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All my tanks (display and breeding) - Feb 22 Update w/ new FishTube video


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This seems like an ideal place to log the changes in my tanks, and get opinions on issues I'm struggling with.

 

You'll notice a trend in most of my aquariums -- collectoritis. I'm at the stage of fishkeeping right now where I can't fathom a species-only tank. My schooling fish are all in sufficient numbers, but I still love the variety. I think I have an even bigger problem with plants. Over the past year I've just been buying all the plants to find out which ones grow (it's a secret, no one knows).  I'll post each tank in order of acquisition.

 

1. Living room display, 40 breeder, initially set up August 2019.

Below is what the tank looked like back in October. Started it out as a super-artificial scape, and then I realized how much I liked live aquatic plants and began adding them in droves.

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After some experience with subsequent tanks, I went back to this one for an overhaul. This is what it looks like today (changing the substrate was a B-and-a-half):

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YouTube video on this tank:

The tiny sword plant you see in the lower left corner of the first pic has grown into the giant sword plant in the second pic. The floating moss ball was a recent addition from the Co-op, and while it arrived in great condition, I am cursed when it comes to growing moss. I just can't figure it out.

Stocking: Angels, rosy tetras, maccullochi rainbows, australian rainbows, otos, powder blue dwarf gourami, and emerald corydoras.

 

2. Dining Room, 20 tall, initially set up September 2019

I wanted to breed bristlenose plecos. It didn't take long before I saw baby bristlenose all over the glass, at least 30 of them. Unfortunately, they dwindled one by one over a period of two weeks - no idea why. There was one survivor, which has grown 2+ inches. But since that initial spawn, I've only seen white eggs that the male pushes out of the cave. Any tips to get this back on track? In addition to the plecos, it's housing my wife's platys from her classroom tank (she's a teacher) which are breeding, as well as breeding endlers and cherry shrimp.

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Stocking: Male and female adult and one juvenile bristlenose pleco, platies, endlers, cherry shrimp.

 

3. Daughter's tank, 20 tall, set up October 2019

My daughter (8 years old) wanted a tank for her room. Trying to move her away from the artificial plants but she likes them too much. So I just have to keep doing bleach dips every month or so until I can get the lighting balanced (upgraded her light recently). The lighting upgrade seems to have negatively affected her live water sprite, though. Used to be lush and green and now seems to be falling apart.

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Stocking: Platies, platy fry, green fire tetra, sunset honey gourami, pygmy corys, and guppies from my wife's classroom tank

 

4. Son's tank, 20 tall, set up November 2019

My son (6 years old) loves dinosaurs, so we went with sort of a prehistoric jungle theme.

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Stocking: Zebra loaches, panda corys, cherry barbs, purple harlequin rasboras, and one platy (offspring from my daughter's tank)

YouTube Video on my Kids' Tanks:

5. The livebearer tank, 40 breeder, set up in February 2020.

In the dining room next to the pleco fail tank, I have guppies, platys, and cherry shrimp breeding up a storm. I started with just guppies in the 20 tall in October, trying to breed the fancy strains from my LFS. I could never keep a single one alive for more than a couple weeks. I had purchased some already-pregnant females, which gave birth and died. I raised the fry and let them breed as well, and it looked like I was getting some strong stock out of them, so I set up this 40 breeder to let the guppies do their thing. Simultaneously, my daughter's platy was having babies, which I also added to this tank. Because of how much feeding I was doing, I added panda corys and cherry shrimp to the mix.

But then in March/April, there was an outbreak of some horrid bacterial disease. My corys were happy, my shrimp were breeding, and the platys were thriving. But for several weeks the guppies died one by one, then two by two, then five by five, etc. I probably lost 75% of my guppy stock. Maracyn didn't touch it, nor did . What ended up working was kanaplex, though it crashed the cycle. Should've quarantined... I didn't lose any corys or platys during all this drama, though.

I decided not to buy anymore guppies and just let my surviving endlers and guppies breed. Things are doing better, so much so that I've been able to grow out enough stock to trade in at my LFS.

Also trying to grow java moss glued to foam (removed from my bonsai tree because nothing was growing).

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Stocking: Guppies, endlers, endler/guppy hybrids, platys, panda corys, cherry shrimp, and amano shrimp

Note: The background in the above tank, as well as the cave, were DIYs that were intended for tank number 6. However, I wasn't entirely satisfied with the result and found a better DIY method online. Still, didn't want the first background to go to waste.

 

6. The Bedroom Display, 90 gallon, set up February 2020

Sometime in December, I dove into a large DIY project. I had 1/2 inch glass cut to custom dimensions so it could fit in a particular space in my bedroom, and I siliconed it all myself. Tank dimensions are 55"L x 17"W x 24"H. I also built the cabinet/stand and created the foam rock background . The tree used to have the moss I mentioned above, but recently changed it out for subwassertang. I plan to buy more of it soon.

Every plant in here is exploding.

I've had trouble keeping cardinal tetras alive. Can't tell you how many I've purchased, but the 15 or so left in here are doing well now. I've lost far fewer rummynose.

This tank is just so much fun to look at. The rainbows and corys are always spawning, the forktails play in the spraybar current, the rummynose stay together and swim back and forth, the amano shrimp are big enough to stay visible and crawl all over the rock wall, and the gourami patrols the tank like it's his job and eats from my hand. The cardinal tetra just sort of exist and look pretty.

It's the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning.

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Stocking: Cardinal tetra, rummynose tetra, boesemani rainbows, forktail rainbows, pearl gourami, otos, julii corys, and amano shrimp.

 

7. Betta in the bedroom, 16G fluval spec, set up June 2020

My wife wanted a betta tank, so we got one, tank number 2 in the bedroom. She made all the aquascaping and stocking decisions. New tank so still sorting out the algae, fert/light balance.

Another christmas moss floater, doing better in this tank for some odd reason, but still don't have high hopes. 

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Stocking: pygmy corys, white cloud mountain minnows, and betta

 

BONUS: Quarantine bin

Learned my lesson with those guppies, so I'm quarantining now. I'm trying to add a few more cardinal tetra to my 90G. I've had great success with aqua huna fish, except for their cardinal tetras. This time around, I ordered 20 and put them in this 10G sterilite container. I lost 9 of them over 48 hours, but the remaining 11 have been alive for the past 6 days. Still don't look great, though.

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Edited by StephenP2003
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Spray foam, black aquarium sand (which is not really sand), and tan play sand, plus some dark brown and gray krylon fusion for some streaks of varying shades, topped with satin polyurethane to keep everything together. Then once it started growing algae of various types in the surface, it really started to look its best. Once cured, those paint products are inert. Or so I'm told by people smarter than me at chemistry. It hasn't caused any noticeable problems in the past 6 months. I don't know how larger fish would treat it in terms of destructive behavior. 

If you do the spray foam and sand once, the result is a very deep cavernous effect. Looks super cool, but since I was planning on keeping smaller fish, I was afraid something would get stuck and/or die in a hole one day and I'd never see it. So I did a second spray inside the caverns and loaded with sand again. 

If I could do it again, I would use foam that expands the least, and not use such a thick styrofoam board as the foundation. The background took up more tank real estate than it needed to. 

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2 hours ago, Edward Steven said:

I love how that stuff feels like easter grass. I thought it was fake when I first got some from my friend.  Once it anchored and started growing, I was pretty confident it was real.

 

Do you do anything special to grow it? I don't use CO2, just doing easy green a couple times a week and running a Fluval 3.0. If you look at the above pic, notice that the new stuff is green whereas the older moss (only a week or two old) is a little closer to yellow. This is my first attempt with subwassertang, but I've had bad luck in the past with the traditional mosses.

Edited by StephenP2003
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43 minutes ago, StephenP2003 said:

 

Do you do anything special to grow it? I don't use CO2, just doing easy green a couple times a week and running a Fluval 3.0. If you look at the above pic, notice that the new stuff is green whereas the older moss (only a week or two old) is a little closer to yellow. This is my first attempt with subwassertang, but I've had bad luck in the past with the traditional mosses.

I have just been dosing easy green, it grows slowly but not terribly. I noticed the parts I put in dim or shaded areas are dark green and grow better. The parts I put in full light are lighter green to yellow and grow really slow. I have most of it in dimmer areas now. Cool stuff for sure though, can only use java most so many times. 

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On 7/17/2020 at 3:48 PM, StephenP2003 said:

Spray foam, black aquarium sand (which is not really sand), and tan play sand, plus some dark brown and gray krylon fusion for some streaks of varying shades, topped with satin polyurethane to keep everything together. Then once it started growing algae of various types in the surface, it really started to look its best. Once cured, those paint products are inert. Or so I'm told by people smarter than me at chemistry. It hasn't caused any noticeable problems in the past 6 months. I don't know how larger fish would treat it in terms of destructive behavior. 

If you do the spray foam and sand once, the result is a very deep cavernous effect. Looks super cool, but since I was planning on keeping smaller fish, I was afraid something would get stuck and/or die in a hole one day and I'd never see it. So I did a second spray inside the caverns and loaded with sand again. 

If I could do it again, I would use foam that expands the least, and not use such a thick styrofoam board as the foundation. The background took up more tank real estate than it needed to. 

Your backgrounds look great, im gonna have to give this a try sometime! It sounds like i actually have all the materials needed in the garage right now. Ive never done a background before but i feel like it really takes the tank to that next level. 
 So you basically just sprayed insulating foam onto foam board and then poured sand over it right?

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15 hours ago, Sliceofnature said:

 So you basically just sprayed insulating foam onto foam board and then poured sand over it right?

Yep. I decided to do it after I saw this Youtube video: https://youtu.be/ELtoOJKgfKM

Like I said above, the result after one spray/load of sand was a nice cavernous effect, which might be great if you're keeping larger fish, but I didn't want to risk anything getting stuck and rotting behind there.

Edited by StephenP2003
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Got a great deal on some ebay subwassertang and really filled out the tree. Gonna call this done and wait for more to grow so I can move some to other tanks. 

There's like $50 of subwassertang on this tree now. Plus the wood itself was another 50.

IMG_20200724_125836.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...
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Some updates on my tanks:

Living Room 40 Breeder Display

11 Weeks Ago:

318870791_LivingRoom7-15-2020.jpg.62a2cd8550e8841d4a5137ae5dd33734.jpg

Today:

1480550490_LivingRoom10-2-2020.jpg.10598411a3584d2bb06b62bde6768a0a.jpg

So this one is not going in the direction I'd hoped. The christmas moss ball is no more as I expected. My crypts... shrunk? And my aquarium lily and lotus died back.  I think the lily and crypts on the left were just competing too much for nutrients in the substrate, and even though this is seachem flourite, I really should loaded these down with root tabs months ago. Plenty of root tabs in there now, so hoping for some bounce back. Likewise, the red sword in the back was losing leaf structure at the tips; it probably needed like a thousand root tabs, and I deprived it for too long.

Also got more tiger lotus bulbs to fill the space there. Added a few more scarlet temple stems the other day.

And tomorrow, when my regulator comes in, I am starting CO2 for the first time, and it's going on this tank since it's the display tank - the one every visitor would see. Hoping I can turn things in the right direction and even opt for some higher tech plants now that I'm getting CO2. 

Dining Room, 20 tall

11 weeks ago:

27804749_EndlerTank7-15-2020.jpg.63ae748bce871f4b8156207481b88818.jpg

Today: 

1670995442_EndlerTank9-26-2020.jpg.bdeb0375d4dc1a447d026bf3a395bf73.jpg

Endler explosion!  Stagnated plant growth, but that's fine. I keep the lights low. I added a clump of java moss on the top of the sponge filter, and it seems to be going in the right direction. There are some baby plecos in there, but I moved the cave (with the male) out of there.  But yep, I have baby plecos. If you read my first post, you'd know that I only got one spawn last year, lost them all (because I didn't know how to feed them enough) except for one. 

I decided to remove the planaria from the tank after reading that it's maybe possible perhaps planaria were eating the eggs. And within a week, I had 70+ pleco fry. And then another batch just a couple weeks later, because silly me forgot that the one survivor from last year is also female. 

The 40 breeder live-bearer tank:

11 weeks ago:

1418692358_GuppyTank7-16-2020.jpg.2760f2e6ba723e6807557235a0a01df1.jpg

Today:

1806104975_GuppyTank10-2-2020.jpg.050ed1dbda7b1ed30b18221adb11bd2e.jpg

Yeah, no complaints here. Every plant is doing great. Added a few crappy stems of hygrophila and cabomba to see if I can get them to bounce back as well. Ludwigia excess trimmings are now floating plants. There's a nice little ecosystem here, and I only change water to help them grow faster.

 

Bedroom tank, 90 gallon community:

11 weeks ago:

918639013_Bedroomtank7-16-2020.jpg.1353129dacd04fab012a1180dcb21843.jpg

Today:

105471920_Bedroomtank10-02-2020.jpg.4df4ce735dc6ee1cfc1bde89a200c9a2.jpg

Ugh... First the hygrophila started to deteriorate, the moneywort developed spot algae, and now I've got diatoms. I think it may be related to the background - whatever silica might be leaching from the sand, the polyurethane, the foam itself... I don't know why it's happening 10 months later, or if it's even diatoms? Just keeping an eye on it now and scrubbing it off when convenient.

Betta tank, Bedroom, 16G:

11 weeks ago:

212531875_BettaTank7-15-2020.jpg.553db6c0b1e402d72b96a4773f6e536b.jpg

Today:

281488986_BettaTank9-28-2020.jpg.8201e5b3afbbc72c5dfac5c461c8a9fd.jpg

No complaints here. The crypt tropica melted quite a bit from being moved from aquarium to another, so it'll be a bit before that comes back. The hygrophila looked miserable so I replaced with cabomba which I'm trimming weekly, along with the pearl weed. I moved some of the anubias out of here, and added some buce at the top of the left branch. Made a new christmas moss ball that's doing a lot better.

 

Pleco growout, 29 gallon:

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I'll be throwing plant trimmings in here as floaters. Feeding is going to be an adventure in a few months. Over 100 pleco from two different spawns in here. I'm feeding algae wafers, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, and repashy mixes. Hoping that window will give me some algae too. 

That center wood piece just won't sink.

 

Quarantine tank:

11 weeks ago:

295270111_QuarantineTank7-15-2020.jpg.e4f03b9e6534ba8d0ae4d09f61ca7b9e.jpg

 

Today:

1800762126_QTTank10-2-2020.jpg.067142e91b3eaad6cdedc004fd3df250.jpg

Yep, replaced it with a glass 10 gallon with eco-complete. I'm going to grow plants to trade in here, and cabomba seems to fetch more and be more in demand at my LFS, so I might make even more room for it. Also, the platys in here are getting ready to go to my LFS. Definitely need to scrape the glass, eventually.

 

No update on the kids tanks, all the same there.

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  • StephenP2003 changed the title to All my tanks (display and breeding) - Oct 2 Update!
4 hours ago, StephenP2003 said:

I'm going to grow plants to trade in here, and cabomba seems to fetch more and be more in demand at my LFS, so I might make even more room for it. Also, the platys in here are getting ready to go to my LFS. Definitely need to scrape the glass, eventually.

I was surprised when I brought in some cabomba and purple cabomba that I initially got from a friend to my LFS. They looked at me like I asked if they wanted to buy heroin or something. Then the nicer employee explained it's illegal to grow, transport or sell in Washington and they were supposed to report me to fish and game. Yikes

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1 hour ago, Mr. Ed's Aquatics said:

I was surprised when I brought in some cabomba and purple cabomba that I initially got from a friend to my LFS. They looked at me like I asked if they wanted to buy heroin or something. Then the nicer employee explained it's illegal to grow, transport or sell in Washington and they were supposed to report me to fish and game. Yikes

I heard about it being illegal on Cory's live stream recently and immediately looked it up; all clear in Louisiana. Water lettuce is banned here, but I've seen my LFS with it.

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@StephenP2003 out of curiosity, are you using different lights on your tanks?  The betta tank, with the exception of the anubias and the tall plant that was in the background, seems to doing the best.  I notice a difference in my aquariums with different lights.  I don't have any Fluval lights, but so far, I like the Hygger better than the Finnex.  And I like both of those better than the Aqueon LED lights I've had.

BTW...all of your aquariums look good.

Edited by RyanR
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31 minutes ago, RyanR said:

@StephenP2003 out of curiosity, are you using different lights on your tanks?  The betta tank, with the exception of the anubias and the tall plant that was in the background, seems to doing the best.  I notice a difference in my aquariums with different lights.  I don't have any Fluval lights, but so far, I like the Hygger better than the Finnex.  And I like both of those better than the Aqueon LED lights I've had.

BTW...all of your aquariums look good.

I have a different light on practically every tank. So the betta tank is actually a fluval spec 16-gallon, using the stock fluval LED it comes with. I have it on a nicrew dimmer/timer, which allows me to start it really dim in the morning, full blast during the day, then step down again to dim right before lights-out. I would agree it looks super lush, and I don't really know why. The cabomba replaced the hygrophila and is doing much better. The pearl weed releases oxygen all day long, and the chain sword is multiplying. There is a fair amount of hair algae in there, but it's well hidden by the plants.

The endler tank is running a fluval aquasky. Totally unnecessary because it's a low light tank, very short half-intensity peak period. 

My big tank, and my living room tank are both using Fluval 3.0s. My big tank is having diatom issues that made the dwarf sag look awful, but is otherwise moving in the right direction. It's a 24-inch tall tank, so the single fluval 3.0 is not going to deliver high light to everything. 

My living room tank suffered for a couple months because the root feeders were not getting enough nutrients. In the past 3 weeks, I started injecting CO2 and it has noticeably improved since my October 2 update.

October 2:

1493525922_LivingRoom10-2-2020cropped.jpg.9e8728045c34711a7804389360a3292c.jpg

3 weeks of CO2:

1729681606_LivingRoom10-26-2020.jpg.4457506f4777801a92669d0c03b0700c.jpg

I need to get better at duplicating lighting for these sort of comparison shots, but you can see the dwarf sagg has gone nuts, the lily leaves are massive, the crypts are growing (I even removed two of them because it was getting crowded), and the vals are filling out. I trimmed the red sword leaves significantly because they weren't doing well before the CO2.

The rest of my tanks are running various models of Nicrew lights, all using the same kind of dimmer/timer. No complaints there. They all function well as low to medium lighting, and they're cheap. 

I have a CO2art regulator and a 20lb cylinder on order, and it's going on the big tank this week.

I wish I could find a place to loan me one of those expensive par meters. I feel like it would give me some good insight as to why some tanks are doing better than others. I have a ridiculous number of variables across all the tanks -- different types of active substrates, inert substrates, different models of lighting, different fertilization regimen for the highly stocked tanks vs. low light tanks vs. medium light tanks, etc.

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RIP powder blue dwarf gourami. Lived about 14 months, half of that time seemingly healthy. He used to attack my hand anytime I was messing with the scape. A few months after I got him, he developed a crooked spine (a bend to the left) but still acted normal. In the past few months he got shy and lazy, only coming out to eat. He stopped eating in recent days, and tonight I found him like this but still breathing:

IMG_20201111_232308.jpg.988bfa38bc8d3abe0096d6e0983f03c0.jpg

Went ahead and clove oiled him. 

From Google searches, it seems like this is about what you'll get out of a dwarf gourami at least a third to half the time. 

In lighter news, here's some hungry hungry plecos. 

IMG_20201111_235435.jpg.dbbc3b759d568e146be28989159a4a27.jpg

Edited by StephenP2003
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Been so busy with work lately, haven't had much time to even read this forum, let alone post. 

  But I've also been busy getting some plants ready to sell. I have a serious plant hoarding problem, so now the excess is in pots and ready to sell. Now, where to sell them becomes the next problem. My LFS hardly ever needs more plants. 

Storing some in the pleco growout:

IMG_20201204_235236.jpg.877a44cc1e640527d458c093e0a0e074.jpg

A bunch in the quarantine tank:

IMG_20201205_002348.jpg.76092371b88d7f90a121541bac683fb1.jpg

A couple pots in the endler colony:

IMG_20201205_000735.jpg.5857aca44b78bf4482faf4dc4f34b278.jpg

And tucked in the back of the guppy/platy colony:

IMG_20201205_002035.jpg.e5a6d224ac499fd90acff308ed75636c.jpg

 

The 90G community doing well, been co2 injecting for a few weeks now:

IMG_20201205_172658.jpg.fcf148d60778d901e823a68f384eb8d3.jpg

40 breeder display also going strong with co2 and some changes to the scape. 

The right side of the tank has plants I'm experimenting with, some doing well and others still trying to figure out how to exist in the tank. We shall see what happens. 

IMG_20201205_175058.jpg.4358d4dea09dc632795986251defe60c.jpg

 

And the betta tank mostly unmeddled with. A little hair algae, but it doesn't bother me:

IMG_20201205_172632.jpg.34fa057c3abcad9fda53d2612f44842d.jpg

I currently have 6 white cloud minnows and about 14 pygmy corys (always hiding) with the betta. I'm thinking about rehoming the white clouds and getting another dozen or more pygmy corys. I'm hoping that will boost their confidence and I'll see some cool schooling behavior as they swim mid column. 

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  • StephenP2003 changed the title to All my tanks (display and breeding) - Dec 6 Update!
On 10/3/2020 at 12:10 AM, Mr. Ed's Aquatics said:

I was surprised when I brought in some cabomba and purple cabomba that I initially got from a friend to my LFS. They looked at me like I asked if they wanted to buy heroin or something. Then the nicer employee explained it's illegal to grow, transport or sell in Washington and they were supposed to report me to fish and game. Yikes

Hi Mr. Ed, I watch "Northwest Law" on Animal Planet, a show highlighting the daily work done by Washington state game wardens (there's also a show done in Texas and one in New Hampshire/Maine). I bet they would have just given you a warning - they seem to be very fair and are mainly out to stop/catch poachers and illegal fishing, catch drunk boaters, rescue injured hikers, and chase off errant bears. You'd have been okay, just had a "visit" with the lawman, and maybe would've had a "cameo" on tv!!

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  • StephenP2003 changed the title to All my tanks (display and breeding) - Feb 22 Update w/ new FishTube video

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