Originally Posted by festus
For water should I use treated tap or should I use RO water with RO Right supplement ? I'm in the Chicago area and the water is pulled from Lake Michigan.
Also are there any really good freshwater fish stores selling a good selection of plants in the western chicago burbs or should I go and order online. There are lots with plants but all have a very small selection that I've seen.
Chicago water is fine. No need to go RO.
Scott's in Westchester is about it for W burbs. Check which day they get their plants in, tho, when selection is best. M-T-or W I think. I used to go in M or T eves - good selection, very empty. A zoo on weekends. Iffy service. Can't call or even leave a message on the phone. And in store, when crowded only way to get service is by lining up at counter. A couple of guys are really good on plants, but some of the others will bs you, just trying to sell what they can.
Old Orchard up north is also good and easy to get to.
Tropiquatics in Lombard is hit or miss with plants. Nice store, tho.
And then there's that new place that is going to open up in Elgin...
Overall, however, I'd suggest starting off with the swap forum right here, and then elsewhere on the net. Better selection and better prices than you'll find in stores. Just order several things at once, to save on shipping.
Check out the caga (Chicago Aquatic Gardening Assoc) group on Yahoo to hook up with wet thumbs in the area. There are links in the Illinois forum and elsewhere here.