Kokedama are great for tanks without substrate or if you just are not sure where you want to put your sword plant and would like to move it around. It’s sort of a plug and play thing.
You will need: Daltons aquatic mix, Daltons organic potting mix, sphagnum moss, coconut fibre, a Seachem or API root tab, some 25lb fishing line, scissors and a bowl.
- Dirt mixture: mix a 1:1 ratio of daltons aquatic mix and daltons organic potting mix together. Make them wet so they stick together so that if you were to make it into a round ball it would stay stuck together. They are fish safe so no need to worry. If you don’t have access to the aquatic mix, it is basically just a mixture of clay and sand. You may need to experiment with a different brand of organic potting mix if you don’t have access to the daltons brand.
- line a bowl with some very thin coconut fibre. I tend to thin it out by pulling on it. It’s the same stuff people line hanging baskets with and it is available at Bunnings and Mitre 10.
- add a thin layer of wet sphagnum moss (also at Bunnings and Mitre 10). I like to wet it and then scrunch it out a bit so it’s not heavy and dripping
- fill the bowl up with the “dirt mixture”
- put your root tab on top and then place your sword on top. Dig the roots in a bit also
- build up the sides of the sword with some more “dirt mixture” in order to make a whole circle as right now you have a half circle since a bowl is half a circle.
- add some more wet sphagnum on top of that so it’s the same layers as on the bottom of the ball
- add a layer of coconut fibre and try round it off so it’s nice and round on top. You may need to rearrange the sword a bit to ensure it’s centred.
- Now put the centre of the sword between your pointer and middle finger and flip the bowl unsidedown into your hand carefully so it doesn’t all fall apart. I use my right hand since i am right handed. Basically the stem of the sword is between my two fingers. I remove the bowl at this point with my left hand and am literally holding the kokedama unsidedown with my right hand. My left hand swoops on in and holds the bottom for the ball so it doesn’t all fall apart. It’s tricky business.
- carefully use your hands to perfect the ball you’ve made and press it together better so it doesn’t fall apart
- Get some fishing line and do the special wrapping pattern like on the vid i will upload of me wrapping a tennis ball to show you the wrapping pattern. You can actually add peacock moss on top of the coconut fibre before wrapping in fishing line if you want your ball to look mossy and green as well. I like peacock moss the most as it looks so pretty.
- It’s basically done now so you can go ahead and place it in your aquarium. It won’t cause algae and it will sink really well. If you did a good job it should look something like the photo below. I think covering in peacock moss looks better also but that is obviously optional and not everyone has moss on them. Eventually the roots of the sword do grow out the bottom but it’s not a big deal and you can still move it around since the main part of the root system is still inside the ball and it doesn’t affect the roots anyway.
Below is a photo of the wrap pattern for the underwater kokedama. Remember you will need to use fishing line not twine since twine will just rot.