Not really much to say, but I wanted to say hi to everyone here.
I have been interested in fish since I was little kid, and only now I am starting a native tank. I will need a lot of guidance from you experts along the way! I have kept tropical fishes so I have a general idea of the steps to make a good tank, and I've been reading this site and some others over the past few days to get an idea of specifics of natives and how they differ from the tropicals. I've also done a bit of bait fishing, and studied biology in university, so these might help me as well.
My goal is to try to keep things all natural, or at least as natural as possible. I'd love to use real mud from a pond, real plants, invertebrates for food, and so on, and avoid chemical treatments as much as possible. I also want to avoid mechanical stuff like filters as much as possible, but if it seems I absolutely need one, I'll get one. I'd rather have an ecosystem where the plants are the filters, just like nature intended.
I will look at tanks sometime this week and purchase one, probably a small one though because of space restrictions. I understand small tanks are harder, but I'm not really looking to set up anything too fancy. I'd be content with a few fishes, some nice plants, some snails or shrimps, just like a quiet slice of pond life. This will sort of be a test tank, a learning experience, so that when I finally have my own place and can get a larger tank, I will be able to make it perfect.
Nice to meet you guys, and I really appreciate this place as a resource!