I saw this cryptomeria black dragon on the clearance rack at a local nursery when I first got into bonsai in 2017. I came home looked around bnut and the web and decided to go for it. I got it for $50 in June 2017
After this I noticed some browning foliage. Being new to the hobby I didn't discover it was spider mites until the tree had went considerably downhill. Unfortunately, also being new I didn't realize that I should treat the pests a few times to get rid of them. Thankfully the tree survived and I left it in its original container for all of the 2018 growing season. It just seemed to survive, not really much recovery. So here's how it looked in feb 2019. I was kind of tired of dealing with it so I bare rooted it and stuck it in an anderson flat for the full year
The tree actually thrived in the flat with aggregate bonsai soil mixed with some bark. This spring I repotted again as I'm trying to move from so many nursery containers and cut back the top a little. I didn't cut many roots, just some of the longest ones. Here is the tree today. It's got some back budding starting I'm hoping for a little more. Anyway, it's starting to shape up. Maybe a little wiring after this season.