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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please!
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Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please!
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girlcookart
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Joined: Jul 22, 2012
Posts: 290
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:32 pm Post subject: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 Hiya  Fish  People!  Its  been  a  while  and  I  haven't  checked  out  IAH  much.  Thats  because  I  was  on  the  shift(to  a  different  city)  a  few  months  ago  and  I  had  to  give  up  my  old  2  footer  and  nano  to  a  friend(because  I  couldn't  carry  them  all  the  way  to  new  city).  It  wasn't  an  easy  decision  to  make,  but  it  was  upsetting  to  let  go  of  my  babies.  I  tried  to  disctract  myself  from  the  hobby  through  a  new  one  -  gardening  but  to  no  avail.  Recently  I  got  this  old  Aquarium  stand  from  a  friend.  It's  kinda  small  but  made  of  really  good  material  and  sturdy  (the  same  metal  they  use  to  make  gates).
 
 Now,  I  am  thinking  of  getting  back  into  the  hobby  with  a  new  setup  (or  setups).  So,  I  need  all  you  experts  to  help  me  with  this.  
 
 QUESTION  1:  This  is  the  balcony  space.  It  receives  direct  sunlight  in  the  afternoon  for  a  couple  of  hours  but  the  open  corner  in  this  photo  is  pretty  shaded  throughout  the  day  because  of  the  wall  and  (air)  temperature  is  pretty  cool  constantly.  So,  is  it  ok  to  keep  an  aquarium  in  this  space  as  it  will  not  be  exposed  to  the  balcony  window?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 QUESTION  2:  My  dream  is  to  own  a  huge  tank.  But  the  space  constraints  will  only  afford  me  a  small  tank(/s).  So  I  am  thinking  of  spending  money  on  good  clear  glass  instead(like  Saint  gobain  or  suggest  me  another  brand).  Here  are  the  internal  dimensions  of  the  stand.  ]So  what  size  tank  should  I  go  for  on  the  top  and  bottom  and  thickness  of  glass?  How  much  will  the  glass  cost?  for  this  size?  Should  I  partition  the  bottom  space  with  two  nanos  or  a  single  long  tank?
 
 
                                                          Internal  dimensions
 
 
 
 
 
 QUESTION  3:  For  lighting  should  I  add  in  a  hood  on  the  top  of  the  stand?  There  are  these  grooves  to  hold  squariush  legs  on  top.  Also  should  I  put  a  thermocol/styrofoam  base  for  balance?
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 Please  reply  and  give  me  your  candid  options.
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Dheeraj_Dj
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:04 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 Hello  There
 
 Ans  1:  That  space  is  perfect  for  the  outdoor  tank  provided  the  sunlight  is  only  for  few  hours  4-5  max.  Try  it  for  few  weeks  &  if  you  see  the  water  temperature  going  high  during  those  4  to  5  hours  try  adding  more  pots  of  plants  on  that  wall  so  that  the  light  is  reduced(I  dont  think  it  should  over  heat)
 
 I  have  a  2.5  by  1.5  cement  tank  with  around  5  hours  of  direct  sunlight  in  my  balcony  &  the  plants  &  shrimps  thrive  there.  Not  had  any  issue  with  the  water  temperature  since  the  cement  tank  keeps  it  cool.
 
 Ans  2:  My  POV  is  to  have  2  big  tanks  than  Nano  since  you  have  the  space  for  it.  Thickness  of  8mm  is  more  than  sufficient  for  that  size.   Cost  differs  a  lot..  so  better  to  check  with  couple  of  vendors  where  you  live..  (There  was  a  difference  of  INR  100  a  sqft  for  clear  glass  when  we  enquired  2  diff  vendors  for  the  same  brand)
 
 Ans  3:  I  guess  you  will  require  a  hood  &  light  for  the  top  tank  &  the  bottom  one  might  have  space  enough  only  for  the  lights.  Yes  a  thermocol  base  will  help.
 
 Question:  Are  you  planning  to  add  anything  on  the  16.0"  space  too?  If  not   that  gives   a  lot  of  space  for  the  hood  &  light.
 
 
 Please  keep  us  posted  on  the  progress:-)
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:36 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

                                                   
Dheeraj_Dj  wrote  (View  Post):                
Hello  There
 
 Ans  1:  That  space  is  perfect  for  the  outdoor  tank  provided  the  sunlight  is  only  for  few  hours  4-5  max.  Try  it  for  few  weeks  &  if  you  see  the  water  temperature  going  high  during  those  4  to  5  hours  try  adding  more  pots  of  plants  on  that  wall  so  that  the  light  is  reduced(I  dont  think  it  should  over  heat)
 
 I  have  a  2.5  by  1.5  cement  tank  with  around  5  hours  of  direct  sunlight  in  my  balcony  &  the  plants  &  shrimps  thrive  there.  Not  had  any  issue  with  the  water  temperature  since  the  cement  tank  keeps  it  cool.
 
 Ans  2:  My  POV  is  to  have  2  big  tanks  than  Nano  since  you  have  the  space  for  it.  Thickness  of  8mm  is  more  than  sufficient  for  that  size.   Cost  differs  a  lot..  so  better  to  check  with  couple  of  vendors  where  you  live..  (There  was  a  difference  of  INR  100  a  sqft  for  clear  glass  when  we  enquired  2  diff  vendors  for  the  same  brand)
 
 Ans  3:  I  guess  you  will  require  a  hood  &  light  for  the  top  tank  &  the  bottom  one  might  have  space  enough  only  for  the  lights.  Yes  a  thermocol  base  will  help.
 
 Question:  Are  you  planning  to  add  anything  on  the  16.0"  space  too?  If  not   that  gives   a  lot  of  space  for  the  hood  &  light.
 
 
 Please  keep  us  posted  on  the  progress:-)                

 
 Hi,  thanks  for  the  prompt  reply.  the  16.0"  space  is  for  holding  the  hood(for  lighting).  So  I  provided  the  wall  space  measurements.  I   just  measured  via  an  online  'volume  calculator',  the  top  space  of  the  stand  can  hold  a  13-14g  tank...eh,  but  atleast   Rolling Eyes  it  holds  a  tank  of  some  size.  And  about  the  bottom  space  of  the  tank,  I  am  thinking  of  mounting  a  light  on  the  side  on  top  of  the  side-stand(where  I  have  placed  garden  pots).  Will  extra  clear  float  glass  from  saint  gobain  do?  I  was  thinking  of  keeping  the  premium  glass  only  on  sides  and  front.  And  normal  glass  for  the  back  and  base.
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Dheeraj_Dj
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:45 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 I'm  not  sure  how  effective  the  lights  from  the  sides  will  be,  you  may  need  to  ask  some  experts  here.  Reg  extra  clear  I'm  not  sure  why  you  would  spend  so  much  for  the  side  glasses  as  you  do  not  even  get  a  good  view  from  where  you  will  place  the  tanks.  I  would  suggest  to  go  for  clear  glass  only  for  the  front  view  in  that  space.
 
 Cheers,
 Dj
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Nidhi
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:28 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 Hi,  welcome  back  girlcookart..  Sorry  to  hear  about  your  plight.
 The  place  looks  good  enough  for  the  tanks,  but  have  you  considered  protection  against  rain.  It  would  would  be  dangerous  if  rain  water  gets  in  to  your  lighting  fixtures..
 The  stand  is  very  cute,  but  don't  forget  to  take  the  dimension  for  the  tank  from  the  inside  to  inside  of  the  angles  on  the  stand..  Styrofoam  is  a  must  to  cushion  the  bottom  glass  against  the  bottom  beams,  or  else  your  tank  will  crack.
 I  would  also  suggest  to  go  ahead  with  clear  glass  on  the  sides  as  well.  Why..?  the  seam  where  the  side  glass  meets  the  front  glass  will  be  crystal  clear.  or  else  if  you  use  regular  glass  for  the  sides,  the  seam  will  look  greenish.  Or  don't  go  for  the  clear  glass  at  all..
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:39 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

                                                   
Nidhi  wrote  (View  Post):                
Hi,  welcome  back  girlcookart..  Sorry  to  hear  about  your  plight.
 The  place  looks  good  enough  for  the  tanks,  but  have  you  considered  protection  against  rain.  It  would  would  be  dangerous  if  rain  water  gets  in  to  your  lighting  fixtures..
 The  stand  is  very  cute,  but  don't  forget  to  take  the  dimension  for  the  tank  from  the  inside  to  inside  of  the  angles  on  the  stand..  Styrofoam  is  a  must  to  cushion  the  bottom  glass  against  the  bottom  beams,  or  else  your  tank  will  crack.
 I  would  also  suggest  to  go  ahead  with  clear  glass  on  the  sides  as  well.  Why..?  the  seam  where  the  side  glass  meets  the  front  glass  will  be  crystal  clear.  or  else  if  you  use  regular  glass  for  the  sides,  the  seam  will  look  greenish.  Or  don't  go  for  the  clear  glass  at  all..                

 
 Glad  to  be  back,  Nidhi  Very Happy  About  protecting  the  hood  lights,  I  am  getting  a  plywood/deal-wood  hood  made(which  is  a  church  top  like-arch  shape).  It  will  be  coated  with  a  waterproof  paint  and  slightly  more  sloped  than  the  size  of  the  stand  to  prevent  rain  water  getting  in.  If  this  too  is  a  bother,  I  might  just  get  a  thin  piece  of  clear  acrylic  sheet  and  hang  on  the  window  to  prevent  rain  from  bothering  the  tank.  Can  you  please  tell  me  what  cost  to  expect  when  going  for  extra  clear  glass?  
 P.S:  I  have  quoted  the  internal  measurements  noting  the  edge  grooves/angles  of  the  stand.
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Nidhi
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:50 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 Yes,  covering  the  window  with  a  acrylic  sheet  is  the  best  idea..
 As  Dheeraj  has  said  earlier,  the  shop  guys  have  their  own  rates  depending  on  their  mood.  You  are  on  your  own  on  this..
 you  can  expect  it  to  be  double  the  price  of  a  normal  glass..
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random2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:02 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 Some  thoughts  on  the  rack  -
 It  would  be  better  if  you  give  this  to  a  workshop  and  get  the  following  things  done  -
 1.  Remove  those  decorative  loop  kind  of  grill.  
 2.  Remove  the  top  protrusions  and  add  metal  strips  there  so  that  you  can  keep  one  more  tank  :)
 
 Tank  dimensions  -
 The  maximum  height  for  the  tank  going  into  the  lowest  level  -  It  should  be  (12.5"  -  height  of  the  decorative  grill).  I  would  say  not  more  than  6".  You  need  to  accommodate  a  thermocol  sheet  and  should  have  enough  room  on  top  for  maintenance.  
 
 Same  thing  for  the  next  level.
 
 If  you  plan  on  what  I  have  mentioned  above,  you  can  have  a  third  tank  which  could  be  slightly  taller.
 
 Others  -
 1.  Since  you  keep  this  outside,  my  suggestion  is  not  to  have  any  lights  (unless  you  want  to  keep  plants  that  need  lot  of  light  -  then  you  might  have  algae  issues)
 2.  How  is  the  weather  in  your  city  during  summer?  If  its  going  to  be  too  hot,  I  guess  you  will  have  issues  as  the  tanks  are  going  to  be  quite  small.
 3.  In  my  opinion,  you  dont  need  clear  glass  for  this  kind  of  setup.  But  its  your  take.  I  would  go  for  clear  glass  if  I  were  to  be  setting  up  a  tank  inside.
 
 This  will  be  ideal  for  hardy  plants  and  fishes.  
 Keep  us  posted  on  the  progress  and  all  the  best.
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:38 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

                                                   
random2  wrote  (View  Post):                
Some  thoughts  on  the  rack  -
 It  would  be  better  if  you  give  this  to  a  workshop  and  get  the  following  things  done  -
 1.  Remove  those  decorative  loop  kind  of  grill.  
 2.  Remove  the  top  protrusions  and  add  metal  strips  there  so  that  you  can  keep  one  more  tank  :)
 
 Tank  dimensions  -
 The  maximum  height  for  the  tank  going  into  the  lowest  level  -  It  should  be  (12.5"  -  height  of  the  decorative  grill).  I  would  say  not  more  than  6".  You  need  to  accommodate  a  thermocol  sheet  and  should  have  enough  room  on  top  for  maintenance.  
 
 Same  thing  for  the  next  level.
 
 If  you  plan  on  what  I  have  mentioned  above,  you  can  have  a  third  tank  which  could  be  slightly  taller.
 
 Others  -
 1.  Since  you  keep  this  outside,  my  suggestion  is  not  to  have  any  lights  (unless  you  want  to  keep  plants  that  need  lot  of  light  -  then  you  might  have  algae  issues)
 2.  How  is  the  weather  in  your  city  during  summer?  If  its  going  to  be  too  hot,  I  guess  you  will  have  issues  as  the  tanks  are  going  to  be  quite  small.
 3.  In  my  opinion,  you  dont  need  clear  glass  for  this  kind  of  setup.  But  its  your  take.  I  would  go  for  clear  glass  if  I  were  to  be  setting  up  a  tank  inside.
 
 This  will  be  ideal  for  hardy  plants  and  fishes.  
 Keep  us  posted  on  the  progress  and  all  the  best.                

 
 Thanks  for  the  suggestions,Deepak.  This  is  going  to  be  a  planted  tank/s.  And  I  am  not  thinking  of  extending  the  height  of  the  tank  to  make  it  any  taller  to  add  an  extra  tank,  as  the  extra  tank  would  be  exposed  to  direct  light.  I  am  gonna  be  placing  a  cute  looking  (like  old-style  tile  roofed  home  design)  light  hood...my  pen  name  is  "girl"  cookart  Chuckle  .As  for  the  weather:  It  gets  quite  hot  in  the  summer,the  weather  has  become  erratic  of  late.  But  the  balcony  seems  unaffected  or  atleast  is  relatively  cooler  and  shadier  than  outside.  I  wanted  the  clear  glass  because  I  want  it  to  be  a  visual  piece  of  attraction.  Me  and  my  family  members  frequent  the  balcony.  Or  else  I  would  have  placed  the  tank  inside  but  Im  short  of  space  inside.  I  agree  with  you  about  the  bottom  space  aquarium's  height,  as  I  do  need  to  put  my  hand  in  for  cleaning  it  regularly.  Thinking  of  getting  a  clip-on  nano  light  for  the  bottom  space.  
 
 @Nidhi:  yeah,  I'll  ask  about  the  glass  costs  here.  And  yes,  is  5mm  glass  thick  enough?
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shyamhegde
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:18 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 Hope  you  have  no  cats  in  the  bulding,  especially  if  it  is  an  apartment  kind  of  set-up.  Smile
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kidrock
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:48 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 Hey  girlcookart,  welcome  back  to  the  hobby.  As  someone  who  returned  back  to  it  a  couple  of  months  ago  I  know  how  you  feel.  
 
 My  2  cents.  Dont  keep  a  tank  at  the  bottom.  Use  it  for  storing  aquarium  supplies  and  stuff(filter)  plus  a  1  feet  hospital  tank.  As  random2  suggested,  pls  get  rid  of  those  loops.  Also  I  would  prefer  the  top  area  for  the  main  tank(18"lx11"wx15"h)  and  have  2  nanos  in  the  middle  section.  That  would  mean  adding  a  base  to  the  top  section.  Outdoors  you  will  have  algae  issues.  Even  if  you  have  sunlight  for  a  couple  of  hours.  The  sun  is  a  very  strong  power  source.  Better  take  that  into  consideration.  
 
 Also  go  for  1  tank  at  a  time.  Get  a  nano  and  grow  plants  in  it  and  chk  out  the  conditions  for  atleast  3  months  before  you  go  for  the  main  tank.  Then  you  can  decide  the  type  of  glass  to  go  for.
 
 Kidrock
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:07 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

                                                   
kidrock  wrote  (View  Post):                
Hey  girlcookart,  welcome  back  to  the  hobby.  As  someone  who  returned  back  to  it  a  couple  of  months  ago  I  know  how  you  feel.  
 
 My  2  cents.  Dont  keep  a  tank  at  the  bottom.  Use  it  for  storing  aquarium  supplies  and  stuff(filter)  plus  a  1  feet  hospital  tank.  As  random2  suggested,  pls  get  rid  of  those  loops.  Also  I  would  prefer  the  top  area  for  the  main  tank(18"lx11"wx15"h)  and  have  2  nanos  in  the  middle  section.  That  would  mean  adding  a  base  to  the  top  section.  Outdoors  you  will  have  algae  issues.  Even  if  you  have  sunlight  for  a  couple  of  hours.  The  sun  is  a  very  strong  power  source.  Better  take  that  into  consideration.  
 
 Also  go  for  1  tank  at  a  time.  Get  a  nano  and  grow  plants  in  it  and  chk  out  the  conditions  for  atleast  3  months  before  you  go  for  the  main  tank.  Then  you  can  decide  the  type  of  glass  to  go  for.
 
 Kidrock                

 
 I  too  think  the  rings  are  a  hindrance  to  the  beauty  of  a  tank..  will  get  them  removed  most  probably.  I  was  thinking  of  converting  the  bottom  into  a  storage  place  for  aquarium  stuff  but  I  realized  that  I  have  a  store-room  plus  a  cupboard  space  in  the  drawing  room  to  horde  all  supplies.  So  I  don't  want  to  ruin  a  perfectly  eligible  display  area  with  clutter.  I  really  don't  want  a  nano  on  the  top,  although  the  bottom  is  viable..you  see,  when  I  wanted  to  go  for  a  larger  aquarium  I  don't  really  have  the  space..so  I  am  giving  myself  a  semi-satisfaction  with  something  that  looks  large  enough  an  aquarium.  Honestly  the  light  doesn't  touch  that  deep  into  that  space  allotted  for  this  aquarium.  What  you  see  in  the  pic  is  the  maximum  light  that  hits  area  (even  on  the  sunniest  of  days).
 
 @shyamhegde  Yeah,  I  dont  really  know  anyone  owning  a  cat  here..and  the  grill  is  too  compact  for  any  stray  cat  to  enter  either.  So,  thats  a  safety  check.
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:15 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 One  more  thing,  what  struck  me  is  this  idea:  Is  is  ok  to  make  tall  aquariums?  I  mean,  I  was  thinking  of  two  options:  
 1.  Break  the  tops  rack's  base  and  create  one  large  aquarium  that  is  taller  than  wider/longer.  Which  means  the  aquarium  size  measurements  would  be:  26"(h)  x  22"  (l)  x  11.5"(w)  .  
                                                                                                    OR
 2.  Keeping  the  stand  as  it  is  but  extending  the  top  aquarium  a  little  taller  than  the  stand  is.  Which  would  mean:  20"  -  24"  (h)  x  22"(l)  x  11.5(w).
 
 Are  these  ideas  feasible  in  terms  of  looks,  stability  and  ease  of  use  and  installation?  Please  give  me  your  opinions.
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kidrock
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:20 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

 I  would  recommend  18"  height  as  it  would  look  odd  otherwise.  Also  you  cant  make  it  of  exact  size,  leave  a  couple  of  inches  around  the  borders  of  the  tank  unless  you  are  placing  the  tank  on  the  top.
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girlcookart
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:17 pm Post subject: Re: Balcony Planted Aquariums Help please! Reply with quote

                                                   
kidrock  wrote  (View  Post):                
I  would  recommend  18"  height  as  it  would  look  odd  otherwise.  Also  you  cant  make  it  of  exact  size,  leave  a  couple  of  inches  around  the  borders  of  the  tank  unless  you  are  placing  the  tank  on  the  top.                
 Thanks  for  the  suggestions,kidrock..I  have  left  space  on  the  sides  and  given  the  above  measurements.  There  is  more  than  a  good  amount  of  space  to  wiggle  my  fingers  into.
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