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I'm not much on Martha Stewart either............................I hear she
uses plastic plants<G>.

    There's alot of work involved to keep the Riccia trimmed in Amano's
tanks say like the ones on pg. 42/72/95/34-35 in Book 1. But permanence in
our culture and many Asian cultures have quite different emphases. We are
all dust in the wind ......something like that<g>. An issue of practicality
and permanence doesn't figure into the attainment.
    The hairgrass is planted between the Riccia stones. These stones can be
picked up and trimmed and placed back. These stones are smaller than you
might think. The Riccia stays attached/roped/bound to smaller rock much
better. I have tried to do larger rocks in order to cover more space with
less work.................................but them bubbles keep up the pull
on the line/string/hairnets. They come apart much faster when larger,
meaning that they'll need to be retied more often unless very well trimmed.
Smaller ones look much better and are better from a trimming perspective
also. A large flat stone will "bubble up" in the middle due to less tension
on the string. This is not conducive to the desired effect and it is a
fragile thing to trim for fear of pulling the whole piece of Riccia off.
Active fish will tear off clumps too. 

    Stones with a more rounded shape also work well due to more even tension
all the way around. They make nice hilly "mounds" too. An ideal stone would
be about 1-3" in diameter and rounded on on one side and flat to slightly
rounded on the other.
Small branches about 1-3 inches in diameter are very good for working with
Riccia in the long term also. Amano makes use of this too.  These often give
his layout a "flow". These can make a nice terrace too! Many times, these
are placed up high in the tank. This does several good things. It makes the
Riccia much easier to trim by being closer to the surface. It also places
the light loving Riccia near the lighting source. You will be more likely to
trim something close up near the surface. The small branches keep the Riccia
attached better. They also take up less light from lower plants by being
small in diameter. The Bright pearly green and bubbles of the Riccia does
make a spectacular effect with these branches, especially with a low
foreground like Glossostigma with many branches coming out from a base. This
will also make use of *space*......  .   .    .  something that takes some
discipline in aquascaping. 
     If your not into all the trimming etc you can also have just a little
patch in one tank. It doesn't take long for the stuff to grow out. Maybe a
few days at most. It is very neat even in a small amounts too.
    The smaller stones offer a more modular approach and are more flexible
for adding/deleting in the areas these are to be set in.
    Tanks grow and evolve. Try some Riccia for awhile, then when your tried
of messing with it move on to another plant or keep a small amount around so
when you get the urge again. It doesn't take long to create the lush look in
those Pic's! This does make up for all that maintenance! Doing a study of a
hairgrass tank or a Riccia techniques is a very worth while endeavor It's
easy to remove/rearrange and add rocks/wood for placement after you have a
nice lawn of Riccia and/or hair grass going. A 10 gallon will do very nicely
for this.

Reproducing all the different techniques of various *masters* seems to me,
to be a way of being/becoming one yourself. Once you've been able to do
these techniques then you, yourself, are a master. 

Tom Barr