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Hi, I'm looking to start a natural planted tank, and I thought it would be neat to collect local plants (and a money saver). Does anyone have advice on where to find them in WA, USA? Lakes? Creeks? Rivers?
 

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Hello Hoihoi8, what area of Washington do you live in? I used to live around SeaTac and did a bit of fishing around there! Lake Fenwick has quite a few plants, located between Federal Way and Kent. In that area you can also find Steel, Star, and Five Mile Lake, but if memory serves me correctly most of the plants (if not all) are invasive and common (still pretty though).

If you are interested in native plants I would recommend Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar and Mackinnon, published by Lone Pine. This book has a small section on submerged plants, like Lobelia dortmanna. Any book on native plants will be worth the money, but I still haven't found one devoted to only submerged plants in the NW. Good luck and have fun!
 

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If you are interested in native plants I would recommend Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar and Mackinnon, published by Lone Pine. This book has a small section on submerged plants, like Lobelia dortmanna.
Did you ever find that one and try it?
 

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Definitely take a look at some of the lakes around your area! Most likely you won't have to make a long drive anywhere, just ask people in your area what lakes they like to fish and if any lakes have lots of weeds in the water. People will look at you funny when they realize you WANT the weeds, but you get used to it quickly (I did!).:p

Hi Cavan Allen, no I haven't tried that plant (yet). I just got my local plant book about 2 weeks ago, and what your thinking right now is exactly why I got that book! The submerged plant section is very small in this book, but a lot of the plants look very unusual and unique! Most of them look like they are untried in aquaria, maybe the next rage? I probably won't get out to collect until next year:frusty:, but in the meantime I will be setting up a test tank and hatching evil plans:heh:

Some plants are listed as marginal or terrestrial, but I will try them anyway!
Pellia neesiana (my holy grail if I can find it)
Sagittaria latifolia
Subularia aquatica
Callitriche heterophylla
Isoetes echinospora
Plagiochila porelloides
Pleurozia Purpurea
Riccardia Multifida
Conocephalum conicum
Scleropodium obtusifolium
Fontinalis antipyretica (already used in aquariums)
Blinda acuta (sometimes submerged in waterfalls and fast moving streams)
Scouleria aquatica (ditto!)

THE BOTTOM LINE: Every state has plants, some will work in aquariums, a lot won't, get out and see whats in your area! :peep:
 

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Last reply, then I will quite hogging thread!:yield:
I checked around to see if Lobelia dortmanna had a protective status:ranger:, and this link is pretty helpful: http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch Type in the scientific name and look for your state's status. In Washington it is protected, but in Oregon it is fair game I guess.:fish2:

Collecting plants "in the wild" is always fun and I get a better appreciation of the nature around me, but it is always important to do a little research before you collect. Even if a plant is not protected and fairly common, never disturb a small population. If the plant your after is growing in a dense population, never take a noticeable chunk, only a little bit. I know these common sense speeches get old:violin:, but thats how all of the noxious weeds:alien: got in our waterbodies in the first place! Observe Federal and State laws, they really are there for a reason (most anyway).:ballchain

When I do eventually set up my test aquarium and start to collect, I will research:ranger: all of the plants I am interested in, check their status, and only collect small samples from large healthy populations. If the small sample doesn't work out, a larger one will do no better. If I find my holy grail and there are only a couple of small growths, I will cry and weep:crybaby:, but will continue to look around the area for a bigger population. If I can't find a healthy population, then I will look somewhere else:rant:. If I find a cool plant that I haven't researched and identified, I know where to find it on the next trip, after checking the regulations:ranger:.

Field guides and many many pictures are invaluable tools, as are cameras:photo:. Always go to the field prepared:painkille! Mosses are about impossible to identify, get in contact with the horticultural department of the University nearest you to get help identifying any plant in question. They help you out and you can help them by providing the location of collection:hug:.

I am stepping off my soap box now...:icon_hang
 

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zer0zax,

As soon as you recommended Pojar I knew everything following would be accurate and well worth the read, great read, great info! Thanks.

PS: Stay on that soap box!
 

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