Bristlenose Pleco Is Guarding Eggs (i Think) - Page 2

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mattgirl

Member
angelcraze said:
Aww cool! Can't wait to see what he looks like as he matures!
That makes two of us I am doing water changes daily and keeping them well fed hoping I will speed up their growth. I know I have to practice a bit more patience but the waiting for them to grow up is soooooooo hard
 

coralbandit

Member
I thought they grew fast in the beginning ..
At 9 months old I am now starting to see some males from my very first batch !
 
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mattgirl

Member
coralbandit said:
I thought they grew fast in the beginning ..
At 9 months old I am now starting to see some males from my very first batch !
That is a very long time to have to wait but like everything else in this hobby, we have to cultivate a great deal of patience even for this.

Now that I see the size of these little guys at 6 weeks I have to think Elbert had to have been several months old when I first got him. He was about 1 1/2 inch long. He was with me at least 6 months before I started seeing tiny bristles growing around his mouth.

I am thinking I have at least 2 months to wait until I get to get a really good look at these little guys. I sure wish they weren't so skittish. They see the slightest movement and they disappear. Their only hiding spot is a little terra cotta pot and the dual sponge filter. They blend right into the filter. If I stand still long enough they all start coming out of hiding though. I still can't count them since they are constantly on the move. I had to stand totally still this morning for about 20 minutes to get a good look at the little white finned guy. The second I moved he was gone.

I thought about adding some plants or something to help them feel safer but it would make it harder to keep the tank clean. I may do it anyway.

I wasn't looking forward to it but expected to lose some of them but so far they are all doing great. I guess they are tougher than some other species I have bred through the years and hopefully I won't lose any of them..
 

Sheldon13

Member
I can’t wait to see some great close-up pictures of them!
 
  • Thread Starter

mattgirl

Member
Sheldon13 said:
I can’t wait to see some great close-up pictures of them!
I have tried to get an updated photo but these little guys are so skittish. The slightest movement and they are gone. I would love to snap one so I could zoom in and get a better look at them.
 

angelcraze

Member
Mine are not skittish at all? They often hang right on the glass....I could probably catch the little babies with my hand lol.

I do have a lot of driftwood, caves and a big bunch of bolbitis on the wood. I think the bolbitis and java fern is good because it is so branchy (fills in well) and it's off the bottom (attached to DW) for easy cleaning.
 
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mattgirl

Member
angelcraze said:
Mine are not skittish at all? They often hang right on the glass....I could probably catch the little babies with my hand lol.

I do have a lot of driftwood, caves and a big bunch of bolbitis on the wood. I think the bolbitis and java fern is good because it is so branchy (fills in well) and it's off the bottom (attached to DW) for easy cleaning.
I am thinking I should add some hiding places for them. I will do that today. That should make them feel safer.

I really want to move them to the bigger grow out tank. It has lots of plants, drift wood and a sand substrate but Evelyn in also in there. Do you think she would harm them?
 

angelcraze

Member
Well I have held onto my 'babies' a bit too long lol, and they have already bred in the growout. So now I have young adults with multiple ages of juveniles and babies, they get along well before they get to maturity. I can't keep alfa males in the same tank though once they mature. Females are fine together. But I don't seem to get huge numbers of fry or anything. My tank would be completely overrun if I did! They just appear. So maybe you are doing the right thing in order to get a decent spawn to grow up. I also don't have a lot of light on the tank. The bolbitis covers most of the tank and shades it a lot for the plecos below. That's why I like the bolbitis so much for this tank.
 
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mattgirl

Member
I just googled bolbitis. It looks a lot like the water wisteria I am having good luck with. I already need to trI'm it again in my 5 gallon tank. I could easily move some of it over to the little container they are in right now. I think I will give them another month in this 3 gallon container and then move them to the bigger tank and just live with the fact that they are so skittish for now.

I already moved a plastic canvas tube I made and covered with java moss. The moss has pretty well covered it. Hopefully the little guys will feel more comfortable with this hiding place in their tank.

I really need to put more thought into what I am going to do with all these little creatures once they are all grown up. I am still pondering the pond idea. I may even talk to my neighbor and see what he thinks about having small plecos in his farm pond. The farm pond isn't connected to any other body of water so I don't think there would be a chance of them spreading to other places. I know I can trade some of them for credit at the only place in town for fish so I have options.

I really want to put Little Red and Evelyn together but I won't do it until I am sure I can take care of and find homes for more fry.
 
  • Thread Starter

mattgirl

Member
10 weeks old now and most of them are just a bit over an inch long. They are chubby little things and sooooo adoreable

All the little guys and girls are now in a 10 gallon tank. I put a very thin layer of gravel on the bottom. Added some potted plants. Also a big piece of drift wood plus the smaller piece I got from Mcasella dessed up with a few plants. I put a clear glass feeding dish in there to hopefully make it easier to keep the bottom of the tank clean

They have lots of hiding spots and now that they have them they seem more comfortable and not nearly as skittish. I can walk up to the tank and lots of them will just stay in the feeding dish instead of dashing for cover.

I noticed 2 of them aren't growing as quickly as all the rest of them. Looks like I might end up with 2 miniature plecos unless they get a growth spurt. I didn't spy the one with white fins when I moved them over and I looked really close. Maybe my eyes were deceiving me and they never were white.

Evelyn is now in the tank with the little ones because I broke down the tank she was in. She had to go somewhere. I'm not ready to put her in with Little Red and didn't want to put her back in with Elbert. She doesn't seem to mind being in with her kids. She was in the feeding dish with bunches of them shortly after I got the tank set up. She settled right in to this tank 'specially because I also put her favorite piece of drift wood in there for her.
 

Sheldon13

Member
mattgirl said:
10 weeks old now and most of them are just a bit over an inch long. They are chubby little things and sooooo adoreable

All the little guys and girls are now in a 10 gallon tank. I put a very thin layer of gravel on the bottom. Added some potted plants. Also a big piece of drift wood plus the smaller piece I got from Mcasella dessed up with a few plants. I put a clear glass feeding dish in there to hopefully make it easier to keep the bottom of the tank clean

They have lots of hiding spots and now that they have them they seem more comfortable and not nearly as skittish. I can walk up to the tank and lots of them will just stay in the feeding dish instead of dashing for cover.

I noticed 2 of them aren't growing as quickly as all the rest of them. Looks like I might end up with 2 miniature plecos unless they get a growth spurt. I didn't spy the one with white fins when I moved them over and I looked really close. Maybe my eyes were deceiving me and they never were white.

Evelyn is now in the tank with the little ones because I broke down the tank she was in. She had to go somewhere. I'm not ready to put her in with Little Red and didn't want to put her back in with Elbert. She doesn't seem to mind being in with her kids. She was in the feeding dish with bunches of them shortly after I got the tank set up. She settled right in to this tank 'specially because I also put her favorite piece of drift wood in there for her.
Any pics of the family?
 
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mattgirl

Member
Sheldon13 said:
Any pics of the family?
I really wish I had taken a picture after I took all the stuff out of the smaller tank but wouldn't you know it, I forgot to do it Now that they are in the bigger tank with a gravel substrate it will be even more difficult to get a clear picture of them since my camera doesn't do closeups well.

Hopefully I will be able to get a decent picture after they get a bit bigger. It was impossible to get a head count but I am still guessing there are at least 50 of them in there.
 
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mattgirl

Member
These little guys are now one week shy of 3 months old. I am glad I marked their hatch date on my calendar because it sure doesn't seem like it has been that long. I finally managed to snap a photo this morning. It isn't that good but I will share it anyway. The photo doesn't do their cuteness justice



It may just be the lighting but some of these little guys have a yellow tint to them. One in particular looks kinda gray but the underside is the same color as Elbert. The first time I saw it I thought it was an albino but then I saw the top side I knew it wasn't. It seems like they are constantly changing but it could be that they are just getting bigger and I can see them better. Most of them are about 1 1/4 inch long now.
 

angelcraze

Member
Adorable little baby BNs!!! Looking nice and healthy
 

Sheldon13

Member
mattgirl said:
These little guys are now one week shy of 3 months old. I am glad I marked their hatch date on my calendar because it sure doesn't seem like it has been that long. I finally managed to snap a photo this morning. It isn't that good but I will share it anyway. The photo doesn't do their cuteness justice



It may just be the lighting but some of these little guys have a yellow tint to them. One in particular looks kinda gray but the underside is the same color as Elbert. The first time I saw it I thought it was an albino but then I saw the top side I knew it wasn't. It seems like they are constantly changing but it could be that they are just getting bigger and I can see them better. Most of them are about 1 1/4 inch long now.
Such sweet little babes!
 

Elkwatcher

Member
mattgirl said:
I didn't count them but I see itty bitty plecos this morning
Congratulations! mattgirl

 

Shacker66

Member
mattgirl said:
We have color this morning.

It is hard to see the color but they are no longer orange. I will offer them some food today and hopefully they will come out to eat.

I can't tell yet how many I have but it looks like a bunch. I did siphon out some unhatched fungus-ed over eggs yesterday. That probably wouldn't have happened if I had been brave enough to leave Elbert in there to tend to them but thankfully some of them hatched. Probably more than I will know what to do with
I know this isn’t in the now but I am still excited
 
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mattgirl

Member
I put a fresh piece of zucchinI in for my little guys and girls this morning. It had been a couple of days since they had any so they quickly swarmed it. They are now 5 1/2 months old. Most of them are already as big or bigger than Elbert was when I first got him. At least 2 that I got a close look at are at least 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide across their head.

I wish I had had the camera ready when I first put the zucchinI in there. They immediately piled on and allowed me to stand there to get a close look at them. When I thought to get the camera out their little bellies were filled and they decided to stay hidden from me. I really don't understand why they are so jumpy. You would think they would be used to me by now and would know I'm not going to hurt them.

Mcasella some of them are already bigger than Little Red was when I first got him. At least 2 of them are a fairly light grey on top and the same color as Elbert on their bellies. Most of them are a dark grey with white speckles all over them. I may offer them up for sale this Spring. I think they will be plenty big enough in a couple more months. I am very nervous about shipping them but between you and coralbandit showing me how it is done I think I can do it.
 
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mattgirl

Member
update: My little guys are now just over 6 months old. During all that time I have only lost 2 of them. Don't know why but suppose it is inevitable to lose one every now and then.

I have tried several times to add plants to their home but it seems baby plecos love the taste of plants so they don't last long. The only plant they leave alone is the Christmas moss attached to a piece of driftwood. A large stem of water wisteria lasts about 2 days before it is shredded into tiny bits and pieces. Same with frog bit. I add it, they eat it. You would think I was starving the little guys but that isn't the case.

I was hoping by getting some plants growing it there it would stop these little guy being so skittish. I would love to get some photos of them but when I try they all go into hiding. You would think they would be more use to me by now since I do a water change every other day so am almost constantly doing something for them. If it's not doing a water change it is feeding them. If I stand still by their tank long enough if they are hungry and I have just put fresh food in there they will come out of hiding but as soon as I lift up the camera they are gone again.

I do notice at least one of them isn't growing like all the others. It is about 1/4th the size of all its siblings. I see it eating but it isn't growing. Maybe the fact that their mom is so tiny will cause some of these to be tiny too. I know mom is getting close to 3 years old but is still a little bitty girl compared to Elbert.


One bit of good news. Little Red has finally gotten used to me. I see him out and about almost all the time now. I can walk right up to his tank now and he will stay put instead of immediately zipping under his rock.
 

Shacker66

Member
HI Mattgirl

I am still thinking Jeepers is a female she is getting bigger. I was tired of calling Cousin it that name so I now call him Creepers. I sure hope they will pick each other. I made a wonderful cave and Jeepers stays in it. Creepers stays in another area but he does visit her cave.
I had 140 mystery snails I brought to LFS and for some of the trade a got two little itty bitty regular BrissleNose Pleco's. They are so tiny may be an inch. How old do you think they are?
 
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mattgirl

Member
Shacker66 said:
HI Mattgirl

I am still thinking Jeepers is a female she is getting bigger. I was tired of calling Cousin it that name so I now call him Creepers. I sure hope they will pick each other. I made a wonderful cave and Jeepers stays in it. Creepers stays in another area but he does visit her cave.
Elbert was about 4 years old and Evelyn at least 2 when I put them together. Even at that they were together at least a month before the eggs showed up.
I had 140 mystery snails I brought to LFS and for some of the trade a got two little itty bitty regular BrissleNose Pleco's. They are so tiny may be an inch. How old do you think they are?
It is hard to say how old your tiny guys are but I would guess no more than a couple of months. I had no idea folks were selling them this small but lately several folks have mentioned how tiny theirs are when they first get them. One person said theirs was about 1/2 inch long. Personally I think that is too small but what do I know. I know Elbert was at least 1 1/2 inch long when I got him. I actually got 2 but the other one just never grew and sadly soon died. Several of my little guys are twice that size now. I guess I really should be actively seek new homes for some of them soon.

Update on plants: I put some baby water lettuce in the pleco tank a couple of days ago. So far it is still there so I may have found something they won't eat
 
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mattgirl

Member
A few days ago I moved 5 of the smallest babies over to my 5.5 gallon planted tank. I was truly amazed at how clean this tank is after just a few days. I had a bit of brown algae growing on some if the leaves of all the plants. It is all gone now.

Today I moved 6 of the bigger ones over to my 55 gallon tank. The crypts and java ferns in there are not looking very good with all the brown algae on most of the leaves. These little guys went right to work on them. It has only been a few hours and the leaves are already looking better. I know I can't leave them in there long term but for now I am really having fun watching them do their thing in a bigger tank.

I really had no idea they would be such great plant cleaners. Elbert certainly doesn't go after it like they do. Hopefully they won't run out of algae and decide to chow down on my water wisteria like they do in my grow out tank. If they do I will remove the plants until they outgrow eating it or until I remove/rehome them.
 

angelcraze

Member
Agree! The young ones will destroy an algae problem They get a bit a lazy as they age and like the algae kelp wafers (at least mine do).

I have also moved plants into the pleco tank if they need a cleaning. It IS truly amazing how they clean.

Glad you are enjoying your little guys Congrats on raising them.
 
  • Thread Starter

mattgirl

Member
angelcraze said:
Agree! The young ones will destroy an algae problem They get a bit a lazy as they age and like the algae kelp wafers (at least mine do).

I have also moved plants into the pleco tank if they need a cleaning. It IS truly amazing how they clean.

Glad you are enjoying your little guys Congrats on raising them.
I don't know how I managed to miss this yesterday

Thank you, yep I am loving it. They are such cute little creatures. I feel sure it won't happen but I really wish the super tiny ones would stay this tiny. They are perfectly healthy little plecos but are only about an inch long including the tail fin. So unbelievably cute little guys.
 
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mattgirl

Member
I got a good long close up look at one of the little guys I moved to my 5.5 gallon tank yesterday. I reallly really wanted to get a picture so all of y'all could see it but by the time I got my camera it had moved. I can get lots of photos of their bellies but it is almost impossible to get one of the other side and that is the side where their colors shine. I will keep trying to get a picture but I don't hold out much hope until they get bigger.

This little guy is a kinda greenish/yellowish tint to him/her. Elbert and Evelyn have produced some pretty uniquely colored babies. If this little guy stays this color it is going to be a beautiful little pleco. Right now it is about 2 maybe 2 1/4 inches long counting tail and all.

Some of the babies are almost black and others light or dark gray. All have lighter colored speckles and lines. Some of their bellies are the same color as Elbert whereas others are the same color both top and bottom but none of them are albino like Elbert or super red like Evelyn. Amazing variety these two produced.

I had no idea as to how much I would enjoy this when I first put Elbert and Evelyn together. Tomorrow will be 27 weeks since the eggs hatched and I have enjoyed it every step of the way. I don't even mind the every other day water changes to clean up after these little poop machines
 

coralbandit

Member
mattgirl said:
I had no idea as to how much I would enjoy this when I first put Elbert and Evelyn together. Tomorrow will be 27 weeks since the eggs hatched and I have enjoyed it every step of the way. I don't even mind the every other day water changes to clean up after these little poop machines
There is something to breeding and raising almost any animal that some people just accel at and get sheer joy and pleasure from .
I am glad to hear you have enjoyed the journey . I think raising / nurturing any creature brings many a type of 'inner strength or peace '? I know it does for me ..I feel like Superman sometimes !
With all that can and does go wrong there is still no way to reason or negotiate with nature or infants . We accept that it is what it is , carry on and try to celebrate our success and improve on our shortcomings . It really can be more then many think ..
Congrats on a over a half year of dedication that may just turn out to be more fun then you thought it would be !
 
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mattgirl

Member
Many many years ago I bred both Betta and Gourami. Lots and lots of work specially once males and females had to be separated. Like this it was work but I also got a lot of joy from the experience so I didn't mind the work. I wouldn't trade either that or this experience for anything.

Early on I lost 2 of the fry for some unknown reason. I am just happy that it was only the 2. Losing some is the only downside but is to be expected I guess. Still sad when it happens.
 

Amazoniantanklvr

Member
How many fry do you have?
 

angelcraze

Member
I got a snapshot of my granddaddy pleco in the 90g. Not a great one, he loves to hide on me, I just thought of it when you mentioned they are in the open front, would make a perfect picture, you leave to grab your phone and they are gone But you were talking about bristles wearing down and this is the guy who once had the eroded bristles. They have grown back to their scraggly, branching off selves. I took the pics for you so you could feel rest assured for Elbert.
 
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mattgirl

Member
Amazoniantanklvr said:
How many fry do you have?
Don't know for sure but guessing at least 50

angelcraze said:
I got a snapshot of my granddaddy pleco in the 90 gallon. Not a great one, he loves to hide on me, but you were talking about bristles wearing down and this is the guy who once had the eroded bristles. They have grown back to their scraggly, branching off selves. I took the pics for you so you could feel rest assured for Elbert.
Thank you. That does make me feel better. Thankfully Elbert's are starting to grow back so hopefully he will end up with a face full of them like yours has.
 
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mattgirl

Member
Elbert and Evelyn's babies are going to have an adventure tomorrow. I am trading the majority of them to the one and only pet shop in my area tomorrow afternoon. He said he already had some but he was happy to take these, specially since they are getting so big now. I will still have the 6 in my big tank and the 5 little ones in the 5.5 gallon but all the others will be gone.

I am hoping Little Red and Evelyn will get busy and bless me with some more babies. They have been together for at least a month now but so far they don't seem interested. Hopefully their babies, should they ever have any, will all be super red since both of them are but only time will tell.
 
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mattgirl

Member
I was guessing there were at least 50 babies. I was off by a bit.

I traded 67 of them for 17 Blood Fin Tetras today. Counting the 11 I kept and the 2 I lost early on my little bitty Evelyn had 80 eggs in her little body. WOW!!!!!

Mr. Peikert, the owner of the only fish store in my area, was happy with the trade and so was I so it was a very good trade for both of us. He put some of them in each of his display tanks. He already had a few but they were itty bitty babies compared to these little guys and girls.

I am anxious to see the little tetras in my main tank but will keep them in quarantine for a few weeks first. I would hate to expose my other fish to anything although I've never gotten a sick fish from him. It will be nice not to have to do a water change every other day for a while. I can go to once a week until Little Red and Evelyn decided to give me more babies.
 
  • Thread Starter

mattgirl

Member
mattgirl said:
I am hoping Little Red and Evelyn will get busy and bless me with some more babies. They have been together for at least a month now but so far they don't seem interested. Hopefully their babies, should they ever have any, will all be super red since both of them are but only time will tell.
Little Red and Evelyn got busy. I saw tiny pink fry in their tank while doing a water change yesterday. I didn't have a chance to worry about little Red the way I did with Elbert. Again I have no idea as to how many are in there but I put in a piece of zucchini and they swarmed it almost immediately. I am hoping there won't be as many this time but if there are I will just deal with it. I am guessing they are about a week old now since they weren't there when I did last weeks water change.

Guess I need to get busy transferring the BloodFin Tetras from this grow out tank over to the big tank. These little guys were tiny when I first got them so I wanted them to grow a bit before I put them in the big tank. I was able to feed them several times a day without over feeding my adult fish. They have about doubled in size. Plenty big enough for the big tank now.
 
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mattgirl

Member
Oh my, I think am going to have to separate Little Red and Evelyn. They have already produced more babies. I have some in there from their first spawn about 1/2 inch long and noticed a bunch of tiny ones in there yesterday.
 

Flyfisha

Member
Did you know mattgirl that this species needs a pair to breed? I have had some success in not breeding these fish by only having one in a tank. With a bit more practice you will be able to not breed them if you do research. I feel your pain.
 
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mattgirl

Member
Flyfisha said:
Did you know mattgirl that this species needs a pair to breed? I have had some success in not breeding these fish by only having one in a tank. With a bit more practice you will be able to not breed them if you do research. I feel your pain.
Thank you for this very well thought out insight, I will take it under consideration and see if I can figure out why I am getting so many babies.
 
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mattgirl

Member
I hate to have to report this sad news. I found Evelyn floating this morning. She was fine or at least looked fine last night but was gone this morning. I wonder if I broke her heart by removing Little Red. Thankfully she left me with lots of babies but it breaks my heart to lose a fish, any fish but 'specially one as special as she was. I have to wonder if all those babies in the tank stressed her out. I often saw several of them holding on to her.
 
  • Thread Starter

mattgirl

Member
mattgirl said:
Thank you, yep I am loving it. They are such cute little creatures. I feel sure it won't happen but I really wish the super tiny ones would stay this tiny. They are perfectly healthy little plecos but are only about an inch long including the tail fin. So unbelievably cute little guys.
I was so wrong. I have now re-homed all but one of Elbert and Evelyn's babies. This tiny creature stopped growing at about 1 inch long. It is a perfect little pleco except for the size. It is one of the 5 I moved to the 5.5 gallon tank. The other 4 grew quickly but this one stayed the same size as when I moved them over to this tank. It is sharing the tank with 3 rabbit snails and 2 little bronze corys. If it stays this size it will be able to live out its life in this tank because it will never outgrow it. The corys are almost big enough to go in the big tank with all my other corys.
 
  • Thread Starter

mattgirl

Member
I dodged the bullet this morning. I still had one of Elbert and Evelyn's babies in my 55 gallon tank. I have tried to catch and remove her but she is a fast little creature. I was afraid I was gong to have to dismantle the tank to get her out of there. I knew it was just a matter of time before She and Elbert blessed/cursed me with more fry. I would have just removed and disposed of the eggs before they had a chance to hatch. I am so glad I didn't have to do that.

I noticed he has been spending a lot of time in the same piece of decor he and Evelyn spawned in. I watched closely and saw this little female go in there with him. I was finally able to net her out by putting a net at the exit. Success......Finally

I suspect Elbert isn't very happy with me right now since I spoiled his plans. I put a fresh piece of zucchini in for for him. Hopefully that will get his mind off of me not allowing him to be a dad again

Now I just need to figure out where I am going to put her until I can find her a new home. I really don't want to have to set up another tank just for her but will if I have to. Right now she is in a floating breeder box floating in the tank Little Red is in but she can't stay there long term. I have a feeling before long he is going to try to figure out a way to get to her and might get stressed out when he can't. Not a good situation at all.
 

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