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Old 05/17/2017, 11:10 PM   #26
Wally.B
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Which SALT? (Considering Low SPS load, Weekly Water Changes, & Optional Dosing)

So I found this up to date 2017 Article on Current Reef Salt Parameters
http://saltwateraquariumblog.com/bes...t-mix-options/

They list this table:



I would agree with the Instant Ocean, but I don't agree with Topic Maurin Pro ALK level (since my Bucket give me Alk=7.0). And Pro has always been low over the few buckets I have purchased.

The issue I am concerned about is that my SPS Coral Load is light.
Alk Still drops weekly, but not too much.

If I use a Salt with a High ALK, a 5% weekly water change won't do much in raising Alk, but it will increase over many water changes.

The other challenge if I use High Alk Salt, is there will be a weekly swing upward, and that will make dosing hard to stabilize as the tank matures.

I think once I have a larger coral load, then it won't be much of a factor.

SO MY DECISION IS to Go with the TOPIC MARIN PRO which I have a bit left.


Yes it is Darn $Pricey$, but this new start deserves one Bucket for a good solid start. And time for me to figure out a dosing regimen.


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Old 05/18/2017, 02:34 AM   #27
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Found my PERFECT SALT (A mix)

Yes, this may be chasing numbers that won't really matter, but I want to embark on the New Tank Setup Journey with minimal disruption.

I decided to test my Salts, but this time with attention to accuracy.
I calibrated my Reflectometer, heated water to 77 Degrees.

Turns out the AquaForest Reef Salt is not as high as I thought.
It was the Reef Crystals which was around 11.

I got an idea. Instead of buffering up Tropic Marin with Baking Soda. Why not use the higher Alk Salt to do it, by combining salts.

After my tests of Individual Salts, I realized (by calculation average) that a 50/50 Mix of AquaForest RS and Tropic Marin Pro would get me very close to an Alk=7.5.


So I mixed up very well a small bucket of each (to exactly a Salinty of 1.025) and mixed the two accurately at 50% each Salt Mix.

I tested very accurately, with the greatest attention I've ever done. (ie Rinsing vials, perfect drops, no bubbles, etc). Was only satisfied when two tests came back very close.

Here is the method and the results.



I could use slightly less AquaForest and be exactly at ALK=7.5, but is just not worth the effort.

This will save me some money and give me a good Salt with all the micro/macro elements covered.


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Old 05/18/2017, 12:53 PM   #28
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AUTO-Station Build (Moving Along)

So for the Short-Term, I not going Large-Bin Reservoir as part of the AutoStation Area.
Takes up too much space near the sump and work table.

Two 15 Gallon Bins will be fine and last me a month.


-> I will add a Water level sensor to ensure enough water for full Water Change.
-----> [Otherwise a partial fill will drop sump levels, and screw up salinity when Fresh Water Top up kicks in]

-> I will also add a Water sensor to Dump Bin
-----> [To prevent a overfill spill]


The Larger 50 GAL Reservoir of Pre-Mix Salt Water will be elsewhere in the basement, and I can just top up the Change-Station Bin.

Still much, Much easier then the past.




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Old 05/18/2017, 04:02 PM   #29
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Water Change Section (Pumbing Complete)

Pumping inside sump is done. Good enough for now.



I used those Clips you get with MaxiJet Pump FOR Clamping HOSE RUNS.
I have a bunch of them since I never used that kind of Maxi-Jet configuration.

They hold well, and I tie wrapped Sensor wiring to them.

Plus the clips are easy remove for future maintenance.


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Old 05/19/2017, 11:26 AM   #30
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Auto-Station Ready for Tonights Friday Night Water Change (Painted and Setup)

The Auto-Station is Setup for AutoWater Changes.

I decided on GREY Shelving Paint with Blue Trim. Came out pretty good.




-> I added a cork board that was in my never used in my workshop.
-> The Google Nexus 2012 Tablet is kids hand me down. Too slow for gaming but good enough to view Apex and Simple Web.
-> Got a New Blue Bin since I couldn't stand the Pink one.
-> The Portal 3D sticker I got for $2 from Alixepress ages ago. Came in handy.

I'm really happy I didn't go with the Large 50 Gallon Reservioir.
I like the space/layout with the Auto-Station setup.

Now I run a few weeks of water changes and see how Water Parameter do.
Then I can decide what/how I will dose for any needed adjustments.

Next I run Doser tubing.
Then I can start drugging my Corals with some Magic Potion Mixes.
I have plenty of ingredients I purchase over the years.

By the way, the Frags and Corals are doing Spectacular.
Like never before.

I guess the Practice Water Change Runs prove that frequent and regular water changes work.

I am already thinking to expand this Changer for my other tank.
Just need to figure out a way for similar Containers.

Wally


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Old 05/20/2017, 12:20 PM   #31
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So many wonderful work you did here. Reading this thread it almost like reading a well prepare magazine article. I am sure your coral will return your effort nicely, my friend.

Cheers,


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Old 05/20/2017, 10:42 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shih87 View Post
So many wonderful work you did here. Reading this thread it almost like reading a well prepare magazine article. I am sure your coral will return your effort nicely, my friend.

Cheers,
Thanks. Appreciate the positive Comment.
I need it. Been pulling out my hair last 24 hours.

I was planning to do a run with the Final Install, but I ran into a technical glitch.

I have been working all day to resolve and am very close.


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Old 05/21/2017, 11:18 PM   #33
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DOSER (Auto Water Changer) COMPLETED & INSTALLED With (Lighting Feature)

So the Doser is Finally Installed (PERMANENTLY) and Couple of Water changes done. Everything is perfect.

However I struggled many hours (2 days) to fix a misplaced wired. (I had trouble falling a sleep thinking things thru)
When Installing the Final Feature (Mode Lighting) I screwed up one wire and nothing was working.

As you can see it wasn't that easy (Lots of wire connections underneath), but I finally found the mistake.



The Lighting Feature is a 3 Color LED installed in the Acrylic Base.
It show status, running mode, plus Future reminder feature.
(I first Had a SImple LED on top, but a small hole Driller into base is more noticeable and Quite Awesome looking)




For now the Water Changer will be Manual.

(ONE BUTTON ACTIVATE)
-> PUSH Button [ Apex Turns off WC-Reservoir Pump]
-> Apex Sends Signal to Doser(+) Controller for Go Ahead.
-> Water Change is done and Apex Turn Reservoir Pump back on.



I need to learn how it works:

-> Keep New Water Container FULL / (Empty Dump Container) [Will Add Sensors in the Future to Failsafe)
-> Turn on New Water heater, and Watch for Tank Temp Match (manual)
-> And also do Water Parameters to learn how much Dosing will be required with Regular Weekly Water Changes.

WHATS REALLY weird, is I feel kind of Lost No doing Manual Bucket Water changes.
I'll get used to it

So now I move to DOSING (Learn and Setup).
Figure out new routine with Easy Weekly Water changes, and how tank Water Parameter need adjustment (if any).
Maybe I’ll just need Coral Food and Coloration Additives.

(Who knows. Routine/Weekly Water Changes may be good enough for a long while till Corals get bigger. But at least I’ll be ready when that day comes).

And I did make a 3 Camera View Movie that I'm editing showing a Installed Run with (Lighting).
As Soon I edit the movie, I'll post on YouTube.



Last edited by Wally.B; 05/21/2017 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 05/22/2017, 03:14 PM   #34
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DOSING tubing Installed (Dosing needed sooner then thought)

I wasn't going to rush with Dosing Setup but my Alk/Calc is dropping and I had to manually top up.

So for now I'll at least start the Aquaforest Component 1,2,3.
(The stuff is really weak. When I had corals, I had to do 150ml a day. Compared to A/B which only needed 30ml)

I'll start with 20ml each and see how water tests go.

I may improve things later but I installed the tubing this way.



Not the best clean cuts but does the job.


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Old 05/22/2017, 03:57 PM   #35
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DOSING Controller (Dosing Head Configuration)

Here is how the Controller is configured.
I decided not to make it tedious thru the LCD/Push Buttons.
Plus the code would be complex to write for Interface, etc.
Future features will be easier to add this way.

The Dosing configuration is within the Aurdino Code.

To make a dosing change, I edit the config and upload into Ardiuno from PC.

Pretty simple as shown below (Example of 1 Dosing Head)



Once the config is uploaded, the Doser Scheduler uses this to run things.

The scheduler uses Queuing Logic:

--> You can Set Dose Head (#01,#02,#03) to all dose as 12:15PM
--> It will queue up each pump at 12:15
--> Two Pumps will never run at same time
--> When Pump one is finished, the Next Pump Starts


Now I run on Water for a week, and it all goes well, I switch to Real Chemicals.



Last edited by Wally.B; 05/22/2017 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 05/22/2017, 11:33 PM   #36
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TANK Water Parameters

Corals should be not complaining. Water Parameter are very close to ideal.

All Chem Test are Salifert, with exception of Phosphate which is Hanna (Phosphorous Kit)

Salinty (1.025)

ALK (7.5)
CALC (430)
MAG (1440)
K (400)
PO4 (0.13)
NO3 (1.0)

TEMP (78 Stable)
PH (8.0 - 8.2)

I had to top up Alk, and K, but otherwise everything was as shown.


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Old 05/23/2017, 12:39 PM   #37
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Nice, Wally!
I think you'll get used to the no bucket wcs pretty darn quick.
Doesn't AF have dry versions of their components? Not sure.. or maybe they have industrial strength?
I love that one touch button. It's like the simple button for that insurance (I think) company advertising on tv.
Just love the leds as well. Nice touch.


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Old 05/23/2017, 01:37 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reefmutt View Post
Nice, Wally!
I think you'll get used to the no bucket wcs pretty darn quick.
What is a bucket??

Quote:
Originally Posted by reefmutt View Post
Doesn't AF have dry versions of their components? Not sure.. or maybe they have industrial strength?
Yes they do, call their Component Strong, plus they have Target Elements too.
But for now I just want to use up my Component1,2,3.

I am going to need some help in this next phase of this Tank Restart.

-> I have Nutrient Export covered (Algae Scrubber)
-> I have Water Changes covered.
-> I have future Dosing Covered (TBD on foods)
-> I certainly have Circulation Covered (running medium for now)

The part that I've always wondered about my tank is Lighting.
I have a switchable MH Ballast (150W,175W,250W,HQI) running two Pheonix (250W) 14000K bulbs. Plus the two Blue Plus T5's and LED (18 LED's, running low).

I was running 150W, and today moved up to 175W with coral mounting.
I slightly raised the lights to 13" to spread things out and compensate for 25W more power per bulb.

So I am totally confused if I have too much lighting in this 65 Gallon Tank, or do I have not enough.

I rented a Par Meter a while ago, and if I put my MH bulbs at 250W, with the two T5 my par readings were:

-> 460 Just below water Surface
-> 320 at top of Rocks
-> 120 at Bottom of tank

I didn't have the Power LED, so I have to be careful with it.
I bleached all my corals overnight with that LED in QT.

WHAT DO I LOOK FOR IN "SPS" to see if they are getting ENOUGH light?

-> White Tips?
-> Browning or Color Fading (not enough light), beside nutrients.



Last edited by Wally.B; 05/23/2017 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 05/23/2017, 01:49 PM   #39
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THE NEW TANK (Corals Mounted)

So I mounted the corals and this is the Baseline for this New Tank Restart.

TANK FRONT



TANK BACK
Yes there is a back side, since I've centered the rocks to clean glass all around.

On back side are Remnants of Corals that were encrusted on rocks from the past.

This tank has about 14 Species of SPS at this pont.



Before anyone mentions (I need more fish).
Today I added a Blue Green Chromis that I removed from Kitchen Tank. He was being beaten up by the other 5 Chromis's (So I nursed him back to heath in QT over last few weeks).


THE JOURNEY BEGINS!!


Wally.


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Old 05/23/2017, 02:01 PM   #40
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NEED OPINION on PROPER FEEDING (How much, and how to Feed?)

I read a few places that folks that fed their fish wrong, and had problems. (ie Cyano, Algae, etc)

I don't know how much to feed since fish are always hungry.

The other thing is my fish have learned to chase food.
If I stop the water and feed thru feeder, they stared dazed, waiting for the food to run away.

I have a feeling that Feeding under High Circulation scatters the food.
And that leads to rot.
I no longer want a large CUC since they keep dying or getting too big (crabs).

I feed flakes twice a day, and Rinsed Frozen Brine at night.

(( WHAT IS weird, and baffling is in my 90 Gallon Kitchen Tank, I feed twice as much and no issue. I think they KEY is low Lighting in that Tank, vs High for this SPS tank ))

I DO HAVE A PROGRAMMED APEX BUTTON that will stop all circulation except return for X-Minutes.
I guess I should use it and let fish learn to come to feeder and pick out the food (instead of the fun chase).

Correct?




Last edited by Wally.B; 05/23/2017 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 05/24/2017, 09:28 AM   #41
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Those par numbers seem pretty decent, Wally.. although, if it were me, I'd start with 150w or 175.. on that size tank 2x250 just seems overkill. But at any rate, you are right in the ballpark with those readings..
I always let my food scatter.. the fish will get most in the water column and then hunt down most of the rest. After that, I'm sure there a billion critters who will finish off anything that gets left behind.
That cleaner shrimp will also hunt down uneaten foods


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Old 05/24/2017, 02:19 PM   #42
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Those par numbers seem pretty decent, Wally.. although, if it were me, I'd start with 150w or 175.. on that size tank 2x250 just seems overkill. But at any rate, you are right in the ballpark with those readings..
I always let my food scatter.. the fish will get most in the water column and then hunt down most of the rest. After that, I'm sure there a billion critters who will finish off anything that gets left behind.
That cleaner shrimp will also hunt down uneaten foods
For now I'm doing 2x 175W MH. See how things go.
I was 150W, but I felt it wasn't enough.

Here is the test I did last time.
Notice the PAR Range I quoted above is from the Picture on Right (250W)

The tables on left show differences between (175W,250W,HQI).
I never tested 150W since I converted the fixture to 250W so why run 150W.




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Old 05/24/2017, 02:30 PM   #43
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Cheap Simple Improvement for Wiring (BIG GAIN)

So I was at the electronic store to return left over Doser Project parts.

I came across these wire clips. $1.95 a 10 pack.

I used to use Black duct tape around tank rim to hold wire.
But during maintenance removes, it get messy.

These clips are ideal. Close with Push and Ratchet Lock. Pus to open.
Can handle 3-4 medium wires. Two thick Power cords.



I can use them for:

- Tank Rim.
- Wiring Trays
- and Even Doser Tube runs.

Can use built in sticky or for extra firm hold, drill a tiny hole and screw onto wall.


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Old 05/27/2017, 10:41 AM   #44
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Few of my SPS Favourites Added

So I went back to GTA Frags and rebought the Favourites I lost last Crash.

One of my top favourites is the RR Red Planet.

And I got a Bird of Paradise since last time it was the only coral that grew well.



Here is the Final Tank Setup.




I have run the dose for about a week. My logic/programming appears to be perfect. Sunday I start dosing AquaForest Component 1,2,3 Lightly, since I do see Alk Dropping and new Frag will probably increase that.

I hope things go better this time. (Last night, my Weekly Friday Water Change was a Pleasure (1 button, after water heated up)


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Old 05/29/2017, 12:17 AM   #45
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[AUTO] WEEKLY WATER CHANGE ** GOOD ENOUGH for NOW ** [[ SPS Growth Starting ]]

So after a week of No Dosing YET, I checked water chemistry after the AutoWeekly Water Change (2.5% = 2.5 Gallons)

The Alk was Dead on 7.5 ppm.

I assume the rest of the parameters much be just ask ok, since ALK is usually the highest consumed (but I will checking weekly after each WC).

What caught my ATTENTION is my Monti has started growing at the edges. (Seen in Photo Below)
It has been dormant for the last couple of months. So things must be better.

I now have time to give the tank extra attention for cleaning glass, skimmer and Algae Scrubber. Plus general upkeep and maintenance at a easy, less hectic pace.

I know this won't last forever, and dosing will need to started, however I'm fully prepared.

For now I am just dropping ZeoBak, AF -NP Pro, [daily for Bacteria]

And Small Quantities of (Polyp Booster OR AcroPower OR AF Vitality) after lights go out. [for Nutrients, Vitamins, Aminos ]

I do have one more fish (Blue Green Chromis) that I rescued from my other tank (Since other 4 Chromis wouldn't let him eat). BULLIES!!



The Chromis has found a nice spot, and all the fish have accepted him right off the bat.

Onward...


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Old 06/03/2017, 12:55 AM   #46
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ALK Dropping Fast (NEED TO START DOSING)

So I did my REAL First Auto Water Change.
-> No Salt Mixing
-> JUST FLIP ON THE HEATER SWITCH till water matched tank.
-> PUSH THE BLUE BUTTON

I actually did an ALK test while the WC change ran.

And I was shocked that my ALK dropped from 7.5 to 6.5 Since 6 days ago.

So I guess the Quantity of SPS Frag, not Size is consuming Alk.
-> Weekly Water changes (5%) is not enough to sustain ALK.

Perfect timing since I just finished coding the FINAL FEATURE on the Doser.
A fine tune adjustment. Bit of overkill, but nice to have.

The Basic Calibration Mode is filling a vial to 10ml and DOSER stores that calibration. It's pretty close, but not perfect.

This Fine tune Calibration Mode will allow me to adjust Each Dosing Pump-Head Calibration to perfection.
What's nice is that I can get all dosing heads matched up perfectly, so the liquids will drain equally when dosing is set equally. Thus I will run out of A/B/C liquids at the same time.

Here what the Fine-Tune Calibration Looks like:




I topped off ALK to 7.0 for tonight manually.

Next it to setup dosing tubes, and start AquaForest Componnet 1/2/3 dosing.

GLAD I Caught the ALK drop since going below 6.5 would not be good.


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Old 06/03/2017, 06:46 AM   #47
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Good to see the alk consumption is up.
Soon your be posting growth shots!
Wally. Your system is getting very serious!
I would bet corraline algea growth is also consuming ca/alk


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Old 06/03/2017, 01:30 PM   #48
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Wally,

how many hours of metal halide are you giving for coral?
you have very nice frags in there


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Old 06/08/2017, 10:15 AM   #49
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Wally,

how many hours of metal halide are you giving for coral?
you have very nice frags in there
Hi Jorge,
Long time no hear.
How are your GTA frags doing?
I lost all the one's we bought at the roughly the same time as you did.
I now know why. I got busy, and move my doser to other tank. From what I see happening now my Alk is dropping incredibly fast. Approx 0.2 dkH a day. And my Calcium is also dropping.
This happened to me last time, but I never paid attention, so Alk dropped below 6, and I topped up too fast (few times). Very bad.

But I am prepared now with a new Doser.
I actually finished adding new feature (Micro Calibration). I learned with playing that my Kamoer pump are very accurate. I now can dose BY THE DROP.

Anyway to answer your lighting question.

It is important to give all the LIGHTING information.

HEIGHT: All Lights are 13 " above Water Surface (except 1 T5)
DEPTH Most Acros are around 8" below surface of water. (21" Tank Depth)

LIGHTING
-> 2x 175 MH (14000k Phoenix Bulbs) [Ballast is selectable 150,175,250,HQI]
-> 2x T5 (1xBlue Plus, 1xCoral Plus)
-> 1x LED Home Made Fixture (15 Cree LEDS, Blue/White @ 40% Max Setting)

PHOTO PERIOD
-> MH(175W) (6 Hours)
-> T5 (ON/OFF 3 Times when MH off) (5 Hours Total)
-> LED (Ramp UP/DOWN 0%-45%-0%) (Approx 12 hours)

I do plan on lowering lights down to 10inch, but I like higher since it spread the light more evenly between the two MH Bulbs.

The LED fixture I put in between the MH lights as a filler.

Maybe this Picture is better than my explanation.




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Old 06/08/2017, 10:43 PM   #50
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Wally,
your DIY dosser looks fantastic.
I will be waiting to see how your corals grow, keep us updated with pics.

p.d. I lost several of the nice frags I got from GTA, I still have several of them.
I have made some changes in my main dt and hope things get better.

take care


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