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Re: Native Aquatic Plants

> Although you can collect your own native plants, its much safer and 
> easier to buy them at a pet shop.  Native plants are likely to hold a 
> host of unwanted creatures (snail eggs, larvae, etc.) that you probably 
> don't want in  the tank.

I have to respond to this one as I hate to see this kind of response. 
[Disclaimer: this is not intended as a flame, and of course is just my 

> Although these do occur in pet shop plants, most pet shop plants hold a 
> lot less. 

I have collected many plants from local rivers.  Sometimes I get snails, 
sometimes I do not.  However, most pet stores that carry live plants have 
snail heavily infested with snails.  In such tight quarters, you are 
nearly guarenteed (sp?) to get snails when you buy from these pet stores.

> You also don't have to (usually) worry about getting heavily 
> dammaged plants (tearing them out of the stream, etc.) or cleaning the 
> mud that many grow on.

Ya, but this is half the fun of collecting your own.  After all, why go 
to the trouble of collecting our own native fish when it is so much 
easier to just point at one in a tank at a pet shop for the flunky to 
fish out for you.  Well same for plants.

It seems to me this hobby was founded on a do it yourself belief.  Back 
in the beginning days of fish keeping, there weren't fish shops and all 
fish and plants were normally native caught and kept in low tech tanks.

I also think as a society, we have developed the opinion that if 
something does not come prepackaged or is not bought in a store then it 
is not safe to use.  This goes for fish, plants, the food we eat, etc.  
The belief that we should only buy from the "safety" of our local pet 
shops, and shun the "evil" stuff that actually grows in nature [shudder] 
is too bad.  I find the same opinions extend to other things in the hobby 
like filters and fish foods.  After all, some people think that only 
prepackaged flake foods in nice little containers are the only safe thing 
to feed your fish and you should NEVER try live foods or stuff you find 
in your house, garden, or local waters.  Or you can never build a 
filtration system because it will not work as well as a store bought one.

Am I ranting here?  :)

Anyway, I think people should be encouraged to get out and see what grows
in their local waters, and a mailing list such as this that promotes
natives and collecting your own should definately show more support for
it.  We have very interesting plants life that goes with the very
interesting animal life in our waters.  Collecting your own will help you
learn more about your lakes, rivers, and ponds, such as what is there,
what are exotic imports, what are really native, and what used to be there
that is no more.  Indirectly, the more you learn about what is in your
local waters, the more you are going to notice and care what is going on
with your local waters. 

Sure you should take precautions with your collected plants such as 
rincing them well, inspecting them for pests, or even "aging" them in a 
no-fish tank to observe for pests and the like, but IMO I do not think 
native plants pose any more of a threat to your tank than many store 
bought plants (where you really have no idea of where they came from or 
how they were raised and in what conditions.  For all you know, those 
amazon swords where just pulled out of a local river and shipped to the 

Sorry, I don't mean to piss anyone off or step on any toes, but I thought 
I would vent a little.  :)

Patrick Timlin    ptimlin at lynx_dac.neu.edu    ptimlin at ade_com

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