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Old 03-04-2012, 12:04 AM
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Default Wabi Kusa Paludarium

I've been reading a lot on the planted tank forums and came across some very cool mini paludariums called Wabi Kusa. I just had to make one myself so I grabbed a very cool glass container from Hobby Lobby (hint, the ones in my area have glass containers half off), some plants from local nurseries and moss from my favorite trail (NCR Trail just north of Baltimore).

I modified the substrate from the original Wabi Kusa models and went with a clay/coco fiber/ moss substrate. I found a few good sized rocks as a base then added the substrate and planted. For the aquatic side, I laid a base of coco fiber, then a layer of fine gravel, and topped it with aquarium sand.

Once everything settles and the water stabilizes, I'm going to add some inverts, probably some cherry shrimp and snails. From what I've been reading, this should do fine with only minor water changes once everything is in place.

Now for the pics. The water is still cloudy as I took these only about an hour after adding the water in. I'll post more of the water section once it's cleared up

















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Old 03-04-2012, 12:40 AM
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Very cool. What are the dimensions?

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Old 03-04-2012, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

I love to use natural aquatic substrates. I just put together a tank that utilizes soil as the substrate. After about 2 days it settles clear and plants explode in happiness. Plus, it is my belief that the nutrients within the soil benefit the water quality and stability. Thanks for sharing. It looks like a great tad grow out idea... That is until the legs start to pop... Then you are rolling the dice every day the tad stays in(escapes...).

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Old 03-04-2012, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

Thanks! I think it's come out nice. I'm assuming some of those plants won't make it. Many are not aquatics and may get root rot, but I figured I'd give it a shot. If they don't work, I'll just replant those areas. It's going to be an evolving setup for awhile I'm sure.

The diameter is about 15 inches and the height is 5 inches.

I doubt I'll put any tads in there. It would be a cool tad grow out tank, but without being fully contained, and the fact I'm wanting to make it a shrimp setup, I just don't think it'd be a good idea.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:06 AM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

Beautiful! I'm super jealous that you were able to find such a perfect cylinder. I've been looking for an ideal sized one for a longgg time but all the ones I find are much too tall for wabi kusa.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:44 AM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

If there is a Hobby Lobby close to you, check there. There was only one left. Right now all glass items are 50% off, so I got this one for $25. If there isn't a Hobby Lobby, try Michael's, AC Moore, or another "craft" store.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

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Originally Posted by xm41907 View Post
If there is a Hobby Lobby close to you, check there. There was only one left. Right now all glass items are 50% off, so I got this one for $25. If there isn't a Hobby Lobby, try Michael's, AC Moore, or another "craft" store.
I was going to suggest Michael's, either that or Pat Katan's(SP?).

Nice tip.

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Old 03-15-2012, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

To update on this setup, the three ferns aren't surviving too well. The leaves have dried up. All three are sitting pretty moist in the substrate so I suspect they were vulnerable to root rot. I've had ferns drop their leaves after a planting, then have new growth come in and they were fine, so I'm just going to leave them in and see. All the other plants are doing well and I'm seeing some growth.

The water is still fairly cloudy. I've decided that the use of kitty litter in the substrate was a poor choice. The clay is just too fine of particles so they remain suspended. I may end up redoing it in the near future to correct this. I'm undecided right now. I will be getting some cherry shrimp for this and a 10 gallon planted tank I'm working on in the near future. If I decide to redo it, I'll do it before putting in the shrimp.

I'll try to get some updated shots tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

very cool!
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

That's hot! What kind of lighting are you using?
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

Just a cheap LED lamp from Ikea. It creates a nice spotlight on the tank. The output is probably low but there is ambient light in the room.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

Here are some updated pics. As you can see, the water is still very cloudy two weeks later. If you look closely, you can see a layer of clay that has settled on top of the sand. Also, you can see how some of the plants have dried and most likely aren't going to make it. Yet, there are others that have taken off. I'm seriously planning to tear down and rebuild this with something other than clay.

What do you think? Should I rebuild or let it go as an experiment?









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Old 03-17-2012, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

1. avoid the clay.

2. for the 1st month I 'think' it would be best to keep it in a lower light area.

3. was it misted daily? I think it needed it.

4. probably some plant selections will never do well this way anyway.

5. R/O water?

6. U have a glass dome? you can get plastic ones even, the glass are pricey but that would help a lot to acclimate the plants. Plants from terrariums do poorly when taken out, b/c they get used to the humidity, and need to be conditioned slowly.

just my thoughts.

otherwise I think it is very neat and I bet your next attempt will go smoother
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

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1. avoid the clay.
Yes, this was a poor choice on my part. It clouded the water so bad the effect I was looking for was lost.

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2. for the 1st month I 'think' it would be best to keep it in a lower light area.
I'll keep that in mind. Do you think keeping it in a darker room with just the LED would be sufficient?

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3. was it misted daily? I think it needed it.
Yes, I've misted it every morning and evening.

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Originally Posted by sports_doc View Post
4. probably some plant selections will never do well this way anyway.
I wasn't expecting to be 100% successful with the plants. I sorta threw things together that I had for terrariums and some from the wild.

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5. R/O water?
I use distilled water mixed with a small bit of spring water. Maybe 90% distilled to 10% spring.

Quote:
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6. U have a glass dome? you can get plastic ones even, the glass are pricey but that would help a lot to acclimate the plants. Plants from terrariums do poorly when taken out, b/c they get used to the humidity, and need to be conditioned slowly.
No dome. It's open to the air, another downfall I knew in advance but was hoping to get away with.

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otherwise I think it is very neat and I bet your next attempt will go smoother
Live and learn right? I know some of the mistakes with this first version and will plan accordingly. Now where to get a big enough dome??
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:26 AM
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I'm not sure if you have these stores where you live, but there are probably equivalents. Closeout stores like Marshall's and Amazing Savings sometimes have kitchen wares, and I've frequently seen crystal/glass cake platters with domes for under $10.

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Old 03-18-2012, 12:50 AM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

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I'm not sure if you have these stores where you live, but there are probably equivalents. Closeout stores like Marshall's and Amazing Savings sometimes have kitchen wares, and I've frequently seen crystal/glass cake platters with domes for under $10.

Jake
Yeah I've look there. I'll need something much bigger for this guy. It's 15 inches in diameter and 5 inches tall, not including the plants above the top. Thanks for the thoughts though.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Wabi Kusa Paludarium

That's very cool!! I love that you could put that on an end table of coffee table if the room was bright enough. I'm sure the next one will be even better.

BTW Wabi Kusa is my radio name. Wabi Kusa in the mornings.
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