| | Re: US biotopes??
One reference that's a must have if you plan to go the native fishes route is Goldstein's American Aquarium Fishes, published by Texas A&M University Press. It's not cheap, but well worth the cost, as it details pretty much every native fish that can be kept in aquariums, collecting regulations (current at time of publishing, check on your own for updates), some info on the biotopes for each species, spawning data (where known), and even a short section on native plants. The edition I have was published in 2000, don't know if there are later editions out there.
You may also want to check out Kuehne and Barbour's The American Darters, published in 1983 by the University Press of Kentucky. Details every darter species in this country with description, range, biotope, conservation status, breeding habits (where known) and so on. Probably out of print, but may be able to find it from vendors specializing in aquarium books. For those who are not familiar with these fish, darters make great aquarium pets--most stay a manageable size (2-4"), eat frozen foods (not too big on flake or pellets) with gusto, become quite tame, and the males often show bright colors (take a look at a picture of the rainbow darter/Etheostoma caerulea if you don't believe me). They do need good water quality and flow throughout the tank, and non-aggressive tank mates, but if you can meet their basic needs they rival anything that the more typical/exotic aquarium fish have to offer.
Hope this helps!