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Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Final) Harvest

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Tim.jp, 27 Aug 2012.

  1. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    The aim of this project was to have an unheated tank on a south facing balcony and gradually introduce warmer water species as the year progressed. The essential ingredient of rice seedlings was to be added in June if obtainable. I've been keeping notes, but only got round to posting now it is half way through. Anyway, there have been some unresolved issues, so comments that help me improve next year will be much appreciated.

    [​IMG]

    Roughly speaking, the cold Stage 1 is from the end of March to the end of May, during which time a few cold water plants will be added while the setup matures.
    Stage 2 is June, July (and September) when temperatures are naturally in the comfortable range for tropical species. Stage 3 is August when high water temperatures could be a problem.

    The normal monthly temperatures in Celsius for where I live in Kanagawa Prefecture are as follows:

    March 9 average; 5 low; 13 high
    April 14 average; 10 low; 19 high
    May 18 average; 15 low; 22 high
    June 21 average; 19 low; 25 high
    July 25 average; 22 low; 29 high
    August 27 average; 24 low; 31 high
    September 23 average; 21 low; 27 high
    October 18 average; 15 low; 22 high
    November 13 average; 10 low; 17 high

    From previous experience, having a tank in direct sunlight results in maximum water temperatures of about 3 or 4 degrees above daily air temperature highs, so August could be a problem!

    Equipment:
    Substrate: 50/50 ADA Amazonia/Akadama
    Lighting: Natural sunlight only (south facing balcony)
    Heating: None
    Cooler: None
    Fertilizer: All in one liquid fertilizer (no CO2)
    Filter: Eheim Ecco 2236
    Stand: These stands are NOT recommended for aquarium. I only use them outside where it isn’t the end of the world if they are not up to the job.
  2. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy

    I wanted to create the feel of a paddy field and adjacent irrigation channel before the days of chemicals, but it wasn't going to be a strict biotope. The first thing to do was to make a perspex divider to separate the shallow rice area from deeper irrigation channel.
    [​IMG]
  3. nayr88
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    nayr88 Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy

    This looks really interesting!!

    Why a rice paddy tho? Is this the old 'betta dream tank' coming up again :)
  4. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy

    [​IMG]

    The substrate is Amazonia and middle-sized akadama


    [​IMG]

    Water added (end of March). Water temperature still well below 10C all day, so just Elodea canadensis and cabomba for now and I don't expect those to grow yet.


    [​IMG]

    The next morning the water had cleared. Yes, I know it is just a goldfish tank without goldfish at this stage, but I'm looking forward to something less controlled than my normal tropical planted tank with CO2 etc.
    The filter pipe has a T-junction so the outlet and main inlet is in the deep lefthand side, but a trickle of water runs into the shallow side to stop it becoming completely stagnant.
  5. mario
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    mario Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy

    very interesting project!
  6. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy

    Thanks for the first comment on here, nayr88. The inspiration for this project came from spending my younger years exploring ponds in Gloucestershire and then seeing the wonderful lush paddy fields in Japan and imagining what they must have been like before the use of chemicals.
  7. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy

    [​IMG]

    Going green! One month on (April 23rd; water 12C a.m/15C p.m.) and the original plants have died back and there's a nice layer of algae on everything. Algae is only ever a negative thing on ukaps, but at this stage of this project I don't think it's a bad thing. Amazingly, the moss on the wood survived the cold to grow slowly when things warmed up.
  8. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    [​IMG]
    By the end of April things had warmed up enough (lows 18C+; highs around 25C) for the plants to start growing and fish to be added. I chose Rosy Bitterling (Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus) which are the Taiwanese variety, rather than the native Japanese one.
  9. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    [​IMG]
    And golden medaka (Oryzias latipes) which should be at home in a rice field setup.
  10. darren636
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    darren636 Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    what is with the very large banked section? nic rice fish btw,
  11. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    [​IMG]

    Unresolved issue: I wanted to hide the perspex divider with some emersed plants.
    I got an ADA mix designed for a circular glass bowl and split it up.
    The red stemmed plant grew well from the start, but the round leaved one (coinwort - Cenetella asiatica?) died back before making a weak recovery 3 months later. Do you think this was because the water temperature was too low (below 20C on some mornings when I put it in in mid-May, or could it be a fertilizer issue?

    [​IMG]
    This picture shows it flowering, but the leaves already beginning to yellow.
  12. darren636
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    darren636 Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    is that an annual plant? if so try to collect seed if you get any. yellow leaves can indicate a lack of certain elements. maybe nitrogen etc.
  13. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    [​IMG]

    Top view. The non-aquatic plants in the tub are climbers that should provide some shade and keep the water temperatures down a little.
  14. darren636
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    darren636 Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    i almost tried a paddy field set up. trying to find plants was a pain though. even rice seed is a pain to buy.was going to be a paddy cube, with the floating plants too. hmmm....maybe a winter project for me.
  15. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    [​IMG]

    By the third week of May the deep section was coming on.
    Now what I needed was rice seedlings for the other side.
  16. darren636
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    darren636 Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    i suppose find oryza plants might be easier where you are? there is nothing here in uk, not even ebay! except one seller in the usa... that is why i gave up last year... azolla i think is the floating plant. ancient companion planting technique
  17. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    [​IMG]
    June: Rice seedlings arrived on the bullet train from northern Japan thanks to a colleague of my wife.
    Oryza sativa, variety Hitomebore.

    [​IMG]
    What I received was a clump of the seedlings that farmers leave at the edge of fields to fill in spaces missed by the planting machine.

    [​IMG]
    Checking spacing in a local paddy field.

    [​IMG]
    Planted!

    [​IMG]
    I love the colour of rice plants in the sunshine.

    [​IMG]
    I used these fertilizer pellets pushed into the substrate in addition to liquid fertilizer, but I'm still not sure it will be enough for rice.

    [​IMG]
    An approaching typhoon necessitated protective measures.
  18. Tim.jp
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    Tim.jp Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 2)

    [​IMG]
    Mount Fuji in the distance provides a nice background for the rice tank.
    The rice survived the typhoon, but the "green curtain" took quite a battering and never really recovered to give the amount of shade I had hoped for.

    [​IMG]
    Some more emersed plants of similar varieties to ones I have seen in local paddy fields.

    [​IMG]
    The midday temperature overtakes that of my indoor heated tank for the first time.

    [​IMG]
    The medaka seem to like the heat - some of the little ones moved to a little rearing tank.
  19. Matt Warner
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    Matt Warner Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 3) Planted!

    I love what you've done here it looks amazing. I love the rice plants they look really cool. Over here we never actually see where rice comes from, you just buy it in a bag :mad: . I love the volcano backdrop you have it looks beautiful. Where in Japan do you live?
  20. b1zbaz
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    b1zbaz Member

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    Re: Japanese Balcony Rice Paddy (Part 3) Planted!

    That's fantastic I'm really impressed with the layout and rather jealous
Similar Threads: Japanese Balcony
Forum Title Date
Journals Wagamama...A bit Japanese...But not as good 14 Oct 2013
Journals A Japanese Garden of sorts 13 Jun 2011

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