I apologize that I don't keep native fishes, but for my project I read a lot of good threads on here about freshwater live foods. I wanted to share with you my experiences because I thought some of your members would find them useful.
Years ago I had a salt water tank with a refugium that produced enough food for all my fish. I wanted to create something like this with freshwater that more closely replicates an ecosystem with a food and I believe I have been successful. the detritivores eat the plants, the fish eat the detritivores and the plants consume the fish waste. Nitrates are quite low.
I created a 10 gallon proof of concept with a small refugium. the refugium houses floating plants, scuds, copepods, ostracods, planaria, and some sort of worms. I originally kept one betta but there was too much food for him so I added a second fish. I used to feed my cultures food, but I haven't in about two months and everything seems to be doing fine. The refugium also has a box filter and a heater. It's fun to watch the fish hunting for food 24/7.
There are a lot of other setups you could do based on the same principle. I'd love to have a 5 gallon refugium in a 20 galon long with some mosquito fish. I am also curious about having a 10 gallon long with a air driven HOB refugium liek this http://www.amazon.co...9DDH378Z2VBQ8AA
I was worried it wouldn't produce enough food. I can tell you the big problem now is it produces too much food.
Any ideas for native stocking? the community must have members small enough to eat copepods and ostracods, but also must have at least one inhabitant big enough to eat a full sized scud so the colony doesn't become too big to eat and over populate. Bettas seed to be the perfect size. I have high hopes for gambusia possibly mixed with a community. My other idea is to start a brand new culture of native inverts collected from the wild with fish collected from the wild.