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Tropica and Dupla

>I read on the Tropica website about why their plants
>are not sold in the United States, but found their
>explanation somewhat lacking.  Could someone explain?
>I would pay more for certain plants if I could order
>them by their scientific name and not those weird
>trade names.  

Tropica is still looking into ways to bring plants to the U.S. market, but
you have to remember that Tropica is a for-profit business that is very
successful in the real, non-US market world.  We need them more than they
need us, and out government has made it very difficult for them to do
business here.  From a business standpoint, it makes more sense to
concentrate on markets that are not so difficult.

There _are_ growers here in the U.S. that do an excellent job growing,
packaging and labeling their plants.  And they don't have to deal with
difficult import regulations.  Ask your retailer to get plant for you from
Florida Aquatic Nurseries.  Like Tropica plants, they are not cheap, but
IMO they are worth the added cost because of the quality.

>What about Mastergrow?  Even if the plants can't be
>imported, why not that stuff?  Why isn't it on the
>shelves just like eveything else?

Mastergrow _is_ available in the U.S., both wholesale and retail.  The only
thing keeping it off the shelves is lack of knowledge on the part of shop
keepers and consumers.  My LFS has it on the shelves, your can too.
Suggest that they contact Dave Gomberg.  He is not the only retail
distributor, but I believe that he is currently the only wholesaler.

>And what's the story with Dupla?  I don't know
>anything about that at all except that their products
>are expensive but supposedly superior.    

I'm sure this is in the archives, but Dupla had a North American
distributor... J.P. Burleson.  Burleson did a poor enough job of
distribution that Dupla first gave up on the English version of their
excellent magazine, Aquarium Heute, and now within the last year or so,
have completely stopped distribution in the North America.  As far as I
understand it, there are no immediate plans to re-enter the N.A. market.
They never sold enough product here to make it worth their while, and they
are now fed up.  

BTW, Aquarium Heute was published as Today's Aquarium for the U.S. market,
and though it is long out of print, there are still complete sets available
if you look around.  There are also nice binders available that hold the
whole set.  IMO, anyone who has the chance to pick these up, should.  They
are a great resource, and a much better value than the ADA magazines if you
are interested in more than outstanding photography. ;-)