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Wabi Kusa and other questions

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Has anyone tried wabi kusa balls in their planted tanks? Read about them today and my mind has been going wild at the possibilities ever since. 

Looks like most people use them for emersed growth in small vases etc but they can be used completely submerged too apparently. 

Aside from the obvious artistic application it just seems like a practical way of including plants in otherwise non planted tank, just plop it in wherever you fancy get the benefits of plants but still be able to quickly move it whenever you need to clean the tank or rearrange it etc. Like using a natural looking plant pot. 

Anyone tried them out? Got any pointers of how to DIY them? 

For anyone still reading, also got a couple random algae questions, my tank has quite a lot of algae at the moment, mostly because I was avoiding cleaning it as was waiting for a hillstream loach which I wanted lots of food for. I'm also not too fussed with the look, it almost looks nice I enjoy the natural touch of it. Anyway question is about a couple types of algae, I noticed today small patches of red algae that looked almost shiny, like small puddles of melted red wax - could anyone tell me what it is or if I should be concerned or anything?

Secondly I have a patch of algae that I assumed was black beard algae, only there's this strange effect that when I look at it on one side of the glass it looks black but when I look from the other side of the glass it looks red - is that always the case for BBA or is it something else? 

Thanks in advance!

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I have only ever tried Wabi Kusa for emersed plants in a shallow dish, it ended up failing because I wasn’t able to regulate the humidity well enough (totally my fault). 

When I did it, I got some sphagnum moss, soaked it, and packed it into a tight ball. I tied it in place with some green sewing thread. In the very center of it, I put some Co-Op tabs. I then planted creeping fig and emersed moneywort in the center of it. 

I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to do it in the aquarium. You would probably not use sphagnum moss, but maybe you could use a planter pot that has been wrapped in Java moss or something. 

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I used to use Wabi Kusa several years ago in my Amano style tanks, I used them for moss and other ground covers and sometimes at the water surface of open tanks to place moss and emersed growing plants like Anubias, or Hygrophila pinnatifida on, or in driftwood.

Here are two articles on it from Aquasabi from Germany, and Studio Aquatica:



Just for clarification though, when I used them it was just the soil balls, no glass bowls were involved in the process.

PS: I also used to include one, or two root tabs in the soil balls depending on size.


Edited by Jungle Fan
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Also, for those who are interested in any aspects of aquatic plants, growing them, multiplying them, plants for specific types of aquaria, aquascaping in general, Amano style methods, etc. the Aquatic Gardeners Association and its journals, and archive are chock full of info, to include Wabi Kusa.



In light of full disclosure:

Shameless plug by a member of the Aquatic Gardeners Association but without compensation🙂.

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