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Hello All, currently cycling my new 65 gallon tank. There is another thread about that specifically but I wanted to ask now about stocking it when the time comes.

- 65 Gallon Tank: 18.4 in L x 36.4 in W x 25 in H
- Black Sand substrate
- 11 live plants
- Water temp around 78
- PH has been pretty steady around 7.8
- Still working through cycle so small trace of Amonia (.25) still, no nitrites and nitrates are about 10
- In addition to the plants I have a large rock structure/hardscape and 3 pieces of mopani wood.

I currently have 3 zebra danios in it for 12 days now to help with the cycle. I'm not crazy about them so I'd rather not get more of them, but I'm fine with keeping them going forward.

These are just some examples of what I like, doesn't mean they have to be in there.

- Panda Corey
- Clown Loach or some other loach to help with the bottom duties
- Cardinal Tetra
- Some kind of Rams
- Mollies (my daughter likes)
- Bala Shark
- Gouramis
- Maybe an angel fish?
- Pleco

I really want some kind of Rams so I can build the other fish around them if needed. Germain blue ram, bolivian ram, electric blue ram?

Can Coreys and Loaches co-exist together as a bottom fish and if so what qty of each would you suggest given the size of my tank?

For a Pleco, I want to get a neat looking one possibly a Gold Nugget. I know they are pricey so a little worried about spending that kind of money with a new tank and risk losing it. Is only 1 pleco recommended for this size tank? Or could I buy another cheaper one for now, and then add a nicer one when the tank is more established?

Based on the responses to the recommended quantity of some of the fish I posted above, say Cardinal Tetras. I assume it would be 10 or more but I should not add all 10 or whatever it is at one time?

Thanks and let me know if any other info is needed.
 

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I'm not a professional fish guy, so i don't want to give you info. on how to stock your tank just cause like anyone you want a professional to handle that with you, but i do have some info. for some of the fish you have selected above. Panda Cory Cats don't get too big so you would want to keep a bit more of them than usual for what i have been told, but they are also more sensitive to water type so you wouldn't want to be too laid back with testing your water levels like Ph. For a pleco, I would recommend a bristle nose pleco, because they are always hard working at eating algae, but you would want to supplement their diet with drift wood in the aquarium and algae tablets. Also they, like some other plecos, can get a little territorial towards other bottom feeders (especially their own kind). All plecos poop a ton!!! Mollies are livebearers and breed like rabbits, but also give off a big bio load too. Cardinal tetras can get up to 2 inches and since they are so small you can add 6 at the same time at tops i would recommend. If you want to get angel fish, I would recommend one since they won't be so aggressive and fin nip then, but 2 is doable though. Bala Sharks get large (inches or 1 foot"), need to be in schools and need a lot of swimming room. compatibility wise, balas are very skittish fish that can be kept with most community fish. Not sure on the Rams, but i heard Bolivian Rams are really peaceful, but i would research on all 3 just to be sure. Clown Loaches are amazing at first, but eventually get enormous (8-12 inches"). Plus, you need to keep them in schools of at least 6 or more.



P.S. To reduce bristle nose pleco aggression, offer lots of caves for it to hide. They can get up to 5 inches too so they don't get too big.

I hope i helped, and wish you the best of luck with your fish tank!
 

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Eli, could have fooled me Nice run down on the fish.


To the OP - Cycling with fish you don鈥檛 intend to keep is much smarter than cycling with the fish you DO want to keep. It can be hard on the fish, and you don鈥檛 want to unnecessarily damage the fish you want to keep. Regarding the danios, I would just give them back to the store once your cycle is complete. With that in mind, you might want to add some more, or a goldfish or something considering the size of their bioload vs the size of the tank.

Best way to stock a tank, in my opinion, is to pick out your centerpiece fish and build the tank around them - like you said. Rams in a tank that big don鈥檛 exactly fit the bill as a centerpiece - angelfish is. Good news is the two are compatible so you can keep an angelfish along with a couple pairs of rams. To get pairs, best to go with 6-8 smaller ones to start and let them pair off on their own, at which point you would return the others. Just picking out a male and a female (not always easy) may or may not result in a pair.

Corys and many loaches get along fine together. There are some pretty aggressive loaches that would not, but they tend to be less commonly available. In my opinion any school should be at least 10 strong. Your tank could support 10 corys and 10 loaches of the small species, like Kuhlis or zebra loaches.

Yup just one pleco for your tank. If your worried about losing an expensive fish, then wait till the end to add it.


When and how many fish to add will be a large factor in how successful you will be. Worst thing you can do is too much too fast. I would look to add 5-6 fish of a school at a time to start. Later on you can add 10+ and I鈥檒l explain why. The beneficial bacteria colonies are able to double in size every 24 hours - one of the slowest in the bacteria world. What that means is you can safely double your bioload without a problem. However, couple things are important to keep in mind. First, there鈥檚 always a gap between theory and practice, so the tighter you stick to the theory the more likely you are to have an issue. Reminds me of all the physics problems we would do in school - always in a vacuum with a zero coefficient of friction. Works great on paper but fails in a real world situation.

The other important thing is quarantining new fish. Quarantine tanks are really important when you have large tanks with lots of fish in them. Using a quarantine tank will help prevent you from introducing pathogens into your show tank, as well as allow you to make sure that the fish are healthy and eating properly before they get added to the show tank. Picture this - you鈥檝e got everything the way you want it, all the fish are in and happy. Time for that last fish to complete your tank. Only, that last fish was infected with something you couldn鈥檛 see and then transmits it to the whole tank. All your hard work literally being flushed away. Some people can get lucky and not experience something like that. Some of us aren鈥檛 as lucky. Also consider this - one of your important fish gets injured. Now what? How do you make sure it isn鈥檛 picked on by other fish? How do you make sure it鈥檚 eating properly? How do you make sure it鈥檚 healing properly? How do you administer medications to that fish without needlessly exposing the rest of the fish? With a quarantine tank. Too, medicating large tanks is expensive. Medicating a 10-20 gallon tank is far more reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I still have some of the stuff from my old 10 gallon tank, but not the tank so I can look into what else I'd need to setup a QT tank. Is this something that you have permanently setup?
 

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Rosey loaches are tiny. Sumo loaches are small yet even these can get aggressive. Good nuggets get to be a good size. I prefer something smaller. Bushy noses, rubber lips stay small. If you want something a bit more unique, I really like the green leopard frog plecos. These guys stay small as well. The hypansistrus zebras are another more extravagant choice.
 

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Hello All, currently cycling my new 65 gallon tank. There is another thread about that specifically but I wanted to ask now about stocking it when the time comes.

- 65 Gallon Tank: 18.4 in L x 36.4 in W x 25 in H
- Black Sand substrate
- 11 live plants
- Water temp around 78
- PH has been pretty steady around 7.8
- Still working through cycle so small trace of Amonia (.25) still, no nitrites and nitrates are about 10
- In addition to the plants I have a large rock structure/hardscape and 3 pieces of mopani wood.

I currently have 3 zebra danios in it for 12 days now to help with the cycle. I'm not crazy about them so I'd rather not get more of them, but I'm fine with keeping them going forward.

These are just some examples of what I like, doesn't mean they have to be in there.

- Panda Corey
- Clown Loach or some other loach to help with the bottom duties
- Cardinal Tetra
- Some kind of Rams
- Mollies (my daughter likes)
- Bala Shark
- Gouramis
- Maybe an angel fish?
- Pleco

I really want some kind of Rams so I can build the other fish around them if needed. Germain blue ram, bolivian ram, electric blue ram?

Can Coreys and Loaches co-exist together as a bottom fish and if so what qty of each would you suggest given the size of my tank?

For a Pleco, I want to get a neat looking one possibly a Gold Nugget. I know they are pricey so a little worried about spending that kind of money with a new tank and risk losing it. Is only 1 pleco recommended for this size tank? Or could I buy another cheaper one for now, and then add a nicer one when the tank is more established?

Based on the responses to the recommended quantity of some of the fish I posted above, say Cardinal Tetras. I assume it would be 10 or more but I should not add all 10 or whatever it is at one time?

Thanks and let me know if any other info is needed.
My experience says absolutely no to the bala shark, no to a common pleco, no to clown loaches and no to gourami and angelfish in the same tank. Angelfish, in my opinion are bullies. Stick with honey or pearl gourami....very peaceful. Bolivian or german blue rams would be my choice. I find all cories to be quite adaptable, but they prefer to be in groups.

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Hello All, currently cycling my new 65 gallon tank. There is another thread about that specifically but I wanted to ask now about stocking it when the time comes.

- 65 Gallon Tank: 18.4 in L x 36.4 in W x 25 in H
- Black Sand substrate
- 11 live plants
- Water temp around 78
- PH has been pretty steady around 7.8
- Still working through cycle so small trace of Amonia (.25) still, no nitrites and nitrates are about 10
- In addition to the plants I have a large rock structure/hardscape and 3 pieces of mopani wood.

I currently have 3 zebra danios in it for 12 days now to help with the cycle. I'm not crazy about them so I'd rather not get more of them, but I'm fine with keeping them going forward.

These are just some examples of what I like, doesn't mean they have to be in there.

- Panda Corey
- Clown Loach or some other loach to help with the bottom duties
- Cardinal Tetra
- Some kind of Rams
- Mollies (my daughter likes)
- Bala Shark
- Gouramis
- Maybe an angel fish?
- Pleco

I really want some kind of Rams so I can build the other fish around them if needed. Germain blue ram, bolivian ram, electric blue ram?

Can Coreys and Loaches co-exist together as a bottom fish and if so what qty of each would you suggest given the size of my tank?

For a Pleco, I want to get a neat looking one possibly a Gold Nugget. I know they are pricey so a little worried about spending that kind of money with a new tank and risk losing it. Is only 1 pleco recommended for this size tank? Or could I buy another cheaper one for now, and then add a nicer one when the tank is more established?

Based on the responses to the recommended quantity of some of the fish I posted above, say Cardinal Tetras. I assume it would be 10 or more but I should not add all 10 or whatever it is at one time?

Thanks and let me know if any other info is needed.
I also have a community tank with 4 Angel fish 6 red eyed tetras, 1 male blue Gourami, and 1 deep red male betta. Everyone gets along fine without territorial problems or fin nipping. Telling you what I have was not a suggestion as to what fish to put in your tank. My biggest concern is why you want a pleco. If it's because you think they look neat and/or like to watch their grazing behavior that's fine. But if it is to keep algae under control, let me point something out; everybody poops! The waste from any living creatures that eat algae breaks down eventually into nitrates. Nitrates are plant food. Algae eating creatures produce as much algae as they eat. Plecos, Algae eaters, snails, etc. I personally would think a bit more about the Pleco.

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow so 10 Cories and 10 loaches isn't too much? I'm not sure if all 65 gallons are the same dimensions or not, mine is 18.4 in L x 36.4 in W x 25 in H.

Regarding the pleco, I just think some of them look cool. I can stick to something that doesn't get as big. Maybe like a Rio-Negro / Candy Stripe.

My water has been pretty consistent with the readings I originally posted above for 3 weeks now so hopefully I can get more fish soon. I added another filter today to eventually replace the one I originally bought. I have them both and will leave them both running together for a while to see if anything changes.

Thanks
 

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It sounds like a lot but when you see the fish in the tank it鈥檚 really not. Of course that鈥檚 only true for smaller fish - HUGE difference between 10 angelicus or yo-yo loaches and 10 kuhli loaches.
 

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Going from all above, look into the bristlenose varieties. Some like super red longfin bristlenose are drool worthy, but blue eye (longfin) bristlenose sure do make a statement.... (green dragon bristlenose also look pretty cool as well!)

I love my angel, I would reccomend getting one if they interest you. They pack a lot of spunk, and between the angel and my bolivians my tank certainly contains loads of personality!

Another good fish I would reccomend are pencilfish, they normally swim around the upper 1/3 and they have some personality in comparison to tetras, and when the males display to eachother they go vivid in colouration. I currently have 8, and waiting for the day I stumble on some more to increase the school up to 15 or so, they one of the best fish I have purchased.

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Discussion Starter #11
How about this:

3 Zebra danio
10 Panda Cory
15 Cardinal Tetra
2 German Blue Ram
1 Albino BN Pleco
5 Kuhli Loach
1 Angel Fish
1 Molly

According to Aquadvisor that puts me at:

Filter Capacity 180%
25% WC per week
96% stocking level

I do like those pencilfish someone mentioned too though. Looks like I'd have to make some changes to accomodate them though. If I do 10 cardinals instead of 15, take out the Angel, and add 10 pencil fish it comes out to about the same stocking/filter capacity as above. Would a school of these and a school of cardinals be ok together?

My water parameters are not/have not changed in over 2 weeks which is when I got the liquid test kit. Still sitting at PH around 7.6, Amonoia .25 ( I think less but not quite 0), Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 5-10. I've never seen Nitrites since I got the liquid test kit. Not sure if this is still cycling or if I'm always going to have that small trace of amonia? Tank has been up for 3 1/2 weeks. I've been doing about a 25% water change every 3-4 days but not because any of the parameters are spiking, just trying to get rid of that last bit of amonia. I've got 10 or 11 live plants as well that have for the most part been in there since week 1. I did use SafeStart in the beginning too.

I may try and give the zebra danios back to the pet store as I do not like them. They have been in the tank since like day 3 and are doing fine. I got 5 of the 10 panda cories last Friday since my water parameters are almost where they need to be. They are doing fine as well and pretty fun to watch.

Lastly regarding the QT tank, Petco has the $1/per gallon sale right now so I'm thinking of picking up a 10 or 20 gallon tank. I have extra filter, lid, air pump, and light from my old tank years ago. Think I'd just need the tank and a heater.
 

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How about this:

3 Zebra danio
10 Panda Cory
15 Cardinal Tetra
2 German Blue Ram
1 Albino BN Pleco
5 Kuhli Loach
1 Angel Fish
1 Molly

According to Aquadvisor that puts me at:

Filter Capacity 180%
25% WC per week
96% stocking level

I do like those pencilfish someone mentioned too though. Looks like I'd have to make some changes to accomodate them though. If I do 10 cardinals instead of 15, take out the Angel, and add 10 pencil fish it comes out to about the same stocking/filter capacity as above. Would a school of these and a school of cardinals be ok together?

My water parameters are not/have not changed in over 2 weeks which is when I got the liquid test kit. Still sitting at PH around 7.6, Amonoia .25 ( I think less but not quite 0), Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 5-10. I've never seen Nitrites since I got the liquid test kit. Not sure if this is still cycling or if I'm always going to have that small trace of amonia? Tank has been up for 3 1/2 weeks. I've been doing about a 25% water change every 3-4 days but not because any of the parameters are spiking, just trying to get rid of that last bit of amonia. I've got 10 or 11 live plants as well that have for the most part been in there since week 1. I did use SafeStart in the beginning too.

I may try and give the zebra danios back to the pet store as I do not like them. They have been in the tank since like day 3 and are doing fine. I got 5 of the 10 panda cories last Friday since my water parameters are almost where they need to be. They are doing fine as well and pretty fun to watch.

Lastly regarding the QT tank, Petco has the $1/per gallon sale right now so I'm thinking of picking up a 10 or 20 gallon tank. I have extra filter, lid, air pump, and light from my old tank years ago. Think I'd just need the tank and a heater.
Aqadvisor is super conservative. In my opinion, you can add the pencilfish with no problems....and keep the danios. I would also add a couple more mollies as most fish like friends. You should see my 75 gallon...stocked quite heavily with no issues whatsoever. I do a 75% water change once a week. I'm not even sure I have to water change that much, but if I have to drag out hoses to do 25, 50%, I might as well do 75%. My fish seem to relish the fresh water splashing in! Just my 2 cents.

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How about this:

3 Zebra danio
10 Panda Cory
15 Cardinal Tetra
2 German Blue Ram
1 Albino BN Pleco
5 Kuhli Loach
1 Angel Fish
1 Molly

According to Aquadvisor that puts me at:

Filter Capacity 180%
25% WC per week
96% stocking level

I do like those pencilfish someone mentioned too though. Looks like I'd have to make some changes to accomodate them though. If I do 10 cardinals instead of 15, take out the Angel, and add 10 pencil fish it comes out to about the same stocking/filter capacity as above. Would a school of these and a school of cardinals be ok together?

My water parameters are not/have not changed in over 2 weeks which is when I got the liquid test kit. Still sitting at PH around 7.6, Amonoia .25 ( I think less but not quite 0), Nitrite 0, and Nitrate 5-10. I've never seen Nitrites since I got the liquid test kit. Not sure if this is still cycling or if I'm always going to have that small trace of amonia? Tank has been up for 3 1/2 weeks. I've been doing about a 25% water change every 3-4 days but not because any of the parameters are spiking, just trying to get rid of that last bit of amonia. I've got 10 or 11 live plants as well that have for the most part been in there since week 1. I did use SafeStart in the beginning too.

I may try and give the zebra danios back to the pet store as I do not like them. They have been in the tank since like day 3 and are doing fine. I got 5 of the 10 panda cories last Friday since my water parameters are almost where they need to be. They are doing fine as well and pretty fun to watch.

Lastly regarding the QT tank, Petco has the $1/per gallon sale right now so I'm thinking of picking up a 10 or 20 gallon tank. I have extra filter, lid, air pump, and light from my old tank years ago. Think I'd just need the tank and a heater.
I would definitely get rid of the danios and also nix a single Angel fish. The pencils and cardnials would tend to keep to their own schools and not bother each other. Cories get along with everything except with larger fish eaters like Oscars that would attack them. Plecos won't get bothered by anything. You might even want to keep about 3 or 4 mollies, but get only females. A male would bother the females too much. You sound like you're on the tight track especially if you center the the tank featuring the blue rams...they have interesting personalities. They like to have homes that they can retreat to, even if it's a brand new (unused) clay flower pot with the bottom carefully broken out...and of course rock formations. If you have the money for it get them a plastic rock formation from the pet shop. I have never recommended real rocks that could place too much weight on the bottom of a glass tank. Continue to build it slowly with what you like. Aquarium keeping in one of my favorite hobbies. Even with the chores of maintaining the water parameters and cleaning, it's all worth it. But with some species like the cardinals and cories that prefer slightly acidic water and the rams that prefer slightly alkaline water, I would suggest that you slowly bring the pH to 7.0 and maintain that level. Once you get it to 7.0, there are pH buffers that can be added such as Proper pH tabs to help keep it at 7.0. Have fun with it and keep us posted on your progress. I've been following your progress so far and I enjoy reading about it.

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I've made some changes since this picture.... but how's this for a rock formation :)

I actually regret buying it but for what it cost I feel like I have to use it now.

I don't really want the Molly, it was my daughters Idea. But she also liked the cardinal tetras so if she is good with them I'm going to skip the Molly/Mollies.
 

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I've made some changes since this picture.... but how's this for a rock formation :)

I actually regret buying it but for what it cost I feel like I have to use it now.

I don't really want the Molly, it was my daughters Idea. But she also liked the cardinal tetras so if she is good with them I'm going to skip the Molly/Mollies.
I like the rock formation alot, although I'm familiar with the cost inconvenience. It's perfect for the Rams you plan to get. Nice looking tank so far buddy. A few plastic tall and short plants would set it off nicely and be beneficial to the cardinals.

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I like the rock formation alot, although I'm familiar with the cost inconvenience. It's perfect for the Rams you plan to get. Nice looking tank so far buddy. A few plastic tall and short plants would set it off nicely and be beneficial to the cardinals.

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The plants you have now look great, Im just suggesting some tall ones for the left side close to the back...just a suggestion.

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Discussion Starter #17
You can't see it in the picture, but there is a row of 4 Jungle Val's along the back behind that rock. They don't look great at the moment but the store said they would "melt" and come back.

The driftwood pieces have some white fungus growing on them which I've read is common for newly added pieces of wood. I did soak them for a week and boil them before putting them in there. Just waiting for that to go away on its own.

Other than that the water has gotten a little cloudy. Not sure if that is a result of that fungus on the wood pieces or bacteria bloom maybe. Waiting to see if that clears itself up.
 

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You can't see it in the picture, but there is a row of 4 Jungle Val's along the back behind that rock. They don't look great at the moment but the store said they would "melt" and come back.

The driftwood pieces have some white fungus growing on them which I've read is common for newly added pieces of wood. I did soak them for a week and boil them before putting them in there. Just waiting for that to go away on its own.

Other than that the water has gotten a little cloudy. Not sure if that is a result of that fungus on the wood pieces or bacteria bloom maybe. Waiting to see if that clears itself up.
The cloudiness will eventually clear up but I am a fan of Aqueon water clarifier. It's not something that would be used alot and doesn't bother the fish if the water cloudiness becomes a problem. Your tank is really nice. My tank is centered around 4 Angel fish and Im envious of your rock formation. Nice tank.

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I would strongly advise against altering the water chemistry. Stability is far more important than perfection. I mean, once you鈥檝e got more experience under your belt that might be something you decide to undertake, but just starting out, I think it鈥檚 best to leave the water alone. You鈥檒l have enough on your plate as it is....
 
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Hello All, currently cycling my new 65 gallon tank. There is another thread about that specifically but I wanted to ask now about stocking it when the time comes.

  • 65 Gallon Tank: 18.4 in L x 36.4 in W x 25 in H
  • Black Sand substrate
  • 11 live plants
  • Water temp around 78
  • PH has been pretty steady around 7.8
  • Still working through cycle so small trace of Amonia (.25) still, no nitrites and nitrates are about 10
  • In addition to the plants I have a large rock structure/hardscape and 3 pieces of mopani wood.
I currently have 3 zebra danios in it for 12 days now to help with the cycle. I'm not crazy about them so I'd rather not get more of them, but I'm fine with keeping them going forward.

These are just some examples of what I like, doesn't mean they have to be in there.

  • Panda Corey
  • Clown Loach or some other loach to help with the bottom duties
  • Cardinal Tetra
  • Some kind of Rams
  • Mollies (my daughter likes)
  • Bala Shark
  • Gouramis
  • Maybe an angel fish?
  • Pleco
I really want some kind of Rams so I can build the other fish around them if needed. Germain blue ram, bolivian ram, electric blue ram?

Can Coreys and Loaches co-exist together as a bottom fish and if so what qty of each would you suggest given the size of my tank?

For a Pleco, I want to get a neat looking one possibly a Gold Nugget. I know they are pricey so a little worried about spending that kind of money with a new tank and risk losing it. Is only 1 pleco recommended for this size tank? Or could I buy another cheaper one for now, and then add a nicer one when the tank is more established?

Based on the responses to the recommended quantity of some of the fish I posted above, say Cardinal Tetras. I assume it would be 10 or more but I should not add all 10 or whatever it is at one time?

Thanks and let me know if any other info is needed.
What are you using for a filter?
 
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