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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I start, I'll admit that this tank totally bites off of ADA's new Wabi-Kusa concept. For those who have never seen a wabi-kusa, the idea is to grow a ball of emersed plants semi-emersed or submersed.

That said, there's a bunch of things going into this idea:

-Wabi-Kusa Style
-Ikebana Style
-Hawaii Biotope

In addition to the wabi-kusa concept, I'm trying some ideas from Ikebana arrangement. I also wanted to make this a "Hawaii Stream" biotope, and all the plants were collected from a local stream. Well, enough explanation-- photos!



The empty tray . . . I mean aquarium. ;) Lighting is an overhead 19w spiral florescent. My friend Long sits working on some of the plants.



Lay out decorative white sand and a pot for the emersed plants.



Fill the pot with some old flourite, and soaking it to wet the florite and sand.



First plants go in-- support "mid-ground" plants. They are not submersable plants, and I don't know the species. They grow semi-emersed, and look sort of like emersed lobelia (but aren't).



Stems. I think they are an ammania species, but not sure.



Finished Planting with Pennyworts, aquatic and terrestrial mosses tied to the rocks in the appropriate locations.

I'll show some more photos when the water clears!

I'm planning to stock the tank with fancy guppies and wild-form cherry shrimp-- both invasive species that have unfortunately taken up permanent residence in Hawaii streams, but are rather conveniant for the purpose of this biotope.

I'll give some explanation on ikebana with photos afte the water clears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·




Sorry guys, I accidentally set exposure comp to -2 for all the set-up photos. Here it is today.

The ikebana concepts are in the arrangement. While I was studying in Tokyo this summer, we were given a demonstration by an Ikebana Master as part of the program. His assistants taught us some of the basics before the demonstration. The most basic uses a large dish, and placing the spike stone (which is used to hold the flowers in place) in on the right or left side, in the front or back. For this, I had a pot instead, and placed it in the back left. In Japan, the position is decided on the season-- in the summer, the plants are put in the back so that one feels "cooler" by seeing more water in front. In the winter, the plants are brought to the front to create more sense of "warmth." It's hot year-round in Hawaii, so I figured it would be alright in the back. Besides, I wanted to use moss-stones, and in a way, I do bring the plants "to the front" this way.

Thanks for the comments/compliments all!

dewmazz-- I do find myself annoyed by the work of disassembling and re-assembling, but it's not too bad. Thanks for the compliments dude, but I think I'd be embarressed if, after the years of painting and aquascaping I've had, I couldn't do something at least at this level. Really, I still have a long ways to go. You just got to keep going, you know? Everyone can get good at art if they try IMO (at least at execution skils). Yeah, I have a few copies of the catalogue lying around . . . XD

gabe-- come on now, you know there are no medakas in Hawaii. XD Besides, for this tank, I'm actually trying to do something more "Fantasy" than "Natural." I'm making a living ikebana instead of a stream.

davis-- not real sure what any of the plants are. My hunch is I have nabbed a local ammania.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Gabe-- I'm planning on mixed fancy guppies. :p

Graeme-- Amano's original concept seems to be very maintenance free. The catalogue gives the impression of "letting the plants go wild" without much trimming involved (though of course the glass is perfectly algae free). I'm not really sure how this'll work out, but I'll take the measures necessary to keep it looking good. Sand can be replaced, and scrubbing this tank feels like no effort if you can imagine. I was planning on maybe dosing a very tiny amount of ferts, but no CO2. My water changes will be frequent. I'm using the water straight out of the tap (which is not so different from the water in the stream that runs through the forest in my backyard and supplied most of the plants).

I also have the light very high above the tank in hoping to create a low-light setting. I am actually planning on putting in an air stone in the back left corner and running it 24-7. When it comes to these semi-aquatic mosses, I find water movement is more important than great quantities of CO2 to their health.

Well, I only have a month here anyway before I go back to California and set up my real tank. :)

Blue--I'm just making guesses, and then only about their genus. But here are my guesses:

Ammania sp.
Juncus sp.
Vesicularia/taxiphyllum (the mosses) sp.
Hydrocotyle sp.
+2 Unknown terrestrial plants that hug the river edge

Paul-- Iya, sugei jyanakute. Kantan no darou. :) (typical Japanese to turn down compliments, right? lol)

I was really curious about how Amano's are heald together. Well, I'm sure the secret will come out soon enough. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
John-- Sure thing :)

Dennis-- I bought this tray at Tokyu Hands in Ikebukuro (though there are many locations through out Tokyo). Tokyu hands is a sort of all-in-one store with everything from Travel stuff, to anime models, to appliances, to having a pet store at the top floor that carries hamsters, kabuto mushi (Wrestling Beetles), and some ADA stuff. This, I bought on the office materials floor though. XD
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Probably coming down at the end of the break.

The fish? They went to a friend in SCAPE until I get back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
dhavoc pretty much got it. The humidity isn't too much of a concern-- it's the same in my house as where the plants grow. Though, the plants are doing their little "drop the leaves and put in new ones 'cause I'm growing somewhere else" bit. Real annoying, but they are showing some new growth. I might just replace them at the end if they don't grow back fast enough. Don't have a qualm about replacing plants in my "ikebana" ;)

Filipboy-- I got it at a department store in Tokyo. Still, you might be able to find something similar. This was meant to be an "office tray."

Thanks for the compliments/feedback all!

Little Update:

My computer is in the shop, so I got no photoshop . . . :(











I added in 4 male guppies and 20+ neocaridina denticulata (wild cherry shrimp). I'll keep you all updated. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Hurriken-- I'm glad I can be some help, though I wouldn't look at this as an example of the best way for growing aquatic plants. As for the rocks, There are better defined rules for iwagumi. This is not iwagumi, and for the most part I tried to just use them to set the basic shape and support the plants. Therefore, there is not "main stone." However, it is good to stick to the most basic ideas-- odd number of stones (2 and 4 are usually bad though 6 or 8 might be ok), keep some empty space, and use smaller stones to support larger ones.

schaadrak-- I sympathize with your AADD. :p I've never done bonsai so I wouldn't know about that but, I have seen bonsai trees kept in terrarium before (in photos).

This "style" is new and old. In a way, it's just ikebana but with plants that live and a dish that's clear.

KyCox-- I did water changes every other day. Nu'uanu (my home valley) water is very good.

Studying in Japan was exciting. Tokyo is a gray place but it's bustling with life and a sub-concious level of culture. For me though, the really special times were those I spent with my Dad site-seeing. One thing an aquascaper needs to do is reach out and absorb the beauty and cues from nature. Japan was truly inspiring.

From casual things like staring out of the shinkansen window to catch a quick view of a misty forest of bamboo and sakura.

Over-powering things, like the mind-numbingly beautiful garden grounds of Ginkakkuji, whose designer is still considered a genius by the people of Kyoto centuries after its creation.

Small things, like the cool sweet water of Koimizu, and seeing riccia and mosses bubble at the base of the pool there.

Calm things, like taking in the sight of cool green maple trees at Miyajima island from a Ryokan window while drinking cold sake.

And of course, grit-driven and determined moments like walking around rise paddy are (in the middle of nowhere!!) where no one spoke a lick of english (my Japanese was severely tested), in the pouring rain, looking for this "Nature Aquarium World Gallery" that's supposed to be around here somewhere. We did eventually find it-- we ran into a nephew of Amano's (believe it or not) who took us to the gallery. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Final Photos

I did wrap this up, and here are the finished photos:









Cherry Shrimp (Wild Form)











Whole tank shot:



I found photographing this aquarium very difficult. It's so small, and trying to capture the terrestrial and aquatic parts together is difficult. In the end, I ended up with 2 different types of full-tank shots. One that shows more of the emersed plants, and this one that shows under-water better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
You guys are complimenting me too much for putting some pond weeds in an office tray. :mrgreen: Thanks all

Epic-- You can do something like this, it's not that hard.

Turbo-- It's already been torn down, and I'm already back at school. :)

Slick-- What you should try doing is gett a wadd of plants, put them in a shallow aquarium, and just see which ones grow out of the water-- and go with those. :) Of course, for me with only 1 month of winter vacation, I don't have that patience. XD
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The guppies are now living with my cousin in her fish tank. :p

As for your questions, as Amano would say-- healthy plants make for healthy fish. :D
Also, the larger the water surface, the more oxygenated water is. Compared to say a fish bowl, this tray had a lot more oxygen for the amount of water.
 
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