Hey! I live in Maryland heights, I've been to a few places, I can give a bit of a run down of what I've seen, if anyone else knows of places other than this let me know! (Listed in random order, I don't have a preference yet)
Tropical world pets:
Decent sized shop, when I went there they had a decent amount of tanks that were empty (understandable) pretty large selection of tropicals, and a plant "station" toward the back, I didn't buy any plants because I had made an order to start my only tank (walstad-ish) decent sized selection though. Prices on most fish were kinda high, but don't let it discourage you from going there.
Aqua world (ellisville location):
Moderately sized shop, lots of tanks with fish in them, a moderate election of plants, when I went, some of them were seriously dead (either that or covered with diatom algae or something) but it seemed like only some of their tanks had the correct lighting. Prices on fish were about the same (if not higher) than tropical world.
Petland (lake saint louis):
Now, this shop is a long way away from most people who live "in saint louis" but I'm still going to include it.
Selection is smaller than aqua world (but not by much) but they have some really cool stuff there, and get things like apistogramma and electric blue rams "pretty regularly" as I was told by Paul, the shop keep, they weren't there when I went, but that's probably because the prices written on the tanks seemed really good. He said that most (he might of said all) of the live stuff in the shop is locally bred, but he confirmed that everything there is tank bred (no wild caught stuff)
Also, about the plants. They are everywhere! Almost every freshwater tank has live plants in it. He also said that if I ever wanted to get rid of something or had extra to bring it in.
I'm planning on heading out there tomorrow to swap some stuff out and start adding fish if they have what I'm looking for, I will post an update later.
As far as places I still want to visit, there is the "more downtown"(east) aqua world, and I need to call gateway aquatics to see if they have live plants.
I have some plant species that I will eventually propagate (two kinds of cabomba and some of this: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/my..._hottoniiflora
) and I'll post here when I've got clippings if you want to know.