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So Charlies Aquarium seems to have the "best" plants around that I have found so far. However, their selection tiny. Am I better off hoping Amtrak to Chitown and making a day of it? Anyone been to the Shedd for the Amazon River display? I need to at least make my trip worth it.
 

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I am in the same situation. There really is not much selection in Bloomington. There is one store in town that seems to have some experience with planted tanks. I would love for them to set one up to see if we can get more people involved. Do you know if Charles Aquarium has any amano shrimp? I can not find any locally for the life of me.
 

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Most reviews I have seen thus far on here seem to steer people towards a LFS in Bolingbrook, IL. Taking the Amtrak downtown to see the Shedd would put you way far away from this place. I am not saying after downtown there might not be an okay store to find, but traveling that far east to the Shedd might be a rough call. The only plus I see otherwise to Bolingbrook is the fact there is an Ikea there. Cheap furniture ftw! 2 hour 23 minute drive using that store as a starting point to Aquarium Adventure. Ouch
 

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Springfield isn't a whole lot better. The fish man has a few plants but nothing rare.
 

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If you are in the Peoria area have you checked with the Tri County Fish Society? They just had their Spring auction last month but some of the members might have some plants for sale or trade. You can contact [email protected] for more information.

Also if you don't mind coming to Champaign-Urbana the Champaign Area Fish Exchange (aka CAFE) club will be having their next auction on July 10th and there are usually a pretty good supply of plants to choose from. You can get more info on that at www.champaignfish.com.

The LFS in Champaign called Sailfin frequently has a good selection of plants. They get people from Bloomington-Normal and downstate driving there on weekends to check out their saltwater and freshwater livestock as well as plants and equipment (I don't work there - I'm just a satisfied customer).
 
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