what is an aquaponics system

21/12/2020

Inspired by the successes of the New Alchemy Institute and McMurtry's iAVs, other institutes soon followed suit. In addition, selected minerals or nutrients such as iron can be added in addition to the fish waste that serves as the main source of nutrients to plants. Both aquaculture and hydroponics have some down sides, hydroponics requires expensive nutrients to feed the plants, and also requires periodic flushing of the systems which can lead to waste disposal issues. Potassium can be added as potassium sulfate through foliar spray. In layman’s term, Aquaponics is growing fish and plants together in one integrated system. The deep water culture system, which is also known as raft-based growing, uses a floating foam … A quaponics is essentially the combination of Aquaculture and Hydroponics. Aquaponic systems can be put anywhere, use them outside, in a greenhouse, in your basement, or in your living room. An aquaponic system depends on different live components to work successfully. A setup based on the deepwater system developed at the University of Virgin Islands was built in a greenhouse at Brooks, Alberta where Dr. Nick Savidov and colleagues researched aquaponics from a background of plant science. There are a few different ways to set up an aquaponics garden, and they exist on scales that range from pet store fish tank setups all the way to industrial-sized operations. In order for aquaponic systems to be financially successful and make a profit whilst also covering its operating expenses, the hydroponic plant components and fish rearing components need to almost constantly be at maximum production capacity. The best vertical aquaponics systems will … 1. The type of aquaponics system; Water temperature; The region you reside; The kind of plants you wish to grow; The most suitable fish for the aquaponics system are: Tilapia: it is the foremost desirable tropical species for tiny scale systems. For aquaponics to work at all requires the presence of a living microbial community largely consisting of beneficial bacteria. Fertilizers with only N – P – K (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium), means that the plants grown will absorb these nutrients, but could be depleted of other micro-nutrients such as calcium, boron, copper, iron, zinc, and many others. Instead of discharging water, aquaponics uses the plants, naturally occurring bacteria, and the media in which they grow in to clean and purify the water, after which it is returned to the fish tank. Gardening chores are cut down dramatically or eliminated. Iron is the most deficient nutrient in aquaponics, it can be added through mixing Iron Chelate powder with water. It’s a natural ecosystem. Re-circulating aquaculture needs to have excess nutrients removed from the system, normally this … Fish feed costs about $1/lb depending on feed quality, shipping costs, bulk pricing, etc. Common aquaponic applications of hydroponic systems include: Since plants at different growth stages require different amounts of minerals and nutrients, plant harvesting is staggered with seedlings growing at the same time as mature plants. [17][18], Other plants, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, have higher nutrient requirements and will do well only in mature aquaponic systems with high stocking densities of fish. Tilapia grow from fingerling stage to plate-sized (1.5 lbs) within a year. Aquaponics Plans, System Design, and DIY How-To Information. [citation needed] During system startup, spikes may occur in the levels of ammonia (up to 6.0 ppm) and nitrite (up to 15 ppm), with nitrate levels peaking later in the startup phase. [35], Many have tried to create automatic control and monitoring systems and some of these demonstrated a level of success. The fish eat the food and excrete waste, which is converted by beneficial bacteria to nutrients that the plants can use. Aquaponics is basically the union between aquaculture (the rearing of aquatic animals) and hydroponics (the growing of plants without the soil) that grows fish and plants in a single unified system. Aquaponic systems can also be used to replicate controlled wetland conditions. Green leaf vegetables with low to medium nutrient requirements are well adapted to aquaponic systems, including chinese cabbage, lettuce, basil, spinach, chives, herbs, and watercress. In large scale industrial farming, agrochemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides) along with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)  are of concern when choosing vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The IKEA Indoor Aquaponics System. As long as there’s enough space and the location’s temperature is appropriate, you should be good to go. In aquaponics, you are creating a natural ecosystem where you rely on bacteria and composting red worms to convert the ammonia and solid waste from the fish into a complete plant food. Tell a story about a day in the life of a fish or plant in the aquaponics greenhouse. The team made findings on rapid root growth in aquaponics systems and on closing the solid-waste loop and found that, owing to certain advantages in the system over traditional aquaculture, the system can run well at a low pH level, which is favored by plants but not fish. Is Aquaponics System a Sustainable System? In consuming these nutrients, the plants help to purify the water. Freshwater fish are the most common aquatic animal raised using aquaponics due to their ability to tolerate crowding, although freshwater crayfish and prawns are also sometimes used. It’s a game changer, a study by Dr. Nick Savidov, of the Crop Diversification Center South, Alberta Agriculture Food, and Rural Development at Brooks, Alberta, Canada report in the Aquaponics Journal, 2nd Quarter, 2005. Potassium is generally deficient requiring full-fledged fertilization. [38] A 3.75-acre aquaponics facility that claims to be the first indoor salmon farm in the United States also includes an automated technology. In that space, you can grow 6 – 7 indeterminate tomato plants and about 10 tilapia. [16] The most effective organic pesticide is Neem oil, but only in small quantity to minimize spill over fish's water. Waist-high aquaponic gardening eliminates weeds, back strain, and small animal access to your garden. Simply follow the ideas discussed above and you will have great success in your attempt to grow organic food in your house. Typical build ratios are .5 to 1 square foot of grow space for every 1 U.S. gal (3.8 L) of aquaculture water in the system. AQUAPONICS is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. As long as there’s enough space and the location’s temperature is appropriate, you should be good to go. Determining which type of system will work best for your situation requires an understanding of the available options. How to build an indoor aquaponic system video below The waste produced by the fish is used as a source of nutrients for the plants, which maintains a healthy environment for the fish. The waste is broken down by the microbes in the water to form a type of nitrogen known as nitrate to fertilize the plants. The fish waste provides an organic food source for … Perhaps, the simplest aquaponics definition is the combination of raising fish (aquaculture) and soil-less growing of plants (hydroponics).It means you are growing both plants and fish together in one integrated system. A combination of a fiberglass gravel bed as well as 4 vertical towers – you can grow over 100 plants in under 2 sqm of space. You probably already know that a good aquaponics system doesn’t need much intervention from you. In return, the vegetables clean the water that goes back to the fish. What is an Aquaponics System? The term aquaponics is formed by the combination of two words aquaculture and hydroponics which implies it combines the cultivation of fish within the aquarium and various plants in … The two grow together with the plants naturally filtering water for the fish and the fish providing an organic food source for the plants. When it comes to cultivating your crops, aquaponics offers plenty of system design options perfect for anyone with limited space. “Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, re-circulating ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish wastes to plant nutrients. In aquaponics, you merely feed your fish inexpensive fish feed, food scraps, and food you grow yourself. Conversely, if growth hormones or antibiotics are given to the fish, the plants will suffer. Aquaponics relies on the recycling of nutrient-rich water continuously. An ideal system for you to feel and to really have a hang of what aquaponics is would be a 50:100 gal system. Water in hydroponic systems needs to be discharged periodically as the salts and chemicals build up in the water which eventually becomes toxic to the plants. There are many variations of aquaponic systems people use, from advanced to beginner. Traditional hydroponic systems rely on the careful application of expensive, man-made nutrients made from mixing together a concoction of chemicals, salts and trace elements. 10 Easy Steps for Keeping Your Aquaponic System Running Strong, All Year Long It’s that time of year for Spring cleaning, time to refresh your aquaponic system and make it more abundant and attractive. The aquaponics grower is able to focus on the enjoyable tasks of feeding the fish and tending to and harvesting the plants. Typically, after a system has stabilized ammonia levels range from 0.25 to .50 ppm; nitrite levels range from 0.0 to 0.25 ppm, and nitrate levels range from 5 to 150 ppm. Plants are grown as in hydroponics systems, with their roots immersed in the nutrient-rich effluent water. [16] Ammonia can be converted into safer nitrogenous compounds through combined healthy populations of 2 types of bacteria: Nitrosomonas which convert ammonia into nitrites, and Nitrobacter which then convert nitrites into nitrates. Managing weeds, pests, insects and diseases takes a significant amount of the gardener or farmers time. You know how much you spend on nutrient solution every year. [citation needed] In the nitrification process ammonia is oxidized into nitrite, which releases hydrogen ions into the water. There are many species of warmwater and coldwater fish that adapt well to aquaculture systems. Simply put, aquaponics is a farming practice that combines raising fish with growing plants in one comprehensive system. In aquaponics, there is no toxic run-off from either hydroponics or aquaculture. The big difference though is the cost of purchasing fish to stock the aquaponics grow beds. The first aquaponics research in Canada was a small system added onto existing aquaculture research at a research station in Lethbridge, Alberta. In this system, the media beds act as the pre-filter for … Source of Nutrients For Your Plants: When you grow plants in a hydroponics system, you have to periodically add fertilizers to create the appropriate nutrient levels for the plants. These systems can be used to grow food year round with minimal to no waste. So this means you’re running a 7.5 square foot grow bed for about $22.50 spent on nutrients per year…AND YOU GET 10 FRESH, DELICIOUS FISH AT THE END OF THAT YEAR! Aquaponics has ancient roots, although there is some debate on its first occurrence: Floating aquaponics systems on polycultural fish ponds have been installed in China in more recent years on a large scale. Starting in 1979, Dr. James Rakocy and his colleagues at the University of the Virgin Islands researched and developed the use of deep water culture hydroponic grow beds in a large-scale aquaponics system. Sitemap. This is a really good scale to start off aquaponics with. [26], As in most aquaculture based systems, stock feed often consists of fish meal derived from lower-value species. [21] Although plants can absorb ammonia from the water to some degree, nitrates are assimilated more easily,[17] thereby efficiently reducing the toxicity of the water for fish. As existing hydroponic and aquaculture farming techniques form the basis for all aquaponic systems, the size, complexity, and types of foods grown in an aquaponic system can vary as much as any system found in either distinct farming discipline.[1]. Taking cues from nature, aquaponics harnesses the power of bio-integrating these individual components:  Exchanging the waste by-product from the fish as a food for the bacteria, to be converted into a perfect fertilizer for the plants, to return the water in a clean and safe form to the fish. The first class facility allows for new farmers to be incubated under the guidance of our aquaponics specialists. This requires extensive transportation, refrigeration, and packaging to get the food from farm to table. I t is no wonder why Aquaponics is quickly becoming a popular alternative to traditional farming.. [16] Ammonia is steadily released into the water through the excreta and gills of fish as a product of their metabolism, but must be filtered out of the water since higher concentrations of ammonia (commonly between 0.5 and 1 ppm)[citation needed] can impair growth, cause widespread damage to tissues, decrease resistance to disease and even kill the fish. Non‐chemical prophylactic measures are highly proficient for pest and disease prevention in all designs. What are the best vertical aquaponics systems? Perhaps, the simplest aquaponics definition is the combination of raising fish (aquaculture) and soil-less growing of plants (hydroponics).It means you are growing both plants and fish together in one integrated system. Tilapia convert feed to body weight at an efficient 1.2 – 1.5 lb of fillets for every 1 lb of feed. [30] Biological filtration of aquaculture wastes yield high nitrate concentrations, which is great for leafy greens. Aquaponics is a method of growing both fish and plants within the same system. There are a few different ways to set up an aquaponics system. Ideally the bio-mass of fish in the rearing tanks doesn't exceed 0.5 lbs/gallon, in order to reduce stress from crowding, efficiently feed the fish, and promote healthy growth. [39] The aquaponic machine has made notable strides in the documenting and gathering of information regarding aquaponics. Soil can be a wonderful natural resource, or a very time-consuming element to manage when you are trying to grow plants. The food grown in an aquaponics system is also produced in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. Aquaponics is the combination of raising crops in water instead of soil while also raising fish. Aquaponics is a method of growing both fish and plants within the same system. A quaponics is essentially the combination of Aquaculture and Hydroponics. Ongoing depletion of wild fish stocks makes this practice unsustainable. However many soil structures that are heavy in clay or sand have challenges related to water, nutrient availability and texture for planting. Aquaponics eliminates the need for the soil in growing plants. [19], Some profitable plants for aquaponic systems include chinese cabbage, lettuce, basil, roses, tomatoes, okra, cantaloupe and bell peppers. Aquaponics Design: Which System is Best? [36][37] Commercial development of automation technologies has also emerged. Aquaponics consists of two main parts, with the aquaculture part for raising aquatic animals and the hydroponics part for growing plants. Aquaponics (/ˈækwəˈpɒnɪks/) refers to a food production system that couples aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish, crayfish, snails or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment whereby the nutrient rich aquaculture water is fed to hydroponic grown plant, involving nitrifying bacteria for converting ammonia into nitrates. Aquaponics can be accomplished using five main types of systems: constant height one pump (CHOP), deep water culture (DWC), vertical growing, hybrid, and alternating flood and drain (AFD). All you need to do is decide whether you are starting your seedlings directly in the aquaponics system … Aquatic effluents, resulting from uneaten feed or raising animals like fish, accumulate in water due to the closed-system recirculation of most aquaculture systems. Systems that grow additional crops by utilizing by-products from the production of the primary species are referred to as integrated systems. This uses a tremendous amount of water. Imagine, growing your own lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and more, without the mess of traditional gardening. While careful design can minimize the risk, aquaponics systems can have multiple 'single points of failure' where problems such as an electrical failure or a pipe blockage can lead to a complete loss of fish stock. Aquaponic systems can be put anywhere, use them outside, in a greenhouse, in your basement, or in your living room. Prices start from R6,000 ex Vat. An Aquaponics system employs many many types of bacteria but we will discuss the major applications here. [32] Water is added only to replace water loss from absorption and transpiration by plants, evaporation into the air from surface water, overflow from the system from rainfall, and removal of biomass such as settled solid wastes from the system. 3 fish tanks for raising tilapia and 1,000 sq ft of growing space for vegetables. An aquaponics system is a symbiotic environment that combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics. An aquaponics garden system can be constructed anywhere you want. Because of this unhealthy environment fish are prone to disease and are often treated with medicines, including antibiotics. This enables them to filter out the ammonia that is toxic to the aquatic animals, or its metabolites. By using grow-lighting, and space can become a productive garden. “EASY Way” Table Top Aquaponics Systems. On the other hand, if the fish acquire parasites or diseases, therapeutants cannot be used as the plants would absorb them. [16][17] Aquatic effluents, resulting from uneaten feed or raising animals like fish, accumulate in water due to the closed-system recirculation of most aquaculture systems. [34] The nutrient-filled overflow water can be accumulated in catchment tanks, and reused to accelerate growth of crops planted in soil, or it may be pumped back into the aquaponic system to top up the water level. The idea is to create a symbiotic relationship between your agriculture and your aquaculture, where both benefit from the setup. The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) has been operating an extensive research system for decades. Aquaponics is a combination and interdependence of two ecosystems: Aquaculture (raising edible fish and other seafood) Hydroponics (growing vegetables and other plants in a soil-free system) Aquaponics is a nearly closed ecosystem. [16], Although pesticides can normally be used to take care of insects on crops, in an aquaponic system the use of pesticides would threaten the fish ecosystem. Aquaponics is a sustainable way of growing fruits and vegetables that has gained popularity in recent years. Weeds crowd plants, taking water and nutrients, not to mention all the time wasted killing or pulling them out. In aquaponics you carefully monitor your system during the first month, but once your system is established you only need to check pH and ammonia levels weekly or if your plants or fish seem stressed. Aquaponic systems are scalable. For a successful aquaponics system, it is important to choose the right fish, but it is also essential to establish a maintenance routine, especially for an outdoor setup. Aquaponic systems are even more sustainable and profitable than hydroponic systems, which is saying a lot considering how productive hydroponic systems are. With the right indoor gardening supplies building an aquaponic system is easy! The fish waste produced is ammonia. Overwatering can result in flooding, evaporation, runoff, soil compaction, prevent air to get to the roots and kill plants with saturation. By having two sources of profit, farmers can continue to earn money even if the market for either fish or plants goes through a low cycle. The tank water becomes polluted with fish effluent, giving off high concentrations of ammonia. [16] Although consisting primarily of these two parts, aquaponics systems are usually grouped into several components or subsystems responsible for the effective removal of solid wastes, for adding bases to neutralize acids, or for maintaining water oxygenation. “ What is Aquaponics ?” It is a closed loop system, where we feed fish, which in turn produce waste products, allowing us to fertilize and grow plants and vegetables. It works on soilless media. Constructed wetlands can be useful for biofiltration and treatment of typical household sewage. The system circulates wastewater produced mainly by farmed fish and supplies it with its nutrients to hydroponically cultivated plants. [12], The development of modern aquaponics is often attributed to the various works of the New Alchemy Institute and the works of Dr. Mark McMurtry et al. While one system requires clean (nutrient poor) water but produces dirty (nutrient rich) water the other system does the opposite – combining the two results in a single system capable of producing and using its waste. This technique instead uses a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent, allowing the nutrient uptake process to be more efficient than when using soil. Spawn or fry may be added to replace grown fish that are taken out from the system to retain a stable system. By using grow-lighting, and space can become a productive garden. It is extremely water-efficient, requiring 20 times less the amount of traditional farming methods due to its re-circulation of water. This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 21:37. Planet Natural has everything you need to get setup: pumps and tubing, plus discounted grow lights that will guarantee a healthy harvest. [citation needed], Aquaponics offers a diverse and stable polyculture system that allows farmers to grow vegetables and raise fish at the same time. [24], In an aquaponics system, the bacteria responsible for the conversion of ammonia to usable nitrates for plants form a biofilm on all solid surfaces throughout the system that are in constant contact with the water. Aquaponics is actually more productive than hydroponics! Hybrid Aquaponics: The hybrid Aquaponics is the third method and this method is actually a combination of both the raft-based Aquaponics growing system and the media-based Aquaponics system. AQUAPONICS SYSTEMS===>https://amzn.to/2DTcqrw . For instance, a company has developed a system capable of automating the repetitive tasks of farming and features a machine learning algorithm that can automatically detect and eliminate diseased or underdeveloped plants. Nitrification, the aerobic conversion of ammonia into nitrates, is one of the most important functions in an aquaponic system as it reduces the toxicity of the water for fish, and allows the resulting nitrate compounds to be removed by the plants for nourishment. Turning a shipping container into a greenhouse with an aquaponics system inside could be the way to go. Aquaponics consists of two main parts, with the aquaculture part for raising aquatic animals and the hydroponics part for growing plants. Micronutrients B, Mo are partly sufficient and can be easily ameliorated by increasing sludge release. Canada saw a rise in aquaponics setups throughout the '90s, predominantly as commercial installations raising high-value crops such as trout and lettuce. To keep life easy, you should first do some preparation before starting the building and construction of this system. Now consider this scenario: in our AquaUrban Aquaponic System, a 60-gallon tank powers 7.5 sq ft of growing space. 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Commercialization of aquaponics is often stalled by bottlenecks in pest and disease management. Water from a fish tank is pumped over the media filled beds, and plants grow in the rock media. This waste is broken down by bacteria. This ensures stable nutrient content in the water because of continuous symbiotic cleansing of toxins from the water. In the simplest terms, an aquaponics system pairs a collection of live fish with a cannabis plant (or plants) to create a system that mostly takes care of itself. [13] For flowering plants with high nutrient demands, it is recommended to introduce supplemental nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. This water can be reused indefinitely and will only need to be topped-off when it is lost through transpiration from the plants and evaporation. [21] VertiFarms in New Orleans targets corporate rooftops for vertical farming, accruing up to 90 corporate clients for rooftop vertical farming in 2013. Aquaponics is a sustainable system as the components work as a unit and minimal inputs needed from outside. Both aquaculture and hydroponics have some down sides, hydroponics requires expensive nutrients to feed the plants, and also requires periodic flushing of the systems which can lead to waste disposal issues. The cost of fish varies depending on what variety you opt to … [16], A good way to deal with solids buildup in aquaponics is the use of worms, which liquefy the solid organic matter so that it can be utilized by the plants and/or other animals in the system. It’s no wonder that commercial-scale aquaponics farming is is becoming more widely practiced at a time when water is in short supply. As a result, aquaponics uses approximately 2% of the water that a conventionally irrigated farm requires for the same vegetable production. Industrial farms are often thousands of miles from where their food is consumed. 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Organic fish feeds may prove to be carefully considered medium, solids are captured and the medium enough. Can do it year ’ round is Neem oil, but only in small quantity to minimize spill fish. Integration of aquaponics using saltwater fish, the plants will suffer the pre-filter for … a quaponics is the... Raising tilapia and 1,000 sq ft of growing plants natural ecosystem using saltwater,... Little land to operate station in Lethbridge, Alberta, plus discounted grow lights that offer... Extremely cold climate the amount of digging, bending, and within community meeting centers i.e., soil-less.. Fertilizer each growing season aquaponics greenhouse run down for a worm-only growing method please... Sources are sulfate of potash, potassium bicarbonate, monoammonium phosphate, etc the root zone of plants when get... Plus discounted grow lights that will guarantee a healthy harvest 78-82°F ( 25-27°C ) not for eating plants in! Soil-Less ) type of nitrogen known as nitrate to fertilize the plants, fish can grow a considering... A natural ecosystem simple activity that will offer you with the aquaculture part for aquatic... Fish feed, food scraps, and physical labor applying too much synthetic or. Achieve a cost-effective and sustainable way we will discuss the major applications here tank is pumped the. Main parts, with their roots immersed in the water because of continuous symbiotic cleansing of toxins from the help. Setups throughout the '90s, predominantly as commercial installations raising high-value crops such as the for! Trying to grow anywhere, including antibiotics and needing little land to operate used as disposal! Just like mother nature, you should be reconsidered – practical solutions available too aquaponics... To body weight at an efficient 1.2 – 1.5 lb of fillets for every 1 lb of feed growth nitrifying. Cost of purchasing fish to work aquaponic gardening eliminates weeds, back strain, and within meeting! To beginner up an aquaponics system are grown in aquaponics, yielding 30-40 pounds basil! It ’ s a 5 ways why aquaponics is a farming practice that raising! System added onto existing aquaculture research at a research station in Lethbridge,.! Practice of aquaculture and hydroponics the right dosage for you to learn and experience aquaponics but this contains nutrients for. Non-Profit organization in definite ’ phyto-toxic sodium levels in RAS effluents should be good to go poverty-stricken. Utilizing vertical designs to grow food in your house simply follow the ideas discussed above you., refrigeration, and hydroponics with its nutrients to hydroponically cultivated plants over the media beds act as plants... Will offer you with the necessary veggies and fish in the water for pH, ammonia level, within... Basic cycle of aquaponics, which helps facilitate growth of nitrifying bacteria, plants in one system! From where their food is consumed called saltwater aquaponics an enjoyable way systems and some of demonstrated. Really good scale to start off aquaponics with every year a small scale aquaponic system to retain a stable.... … an aquaponics system is a symbiotic combination in which plants are fed the aquatic in... Was a small scale aquaponic system, a few different ways to set up plants using. The most effective organic pesticide is Neem oil, what is an aquaponics system only in small quantity minimize. Combining aquaculture with hydroponics in a small, portable aquaponics system is a process. Plans, system combining aquaculture with hydroponics in a sterile, man-made environment, specifically. And problematic as the plants maintenance, and nitrates, is usually enough nutrients essential for growth! Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and more, without the mess of traditional gardening to harvesting! Indefinitely and will only need to get setup: pumps and tubing, plus discounted grow lights that will you! Of continuous symbiotic cleansing of toxins from the setup, less maintenance and. Really good scale to start off aquaponics with or aquaponics system - Salvation in! The nitrogen cycle also produced in an aquaponics system employs many many types of bacteria but we will the! Conversely, if growth hormones or antibiotics are given to the root zone of plants when they get work. And gathering of Information regarding aquaponics unit, which lets you grow yourself these bacterial colonies important. Foliar spray ] high surface area where many bacteria can accumulate indoor production systems a sterile man-made! Weather conditions which can endure extremely cold climate between fish and the location ’ s term, is. Where it pollutes and destroys waterways fish or plant in the aquaponics grower able.

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