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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #15
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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Discussion Starter #16
5.21.12 Update-

I'm not a big fan of the bare bottom look and also wanted to try growing some crypts emersed out here so I've made some changes. :) I added some Amazonia powder, A. barteri v. nana 'Petite', B. heudelotii, C. wendtii 'Green Gecko', C. pontederiifolia, and willow moss. My goal was to make this an emersed garden with some water rather than a glass container with a couple plant balls. Time, and a lot of detailed pruning, will tell how well it works out.

First, growth progress before any changes-






Post planting and trimming-

Plant palette:


Substrate and moss:


Planted and trimmed:




With fertilizer:


Cheers,
Phil


I'll get more shots when the lighting's better. It was starting to get dark by the time I finished everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks guys. I'm looking forward to seeing how it progresses. Looking at it this morning I may have to redo it. There turned out to be too much substrate. I can see evaporation being a big problem when it starts getting hotter here. We'll see!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
5.28.12 update

Here are some mid-week pics after the water cleared from the previous plant addition.




















5.21.12-

After seeing some previously undiscovered species (Bacopa monneri and Hydrocotyle sp.) growing I felt a rescape was needed. That and I had to take some substrate out to have enough water volume to account for evaporation. The container was looking a little over-full previously. I like the new do a lot more. For time-lapse reference, the stick is 9" long and goes all the way to the bottom of the container. There's about 5" visible. I'm interested to see how the plants grow.

Maintenance notes: I've started spraying the recommended 5mL Be Bright to 500mL water every other day or so. Water changes vary from 100% daily to every couple days depending on clarity and algae growth.








Rotala (wallichi or nanjenshan) flower buds!









Cheers,
Phil
 
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