Glad to see this forum~exactly what I need. I work at a local IL nature center and would like to populate our tanks with native IL plants and fish and amphibians via the El Natural methods. Our center is part of the forest preserve so we have permission to collect live specimens for display purposes.
Our first attempt was a disaster -- plants rotted within weeks (no fish in yet so that was good). We are not botonists but enthusiasts -- can anyone point me toward a source that IDs native plants and their habitat needs? Has anyone done a native midwest tank and can tell me how they did it?
Are there special plant handling rules when bringing them into a closed system or just trial and error? A local nursery sells commercially grown native species -- is this a better way to go?
Any advice would be appreciated -- we want to have a second go at it soon. I have a cat litter bucket full of plants and snails waiting.