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I thank Mr. Fabioa lot for his productive and important translation work, that has maintained the original content and descriptions of the italian version of this article

23_05_2011_kokedama_allestimento_acquario_iannella_massimo

Tank: Dennerle Cube 25x25x30cm about 18lts

Illumination: 1xPL 11w Wave Solaris 8 h/day

Filtering: movement pump, Perlon wool

Substrate: Dennerle gravel, Wabikusa substrate

Fertilization: Tropica plant nutrition, Tropica plant nutrition+

CO2: 1 bubble every 2 secs.

Water change: water change once a week of 40%

Vegetal species:

Polygonum sp. 'Sao Paulo'

Polygonum praetermissum

Lileaopsis brasiliensis

Eleocharis parvula

Eleocharis vivipara

Ludwigia glandulosa red

Marsilea hirsuta

Ranunculus inundatus

Proserpinaca palustris

Animal species:
Cantonensis sp. 'Crystal Red/Black'



Premise of the Author

Some time ago I published an article here in order to spread my acquired experience on Wabikusa dedicated aquarium (thanks to the special and precious collaboration with Mirko Agasi), which explained the entire process from the substrate constitution to the planting of aquatic vegetable species. Later on I made some experiments (to verify the response in the tank) setting up a small-dedicated aquarium and using my pre-assembled Wabikusa in order to realize a tank without using fertile substrate and without planting single species as we are normally used to do. The purpose is to demonstrate that with the use of Wabikusa it is possible to obtain aquariums of good level without even having high level of specialization; this will permit the less experienced beginner to manage an aquarium too.

Preliminary important considerations

It is necessary to highlight that a Wabikusa aquarium constitution not only represents a valid solution for the beginner or the less experienced enthusiast but it is also an excellent choice for hobbyists at a far higher level of competence. Indeed the simplicity of setting up a tank (and then realize a chosen layout) depends mainly on the type of Wabikusa used and not only. As it has been addresses in my previous article, I realized the substrate (the so called “ musk’s pearls”) using dedicated materials for obtaining a support; once this support has been put in the tank it can satisfy the needs of the plants without even using anymore the normal common fertilized substrate used in aquariums.

It is necessary to emphasize that the direct collocation in tank of all the Wabikusa by me realized doesn’t stress the plants as it usually happens when one uses normal commercial pots (because of cuts and subsequent re-planting): plants acclimatization is faster cause roots are not cut; vegetative recovery is immediate because there is no need to wait for the recovery times of stem (which has no roots) when it is cut from the pot and then planted in the tank and so on. So plants don’t suffer stress because they are accompanied to the tank by the same substrate in which they made roots, substrate which is characterized by a higher cationic exchange capability (CEC or CSC), ph between 5.00 and 7.00, optimal consistency and composition for the rooting and negligible release of nutrients that in this phase will avoid algae proliferation.

-Less demanding enthusiast who desires to set up a cheap aquarium using substrate can do it submerging only Wabikusa (of types “mix”, “big” and “species”) and maybe adding small gravel or inert bottom like quartz; this mode, which will be described in the next article, is the one that offers the most direct results without big commitment and that will give us a medium level aquarium and fair substrate fertility duration (anyhow there is the need to accomplish a liquid fertilization in column).

-More demanding enthusiast instead will have the possibility to realize an aquarium using Wabikusa “species”, “colors” and Wabikusa “mini” formed by a single plant of various dimensions which can be easily put where needed and without being constrained by more specie compositions already pre-assembled (like Wabikusa “mix”). Basically the operation consists of a direct planting without the use of tweezers, putting the “pieces” and covering them with fertilized substrate (i.e. ADA Aqua Soil NEW Amazonia, Malaya, Africana, Elos Terra Black, Natural Soil, èquo Eden, etc.) in a way to guarantee a longer duration compared to the quartz use only.

Types of Wabikusa developed by the Author

-Wabikusa "mix": beginners can only set up an aquarium using Wabikusa “mix”. They contains more vegetal species with similar cultivation characteristics to each others in order to form a nice looking bush without taking care too much of the used plants.

kokedama_mix

-Wabikusa "colors": this kind of Wabikusa is represented by more species that, once in the aquarium, it offers various colors and tones by using plants like Ludwigia sp., Polygonum sp., Rotala sp., etc.

kokedama_colors

kokedama_colors_1

-Wabikusa "specie": they consist only in one kind of plant of significant dimension (as for the normal Wabikusa); they offer a more precise choice to put a more preferred plant in aquarium.

kokedama_specie_hemianthus_callitricoides

kokedama_specie_glossostigma_elatinoides

kokedama_specie_eleocharis_parvula

kokedama_specie_ludwigia_arcuata

-Wabikusa "mini":they are small Wabikusa with a diameter of 2 cm, they are mono species and they give the hobbyist the freedom of choice almost totally about the plant to insert without being constrained from the dimension of normal Wabikusa. This kind can be put in the aquarium anytime, either in the initial setting up phase or later on, and can be put everywhere thanks to their reduced dimensions (they can stay also on rocks).

-Wabikusa "big": they can be ordered because they are formed by different species; they have significant dimension that varies in relation to the tank used. Basically in this type it’s present, on a large substrate support, lawn plants. What’s only needed is to add water. This is a solution for every hobbyist that doesn’t have a lot of experience and that desires a nice aquarium.

kokedama_big

kokedama_big_1


Used materials

After a careful and long lasting evaluation on Wabikusa that I have realized and chosen for this project, on the 12 May 2011 I finally decided to accomplish the first set up in aquarium using only this products.Mirko Agasi gave his contribute in a determining manner to enhance the project giving all his help especially on the day of the set up. He supported me with suggestions and advices and made this photo service possible.

The Tank

The Tank Dennerle is a small Cube that measures 25x25x30 cm with a gross capacity of 18 liters and with a rounded front glass. With the advice of Mirko Agasi we decided to turn the cube from the side of the flat backside glass in order to get non-distorted pictures.

Illumination

A small-armed ceiling light Wave Solaris containing a PL of 11W provides illumination: a low illumination let the aquarium run at a normal rate. The light period has been established in 8 straight hours since the first day.

The Filter

A small movement pump forms it without any support for bacterial colony but only Perlon wool. I used initially a Dennerle filter but then I replaced it with a normal pump with filtering vane that has a better flow. Even here I didn’t install the filters for having a bacterial colonization; I want to show that one can run an aquarium even with Caridina using leaves surfaces and substrate to host decomposer bacteria.

Substrate

I used a brownish grovel Dennerle very small in size to simulate an organic bottom. In this setting I didn’t introduce fertilized soil in order to highlight the features and the efficiency of the Wabikusa and to permit the realization of a nice aquarium at a very low cost. The tiny grovel is put between Wabikusa so to fill in the empty spaces that inevitably are formed and this gives a more natural layout.

Fertilization

I gave the fertilizer Tropica Nutrition since 25 May 2011; the dose was 1 ml for an entire week; then I gave Tropica Nutrition Plus still once a week after a water change in doses of 2-3 ml.


Step by Step procedure of the project – Day 12 May 2011

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03/07/2011

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27/06/2011

Proserpinaca palustris
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12/06/2011

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04/06/2011

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24/05/2011

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23/05/2011

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19/05/2011

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18/05/2011

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16/05/2011

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14/05/2011

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