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NFC: Re:The North American Native Tank
"A great many folks out there have a wonderful idea. If I could
stock my tank with local species I could save a few bucks and
learn about the local flora and fauna at the same time."
Good message Robert on this subject. It took me about 4 months of
exploration locally before I could start to put together a biotope
of the local flora and fauna. I had to learn to catch the fish,
and recognize the plants.
This year I entered my SW Texas biotope in the 2001 Aquatic
Gardeners Association International Aquascaping Contest and won
1st place in the biotope category. I have to thank the members of
this list for answering my questions, and through their e-mails,
providing me with information which helped me accomplish my goal.
You can see the results of the contest at:
or just go to : http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org
and drill down the menus.
On my web site you can read about some of my explorations:
I think that most aquarists would go with local species of fish
and plants if they knew they were there. They just don't realize
that they are available. My search started with the premise that
even though I did not see any plants or fish of any value when I
used to look at the nearby waterways, _in theory_ there should be
some fish and plants available since I was living in Texas. I
discovered that fish are naturally stealthy and hard to see, and
plants just don't look the same in nature as they do at the local
tropical fish store. You've got to look hard at everything. Take
it home and study it. I found a pretty emersed plant on a stream
bank next to some similar small submerged plants. I took samples
of the submerged plants home. For about a month they did not
grow, but quite suddenly I now have a pretty little stand of
Ambulia (or an Ambulia-like plant) growing in a corner of my
tank. I didn't know Ambulia grew on dry land. All of my plant
discoveries have been quite accidental.
My latest find is that, after several months of searching, I
finally found sailfin mollies, and in a ditch off of the creek
only 200 feet from my house.
The members of this list could "blow the doors off" of the other
entrants in next years contest in the biotope category. Most
aquarists still don't realize that African Ciclids and Amazon
sword plants don't make a biotope. We certainly know what a
biotope is. It would be good publicity for the "North American
Native Tank" concept that we all seem to want to push.
Keep on exploring.
Sent via the EV1 webmail system at mail.ev1.net