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NFC: Re:The North American Native Tank

Robert said:

"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.

Steve Pituch  

Sent via the EV1 webmail system at mail.ev1.net