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Intro and Advice requested

Hello all,

	My name is Sajjad Lateef and I am a new NFC member-to-be (and
NANFA as well ... both applications are in the mail). I am a fairly new
aquarist (about six months of keeping livebearers) and a graduate student
in engineering at the U of Illinois at Chicago. Mark Brinkley was kind
enough to introduce me to this list/group as well as NANFA. I got
interested in native fishes when I read articles posted to netnews
(rec.aquaria.*) by NANFAMAN at aol_com (don't know the person's name).

	That aside, I would like to try my hand at raising and breeding
some smaller native fish. The only native fish I could find at the fish
stores were a pair of black-banded Sunfish. According to Peter Rollo's
article, these fish require soft acidic water (6.2 pH). My water (Chicago
tap water) is neutral and slightly hard (haven't tested the hardness yet). 
I would like to raise fish which would thrive in my water conditions (I do
not want to fight my water at my current experience level). 

	I am in the process of setting up a new planted 10Gallon tank for
the native fish and will not be ready for fish for another 6-8 weeks (I
was thinking of cycling it with a couple of guppies first).

	o What kind of fish would you recommend for these water
conditions? Pygmy Sunfish, some other sunfish?

	o Where would I get these fish? There are a couple of lakes in the
western suburbs of Chicago (Busse Lake supposed to have Sunfish) where I
suppose I could catch some. However, I have never been fish-gathering and
don't know how. From the NANFA list, I gather that the collected fish are
stressed-out and prone to diseases. Any suggestions? Know any breeders in
the Chicago area?

	o Does anyone know if I need a state licence to keep native
species in home aquaria? 
	Thank you.

Sajjad Lateef 	ICQ#13114451	http://www.eecs.uic.edu/~slateef/
sajjad at acm_org			30th Anniversary ACM @ UIC 1967-1997