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DIY Wabi Kusa Spaghnum

Aqua360

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Hi all,

This is going to be a pic and text heavy thread, I made some wabi kusa balls, and wanted to share details in case others wanted to try it!

(Disclaimer: I literally just made this, so I can't say its successful yet!)

You may have seen the commercial wabi kusa balls selling for £20, these balls are superb, however a bit pricey!

The materials I used for mine included:

1 x monofilament (£2)
1 x spaghnum block 100g (£6)
1 x small pebble (free anywhere, outside)
1 x Xmas moss (£3)

So basically a tenner, and with these materials I could make about 10 wabi kusa balls.

So, my steps below!

1) collect pebbles
IMG_20200522_154445.jpg
 

Aqua360

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2) wetten spaghnum moss, this balloons up to an insane amount, I was surprised just how much I got from 100g
IMG_20200522_190027.jpg
 

Aqua360

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3) grab a handful of spaghnum, and wrap it round a pebble then squeeze it by cupping both hands around tightly.

4) begin to wrap the monofilament around tightly, any bits of spaghnum poking out, simply wrap round them till it looks like below

IMG-20200522-WA0009.jpeg
 

Aqua360

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6) plant up by tying or poking holes and inserting stems. I've used a mix of emersed and immersed Monte Carlo below! Not pretty just now, but it should grow in I hope!
IMG_20200522_191106.jpg
 

Aqua360

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Update on some of the DIY wabi's, the absolute best plant I've encountered for these so far is hydrocotyle tripartita, the pic below is of a small one that is 4 days old, wrapped loosely with cuttings, it grows insanely fast in this method!

Monte Carlo has also been successful, going to try it without a cover to see how it responds

IMG_20200608_222221.jpg

IMG_20200608_222250.jpg

IMG_20200608_222329.jpg
 

Majsa

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Thank you for sharing, inspired by your wabis I've now made one of my own too (with a little different recipe though) with (among some other plants) hydrocotyle tripartita, and I'm too surprised how it is pushing new leaves after a few days only :thumbup:
 

Aqua360

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Thank you for sharing, inspired by your wabis I've now made one of my own too (with a little different recipe though) with (among some other plants) hydrocotyle tripartita, and I'm too surprised how it is pushing new leaves after a few days only :thumbup:

Nice! What approach did you use to make your wabi's?
 

Majsa

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I've made only one so far to try it out. I bought one more of those Aqualighter lamps and a pot of hydrocotyle tripartita, otherwise I used materials I already had and plant cuttings from my tanks. The ball is Tropica soil powder pressed together with some NZ sphagnum moss which I normally use for my orchids. I think only a piece of 2 cm x 2 cm dry moss, but you know how much that is when wetted. I broke some of the soil with a mortar and pestle to even smaller grains, thinking the ball would form better, but I am not sure if that was such a good idea, it was messy and the ball is a bit "leaky"...but so far holding together with black polyester thread. Covering the ball with live moss would have been good, but didn't have enough.

I was planning to put this ball in the wabi set you also have, but then I couldn't cover it with cling film. I like this cube too so I think this is where it'll stay for now.

IMG_2866.JPG IMG_2867.JPG
 

Aqua360

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I've made only one so far to try it out. I bought one more of those Aqualighter lamps and a pot of hydrocotyle tripartita, otherwise I used materials I already had and plant cuttings from my tanks. The ball is Tropica soil powder pressed together with some NZ sphagnum moss which I normally use for my orchids. I think only a piece of 2 cm x 2 cm dry moss, but you know how much that is when wetted. I broke some of the soil with a mortar and pestle to even smaller grains, thinking the ball would form better, but I am not sure if that was such a good idea, it was messy and the ball is a bit "leaky"...but so far holding together with black polyester thread. Covering the ball with live moss would have been good, but didn't have enough.

I was planning to put this ball in the wabi set you also have, but then I couldn't cover it with cling film. I like this cube too so I think this is where it'll stay for now.

View attachment 150198 View attachment 150199

Looking good! The wabi set can be covered with cling film since the light is held on with a magnet :)
It doesn't however offer the same height for the plants to grow as the glass you've used, so probably the right choice!
 

ommmartin

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I also have found tripartita to be soo willing!...I have a commercial ball hanging on my scape with a central dot of reinickii mini surrounded by tripartita...seems to work well after initial transition period and adds a whole new third dimension to any tank....like the idea of making my own though!...thanks...having tropica soil as the core instead of the stone seems more fruity and nutritious?
 

Aqua360

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I also have found tripartita to be soo willing!...I have a commercial ball hanging on my scape with a central dot of reinickii mini surrounded by tripartita...seems to work well after initial transition period and adds a whole new third dimension to any tank....like the idea of making my own though!...thanks...having tropica soil as the core instead of the stone seems more fruity and nutritious?
Think both work tbf, they take the nutrients from the water around them anyway; had to trim mine religiously
 

Aqua360

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60b66bb18071b4a7d06b54d9da0e1b5b.jpg

Did you make the base of this yourself as it looks like an IKEA light


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Yep, I got the light and board both from IKEA, think the light was £10, chopping board was about £3 from memory.

Then just drilled a suitable size hole in the board, and the light already has a kind of stud that just fits right in, no glue or anything necessary.

I originally seen this idea on that IKEA hack website!
 

Aqua360

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Love these! There’s no problem with submerging sphagnum moss then, it doesn’t decay?
Not that I've found, but I can't vouch longer term; my tanks chop and change regularly as I get bored quickly lol
 
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