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Old 02-12-2018, 06:08 PM
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Default 55 gallon vert...build thread

Taking the plunge with my biggest vert tank yet. Not saying much as I've only done a 10 gallon so far....lol. I've been building tanks off and on for the better part of 20 years, but have taken a long hiatus until now. Only pictures I have so far are the initial cleaning of the tank as it sat in my garage loft for over 10years. It was formally a Paludarium. I'll post up the pictures when I get home. I plan on doing a full build thread.

Plans:

Full foam rock background with caves. Want to do basically a rocky cliff with air plaints/roots weaving in and out.
Bottom 3/4 of tank possible water, but really leaning against that.
Full custom wood hood and base (bought wood last night)


Habitants:

?????? Maybe help me decide?

Was going to just do a bunch of Anoles, and some tropical fish in the bottom pool, but they are pretty boring (and messy). I'd love to do darts, but I feel they would never be seen in the tank, and there wouldn't be much floor space, so I'd need a really arboreal species.

Leaning towards RET or Monkey Frogs at this point. Thoughts?

*PICS COMING*
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Waxy monkey frogs are cool, Iím also a fan of Amazon milk frogs.


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Old 02-13-2018, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

My biggest gripe with any kind of tree frog is you spend all this time and effort (and money), making the best enclosure you can for them, and 99% of the time, they are stuck to the glass. I am trying to cover as much of the glass as possible with this build to fight that. Nothing aggravates me more than 4 frogs bunched together on the side glass when they have great hiding spaces, vines, branches, etc......lol
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Ranitomeya species tend to use vertical space, although they can be a little on the shy side. As far as fish, I've found a single betta does great in a paludarium setting where there isn't a lot of water flow.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by hp192 View Post
Ranitomeya species tend to use vertical space, although they can be a little on the shy side. As far as fish, I've found a single betta does great in a paludarium setting where there isn't a lot of water flow.
Yea, I want some bold species in this one. It's such a huge tank. I have three ventrimaculata in a 10 gallon vert right now, and I'm lucky to see one in a day's time.....lol.

Tends to be the larger darts aren't climbers though, so that's why I'm leaning towards some Red Eyes or maybe Tiger leg
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

How do you intend to light this? A four foot tall viv is hard to light properly, especially when you only have 12" of width to work with. If you get a light bright enough to get to the bottom, you may find the top is over-illuminated. On 4' tanks, people sometimes find they need metal halides, and then heat can become an issue.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Theloderma corticale for a paludarium like this?
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

The arcadia jungle dawn LED spotlight is specifically designed for vivariums over 3 feet in height and might work here.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

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Originally Posted by Louis View Post
The arcadia jungle dawn LED spotlight is specifically designed for vivariums over 3 feet in height and might work here.
Yes, I would start by looking at LED spotlight/floodlights.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

According to the box, the jungle dawn spot will give PAR readings at 30cm of 670 and 360 at 40 cm. That's a lot of light but the steep dropoff might indicate that you'd still be dealing with a pretty low light environment at the bottom of a four foot tank. If your bottom 12" is a water section though I don't doubt that plants like java fern and anubias would still thrive as in my experience these will grow in almost anything other than total darkness.
This thread from here on the forum might be useful for comparing par levels of other proven lights http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...ny-lights.html

Last edited by Louis; 02-14-2018 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

I'm actually thinking of adding lights to a bottom panel that shine up.

Really moving away from having a water "pond" at the bottom. I'm not so worried about getting light to the very bottom of the tank as in real life, the forest floor can be pretty dark, even in the day time.

I plan on making some rivulets in the foam where if I give a heavy mist, some water will run down to the bottom of the tank and collect in a shallow "bowl" made of foam as well. If it gets too full, I can just turkey baste it out. So adding a solid panel to the bottom open part of the tank will allow me to sink some LEDs in there or what have you. Maybe color changing ones to switch to blue at night or whatever.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

I guess I can't edit my first post? Oh well, here is the first eye candy!

Pulled down from my garage loft. DIRTY!


You can see the silicone rings from the PVC I used as a false bottom years ago




Nothing half a roll of paper towels, a razor, and some glass cleaner couldn't handle. The back and side wall will be covered anyway.


Got to building the canopy and base today







It sits nice, and is light and easy to take off


Just constructed a simple base and covered with 9" high "border". This will allow for a false bottom to be hidden, and make it feel more professional. Some wood filler, sanding, and stain coming next! I picked up dark walnut stain to match the trim. It think it will look nice. I can lift the tank right out of the base too! Also made a lid for the canopy, just need to get some hinges.



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Old 02-16-2018, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Have you seen the thread on here, The Sinkhole? Maybe you could do something like that (and maybe even light it separately?)

Looking forward to seeing what kind of creative solutions you come up with for lighting, planting, etc.

A gradient of green would look cool -- bright lime green plants at the top, deep dark green plants at the bottom...

What critters are you thinking of putting in here?
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:21 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Was thinking Leucs, but now I might do Grey tree frogs
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Old 02-21-2018, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

awesome idea! just my 2 cents:

for inhabitants, some of the more bold species of pumilio would be great. I have a trio of Punta Laurel that I see ALL the time in a vertical 40B. A large group of ranitomeya could work well too... in another of my tanks (30in deep) I have a group of 6 Iquitos that are quite visible too

for lighting, I used a fairly cheap LED hanging fixture (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Its likely not actually 300 watts, but still does the job well and Im getting lots of buds off my bromeliads

for reference, my 40B is here (http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...umbs-pums.html) and the 30in column is here (http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/mem...ot-column.html). I have the Roleadro over both tanks.

I also cant recommend vivarium works highly enough... they make awesome stuff. Also, FWIW, water features end up being a PITA and a solid ground will give the inhabitants more space to explore. The pumilio 40B regularly has juveniles hiding in the leaf litter
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Old 02-26-2018, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

All great recommendations here! Appreciate it.

I am still on the fence about what to put in, but I did some work over the weekend. I blacked out the back and left side of the tank, and wood filled all the gaps and screw holes. Once sanded, the base and canopy will be stained dark walnut (hoping this week)

I started breaking up some pink foam to start the background, but realized I did not have my caulking gun for silicone (left at workshop), and I wasn't going to go buy one just to get it. I will pick it up today on my way home from work.

As much as I try and sketch the background I want, I think I am just going to have to build as I go. I know the general looking I am going for, but my sketches always come out looking goofy...lol.

No pictures of this weekend's work as there isn't much to show. Hoping to get some pink foam work done tonight to delight with pictures for you!
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Starting adding the foam tonight. Going for more of a slate/stacked rock background. Gaps will be filled with foam pieces (I hate Great Stuff). Will be covering everything with Drylok. Not a bad start if I do say so myself....lol.



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Old 02-27-2018, 05:14 PM
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What do you use for gluing the foam together? I used Gorilla glue all purpose listed foam board but was not impressed. I put bamboo skewers in some pieces to secure them. The painted with drylock.
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Old 02-27-2018, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

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What do you use for gluing the foam together? I used Gorilla glue all purpose listed foam board but was not impressed. I put bamboo skewers in some pieces to secure them. The painted with drylock.
I'm just using black silicone. I am adhering one side right to the glass, and then whatever side comes in contact with the below piece. I checked it this morning, and everything is holding (I even put the tank upright, and nothing fell out of place)

I figure once I fill the gaps, and get the drylock on, it's going to be held on pretty tightly.
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Old 02-28-2018, 03:34 AM
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Looking great! IM following along!

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Old 02-28-2018, 10:34 PM
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I wouldn't think silicone would hold but I might try it.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Silicone is holding fine so far.

Sadly, my son was home sick from school today. Gladly, it gave me time to get the canopy and base stained. I'm still fairly new to finish woodworking, but I really like how they came together. I haven't put the base on yet because it's a very tight fit, and I still need to move the viv around. Also, I want to add leveler legs to it.



Pretty good match

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Old 03-13-2018, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

15" of snow today kept me home bound. What better time than to do some work on the viv!

I got this frog cutout on Etsy. It's going to be mounted just above the surface of the canopy with LED light behind it to backlight it.



I cut 3 stand offs, and glued them on



I drilled three holes, and test mounted



I've since drilled a bunch of holes behind it, will test it with a light later it's too bright in here. It's also drying after being stained. Added a hinge to the canopy as well!

Waiting on some big pieces of wood from Josh's frogs before I continue the background.

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Old 03-14-2018, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

that frog is sick! build is coming across nicely!

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Old 03-21-2018, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

I GOT WOOD!!

hehe

Seriously though, the folks at Josh's Frogs went above and beyond scouring the warehouse for larger manzanita wood (36" and above) , and shipped me 4 beautiful pieces (pics incoming)

This was holding up the foam process as I wanted to place the wood and then continue the rock background. So excited!
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:40 AM
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Looks great so far! Would love to build something like this in the future

As far as inhabitants my votes for tree frogs. With my experience they will gradually start sleeping on bromeliads and large leaf plants as opposed to the glass. Mine tend to sleep in a different spot everday. Plus it would be awesome to watch them hunt in there!
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:00 PM
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Grabbed one of these from Josh's Frogs. Fits PERFECTLY in the canopy, has red/white setting, white setting, and blue setting.

At this moment, the light does reach to the bottom of the viv, and that is actually still going to come up about 9" from where it is now (bare). Some of the rock formation does block some light, but I haven't finished carving it all, so I will make sure most of it gets scaled back.

I honestly don't mind a bright at the top, darker at the bottom. I'll do low light plants on the ground level, and high light plants closer to the top. I really don't want to do a viv like everyone else (flooded with plants). I am going for a more dead vines/old wall look with leaf litter, and some creeping vines that make their home between the rocks. Ferns, and other "shade plants" will make up the floor.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:48 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

I have that exact same Zoo Med LED fixture on a horizontal 20 gallon High. It's enough light for that at 16 inches, but there's no way it's going to have enough lumens for a 48 inch tall enclosure. Even with the magnifying lenses, it still only has 8 6500K LEDs...and the 4 red and 2 blue LEDs are too weak to really be useful in any way.
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Old 03-24-2018, 02:58 PM
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Good to know. This is not going to be a heavily planted viv. The most plants will be near the top with more hardscape at the bottom. I also have some plans to add lighting at the mid/lower level as well. Stay tuned!
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Perhaps you could add a jungle dawn spotlight or something similar to the top in addition to your zoo med fixture then? It would punch a beam of light down to the floor of your viv, and may look a bit like a shaft of sunlight breaking through the forest canopy. Might go well with the intended aesthetic of your build?
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Old 03-25-2018, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

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I really don't want to do a viv like everyone else (flooded with plants). I am going for a more dead vines/old wall look with leaf litter, and some creeping vines that make their home between the rocks. Ferns, and other "shade plants" will make up the floor.
This is going to look *awesome*
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:34 PM
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I’m really excited to see how this all comes together because I’m prepping for a very similar build. Same 55 gal verticle arrangemeng but with the rockwall stopping at about 2/3rd height and two tree trunks running the whole way up. I’m probably going to move my luecs into it once its done and cycled.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:45 PM
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Iím really excited to see how this all comes together because Iím prepping for a very similar build. Same 55 gal verticle arrangemeng but with the rockwall stopping at about 2/3rd height and two tree trunks running the whole way up. Iím probably going to move my luecs into it once its done and cycled.
Word.

I was thinking of stopping with the foam where it is, but now I am going to bring it all the way to the bottom. Might taper it to be smaller as it goes lower, but we'll see. I like making the little platforms and caves for the frogs to use.

How many Leucs do you think this could handle? I'm leaning heavily towards them as I know they DO climb more than most other species.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

Following this build for sure. Great work so far!

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Old 03-28-2018, 03:12 PM
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How many Leucs do you think this could handle? I'm leaning heavily towards them as I know they DO climb more than most other species.
General rule is 10g/frog, but it also depends on how you scape and plant it (and what kind of frogs you get). With leucs, I bet you could do 6, and maybe up to 8, but then you'd need a fairly densely planted tank AND enough space/habitat/refuge for your microfauna to keep up with all the waste/being eaten. The more you put in there, the more you should lean to smaller leuc morphs.

There are some great thumbnails that would really use that space well, and wouldn't put so much pressure on the microfauna populations. Have you thought about vents? Or green or orange lamasi? They're not thumbnails (and they multiply like you'd never believe), but anthonyi and tricolors would use that space well. The tricolor 'rio' that came to the U.S. a few years ago looks real slick. Nish had them once upon a time. If you do get a group that breeds like crazy, I'd recommend trying to limit their ability to deposit tads... froglets accumulate SO FAST.

PS - when are we going to get some photo updates?
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

I plan on taking some pictures tonight. I've been holding off on building because a lot of my supplies were at my old house (getting divorced). I grabbed a bunch of stuff today to install the false bottom which is what I need to place the wood, and see how much more foam I am going to need.

I also need to add level legs to the base, and have just been procrastinating.

So there isn't much to show, but I'll take some snaps of the wood and progress tonight.


I have 3 vents in a 10 gallon set-up already, so looking for something different. I really think smaller frogs would be totally lost in this new viv due to the size of the thing. Still have a ways to go before I make a firm decision. All I know is that this viv will have a small ground area, so I have to be mindful of the isopods and springtails. Hoping to devise some way to get the fruit flies towards the top of the tank for feeding, hence the little cliff platforms I am making.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:42 AM
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Alright, some picture porn for you all.

These are the wood pieces.


I also installed some level legs using t-nuts and these little feet I found at Lowes. I swear, my apartment is one that Jack built, all the floors are badly crooked....lol. These should help.





Shot with the light


Still working on the placement of the wood of course, probably can't use it all. Big piece with the knob will be the center piece.


I think I ticked off my neighbors enough for tonight while banging on the base
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

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All I know is that this viv will have a small ground area, so I have to be mindful of the isopods and springtails. Hoping to devise some way to get the fruit flies towards the top of the tank for feeding, hence the little cliff platforms I am making.
With enough texture (or, honestly, root/moss growth), the hardscape can also provide refuge for springs. I use those 1" thick pressed cork slabs for my backgrounds, and the springs -- especially ones that just hatch -- find enough space in there to live. If you scrape something like a fine-toothed comb across whatever layers you're painting on the foam, I bet you provide valleys deep enough for springs to survive. You can always just constantly re-seed them though... might be a safer bet, and easier way to guarantee their distribution throughout the tank...
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Old 04-01-2018, 11:28 PM
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Default Re: 55 gallon vert...build thread

I have no advice but I've been watching this build. Can't wait to see how it turns out.
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