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Fish: Tropi-Quatics
Plants: This forum is best, but Aquarium Adventure Bolingbrook has a decent plant stock
You'll find no better plants than on here, seriously. I agree 100%.

Depending on what kind of fish you want, I can direct you to some different sources I know of.
 

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If you ever come to the north suburbs of Chicago, go to Fish Planet in Deerfield. I live in Deerfield and it's my local fish store so I have been going there for the last 8 or so years since I got into planted tanks. I pretty much stopped going to other stores because I couldn't find any other store that had better quality plants and freshwater fish. I was there tonight and there was: bunch of different kinds of nano fish including a clear small goby that I had never seen before, Silane freshwater neocaridina shrimp in at least 6 different colors and even sold Tantora leaf litter food for shrimp, small nano tank set ups (these are Russian and are beautiful) in sizes of a little over a gallon and 2.5 gallons with filter and LED light, higher end bettas (koi bettas, yellow koi bettas), and about 100 rocks of bucephalandra. I don't think I've ever seen a store in Chicagoland sell buces, much less 100 rocks of maybe 8 different kinds. Fair amount of wood and good assortment of aquascaping rocks that I have never seen sold around here (mostly you need to buy online). Regularly carries tissue cultured plants and you can tell Steve what cups you want and he can probably get it for you. Also stainless steel aquascaping tools from Aqua Vitro (Seachem) if you like tools. Fun place that always has something new. Worth the drive to check out.
 

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Thanks for that info fujiija!

I'll check that place out next week.

I've been to aquarium adventure petland in Schaumburg a few times, but I give it a 5/10. They have a decent selection of stuff, but the staff is horrible.
 

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Yep, been there too and I stopped going although I still get their sale mailings. When you go to a place where most of the stem plants are grown emersed, you know that's not a good sign. It's easy to ask a few questions, test the knowledge of the salepersons, and you soon figure out they really don't know their stuff and cannot help you. The Chicago Aquatic Plant Society (we are on facebook) just had the monthly club meeting yesterday at Fish Planet, so if you go there you'll see a scaped nano tank that was set up as part of the demo. I also learned from our club members that it's hard to find rimless Mr. Aqua tanks (I am not sure why) - but we did the demo in a 11 gal Mr. Aqua and Fish Planet is getting more in soon in various sizes. Just a fyi.
 

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I feel your frustrations. I'm in your neighborhood (Montgomery) and although your can't throw a stone with out hitting a pet-co-smart-supplies+, I have to drive at least 45 minutes to get anywhere with quality stock. I second that Fish Planet in Deerfield is awesome. I've also had good luck with Tropi-Quatics Pet Center in Lombard.
 

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I went to the chicago aquatic plant society meeting, and there were some nice plants being offered at the meeting, then I checked out fish planet and I would go there again, however it is too far for me. The plant selection was decent, they had some tissue cultured plants as well. However, you could get the same plants from people in this forum. They had some really cool shrimp too.
 
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