Using local plants (Hey Buck!)
I'm kinda new here and have asked a few questions, but mostly just reading and viewing EVERYTHING - and loving every minute of it! I am fascinated with the idea of using locally collected plants. It scares me in a way, but certainly makes a great deal of sense. I haven't even made it to the learning curve yet, so forgive me for my ignorance, but I would really like to hear more about this. (And Buck, your website and tanks are a total inspiration!)
First, how do you know if a particular plant is safe for your fish? Or is it the obvious answer - there are fish in the stream, so the plant must be safe?
Do you do anything to "sterilize" the plants first? How concerned should I be about pollutants? Or is it safe to assume that if the fauna and flora in a particular area is thriving, this shouldn't be a concern?
Say I see a moss-covered rock that I like - both the moss and the rock - how do you handle this? (Acid test and such...)
If there is information already here somewhere, please feel free to point me in that direction. I've really tried to use the search button before I open up a new topic, but I haven't been able to find the answers to these questions.
Thanks so much! Kathy