If you are in Southern California and are interested in aquascaping, aquatic plants, aquariums, tropical fish, paludariums, freshwater shrimp or anything else related to the aquarium hobby you might be interested in SCAPE – Southern California Aquatic Plant Enthusiasts.
The members are helpful to beginners and there are regular meetings and auctions which pre-pandemic sometimes attracted hundred(s) of people. There are video seminars and meetings. There are a lot of members who breed fish and shrimp and propogate plants including hard to find items. There are also members who culture live foods and you can sometimes buy or get a free starter culture of moina daphnia, cyclops, seed shrimp, vinegar eels and other fish yum yums.
Members trade, buy, sell -and occasionally even give away- plants, fish, shrimp and equipment at the shows, via the Tradewinds subforum or the Facebook group page. Some local fish stores give discounts to members and you can request a membership card at one of the meetings.
That is a quick run down of the highlights. One of the things I personally enjoy the most is that most of the members are friendly and generous. I’ve been a member for a few years now and have given away and received plenty of freebies, met lots of nice people at shows or when arranging a pickup of something I traded for and had a blast one year at a Christmas party. Sadly I missed a couple of the meets that included barbecue but scheduling conflicts prevailed. :/