole lot in only a few days which is as impressive as it was disappointing. :mad: But from the ashes rose a nice mat of hydrocotyle tripartita that's doing quite well.




As you can see, the plants in this one are doing much better. (other than that bacopa in the other one, haha) I think the taller bowl really helps with the humidity, it's also deeper soil which probably helps. The moss on the wood hasn't really done anything, it's not dead, but it hasn't spread or really grown out at all.




Close up of the alternanthera reineckii, proserpinica palustris, and...the fuzzy one all doing great! It looks like the proserpinia has some flower buds on it?


Here's the ludwigia repens sp rubin on the left, which is another good one. It has grown all the way from one side of the bowl to the other and is now going vertical. Not as red in it's above-water form, but I still like it. Next to it there is hygrophilla polysperma (I think), that's also doing really well.


And finally, I set up one more. Going for a little iwagumi style here with the glass cube. I used a couple large lava rocks to make some boulders, amazonia powder for scaling. HC on top trailing down between the boulders with some hydrocotyle tripartita mixed in. Also some staurogyne repens on the bottom. The left boulder has some moss covering it, I believe it's java with some fissidens mixed in. Then there's a little moss wrapped around the bottom half of the other boulder. It's about 4 inches high in back and about 1 inch in the front.

Front:


Top:


Alright, thanks for hanging in there everyone! Hope you like them! I think the taller bowl is going to end up on my desk at work soon, so I'm excited for that!

Oops, forgot to mention, all of these are grown using a desk lamp that has a 100W equivalent, 6500K CFL on for 14 hours a day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's awesome. I'm going to copy you and add a lot more dirt. I just had water on the bottom of mine but maybe the dirt is better at controlling humidity?
Haha, thanks! They're fun! I don't know that the dirt (or in my case amazonia) does much for humidity control. I think it's the taller glass that really helps. So if you're in a dry climate, you may struggle with something like this without high rimmed bowls/containers. I see you're in the Bay area so you might be able to do a shallow bowl like the second one I made without too much trouble. I'm at the point now where I don't keep the saran on there much at all, just lay it over top in the morning then uncover it at night. Also do a misting in the morning.

Haha, right? It would be nice if more soil helped. I think what it does really help with is the stems. They have more space to fill their roots in.

Excellent job! I am impressed!
Thank you! I appreciate the compliment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think I know where my left over trimmings are going to go haha
Yeah, you should try it! I'm doing a big trim in my large tank this weekend, so I'll probably be setting up the 4th of these things. This one might be an actual wabi kusa, with the ball and everything, instead of just an emmersed-like setup.
 
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