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Hello from Central Illinois

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#1 thedood

  • NANFA Member
  • Illinois

Posted 05 March 2016 - 11:00 AM

Hello from Central Illinois. About a year and a half ago I returned to the aquarium hobby after years away, time spent more focus on kick-starting a new career. I returned to the hobby in the same place I left which was fascinated with cichlids. Over the last several months I have found my interest has shifted as I have gotten older, I am sure many of us experience that. I have gotten into planted aquariums and found that I really enjoy them more than I ever did cichlids. Who knew that tiny fish darting among live plants were just as interesting as the big ol monsters lurking in rock caves? That brings me to today and why I joined this forum.


I have become fascinated with biotopes and area specific and correct fauna and flora. My wife and I make a few trips to the Shawnee forest every year if possible. We made a trip last year to the Cache River Cypress Swamp and my wheels started turning. I have a 125g sitting empty because we are remodeling the downstairs apartment of our home and have been living in the upstairs and the 125 was just to much weight on these 100+ year old floors. Again in the last month or so my wheels started turning yet again and I had the thought of a riparium that is partial land and partial water say 30 or forty gallons. I could do that so I started doing the research and have found that good information about the area is difficult to come by.


I have not given up on the idea of a Cache River biotope but I am exploring other options for a native species biotope which I why I joined here. Researching pygmy sunfish led me to this site and I decided to join. Illinois has a lot to offer in the area of native species and I figured this was a good place to hopefully network with others in my area. If I dont do a native species of Illinois system I am still interested in a biotope of native species from some area be it Florida or wherever. I think we have just as rich and beautiful selection of fascinating critters as does South America, Africa, or Asia.


Thanks for reading and if you are from Central Illinois I am particularly interested in networking with you and start my education on native species. Thanks again for reading and I look forward to learning as much as I can from you.

Edited by thedood, 05 March 2016 - 11:03 AM.

#2 MtFallsTodd

  • NANFA Member
  • Mountain Falls, Virginia

Posted 05 March 2016 - 07:14 PM

Welcome aboard, there is a wealth of info here you should find useful.I'm reformed reeftanker getting back into natives. Lots of fun!!!!
Deep in the hills of Great North Mountain

#3 thedood

  • NANFA Member
  • Illinois

Posted 05 March 2016 - 07:42 PM

Thanks for the welcome! Ive been reading and learning. I'm looking forward to starting my first native. Right now I am planning on a 20g and am looking at pygmy sunfish but may go a different route once I get some knowledge. Darters look pretty neat as well.

#4 BenCantrell

  • Moderator
  • San Diego, CA

Posted 08 March 2016 - 10:57 AM

Hi thedood, I'm the Illinois regional rep, and I'm also in the central part of the state (Peoria).  Your native species biotope plans sound like a lot of fun.


I took a trip to the Shawnee Forest a few years ago and wrote a blog post about it.



Send me a message on here or via email (ben.a.cantrell at g-m-a-i-l-d-o-t-c-o-m) and we can chat more!

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