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Subscribepowerhead question
itsjustme1966
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female canada
Surface turbulence can increase oxygen content and deplete excess CO2 at night. No surface turbulence during the day can preserve CO2 levels.

Sooooooo Im confused.. I just added a power head so Ive got water agitation and no dead spots so to speak, so no film build up as Ive an open tank. I was under the impression that this helps with algae too?
So shall I turn it off at times?
No Co2 at the moment, I believe I have high lighting 2 bulbs T-5 HO, still have to take them out to check for sure..I forget exactly..and they need to be replaced anyway, probably go lower, on someones suggestion.
just slowly working my way up to plants..Ive many in the tank and growing fine, some probably to fast..
bits of Algae but not alot..working on a schedule.
using flourish excel and other iron ferts so far.
once I get all the info down I will post it and maybe someone can guide me as to what I might do better for the tank.
still need to pick up a iron test kit.
will get a list of my plants so far too..
So yah about that power head should I be running it or not than?
Post InfoPosted 19-Feb-2011 05:57Profile PM Edit Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
You really don't sound confused, and from your comments
about how well the plants in your tank are growing, it
doesn't sound like your plants are confused either.

Surface turbulence will increase the oxygen content
and, at the same time help deplete excess CO2 at night.
Plants give off Oxygen during the day, and at night
they release CO2.

If you are injecting CO2 with a pressurized system using
a regulator, then you have two options. You can adjust
the amount of CO2 being injected, and let it run 24/7.
Or, you can put a valve in the line that turns the CO2 off
with your lights and just inject it while the lights are
running.

To keep things simple, many just let the CO2 run 24/7.

The way to tell if you have a dangerous build up of CO2
is to look at the tank in the morning just before the
lights come on. If the fish are all at the surface gasping
for air, then you have excess CO2. I very much doubt that
you could ever reach this point. You would have to have
the tank waaay over stocked, and the CO2 turned way up
for this to occur.

As far as needing CO2 is concerned, that depends upon the
plants and the strength of your lighting. Light is the
engine that drives plant growth and CO2 can be viewed as
the fuel for that engine. If your light is too intense
the plants will use up the available Carbon and begin
to wither and die off. Generally speaking, you should
determine the strength of your lighting. If it is around
two watts or less per gallon, then you may not "need" to
provide Carbon for the plants. They will break down the
organic waste and take up the Carbon and other nutrients
and thrive. If you are three watts per gallon or more,
or, or plants that require high light, then you will need
to provide additional Carbon either through CO2 injection
or by one of the liquid fertilizers such as Flourish Excel.

As far as the nutrient, Iron, is concerned some plants
will do fine without additional iron, while others need
more than "normal." The easiest way to provide the iron
that plants need, in a form they can easily use, is to
provide the plant with a substrate such as SeaChem's
Flourite. It is ground up, ancient, iron rich, clay and
will provide all the iron a plant could want over decades
of use. Look up your individual plants on the internet.
Those that need more than "normal" iron will have something
to the effect of "needs iron rich soil" somewhere in the
description. I don't think I would hurry to invest in
an Iron test kit.

Watch what your plants, your fish, and your aquarium as a
whole, are telling you. If your fish are "happy" and your
plants are thriving after a month or two in the tank, then
things are fine, and you would want to just maintain your
maintenance routine. From what you say about the lack of
algae (there should always be some) and your growing plants,
I would leave things as they are, and keep the power head
running.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 19-Feb-2011 10:08Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
itsjustme1966
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female canada
EditedEdited 19-Feb-2011 17:32
hugs, Oh how I wish I could sit down and have coffee with you just listen to you talk about it..
Im doing good so far..yes...always seem to doubt myself tho..
getting a schedule for the tank and seeing what works best. I write down everything I do.
I have only API test strips at the moment the readings as of right now (since last water change 50%, last monday)
they are PH 7.6 to 7.8 NO2 0 NO3 0.5 GH 180 KH 240
hmmmm..
As you know I run a Eheim 2217, should I take out the carbon pad? is it needed? Ive heard and read that some dont use one in a planted tank?
I also bought last week SeaPora Phosphates pad for the filter. seemed like a good idea.
Fish load for my 80gal are:
2 Managasgar Rainbows 4 inch and 3 inch , the 4 in survived the devastation in the tank 2 months ago.
6 red Irian Rainbows 2-3 inchs
3 clown loaches 2-3inchs
3 ottos
1 blue betta
All fish exhibit beautiful colour! fish are happy for sure.
should I add more algae eaters other than ottos?
took out pleco last week.. messy buggars.. hes become a loner in my 40gal holding tank that I set up.
I have no plans to add anymore fish as I like to stock my tanks to promote proper growth for all fish.
one thing Ive learnt "less is more" when it comes to fish keeping..


let me know what you think, taking a pix of the tank now and will post it after for you.
Sue
Post InfoPosted 19-Feb-2011 17:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
DeletedPosted 19-Feb-2011 18:47
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DeletedPosted 19-Feb-2011 18:50
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itsjustme1966
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Hobbyist
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female canada
Post InfoPosted 19-Feb-2011 18:59Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
I agree with you in that I wish more of us were clustered
together. Lunch & coffee meetings would be great,
just think how much we all could learn.
On the 21st century side, that is what our Chat Room
could be used for, but I rarely see anyone
(including me) in it.

As far as carbon in a filter is concerned, it is not
necessary, and can easily be done away with.
Decades ago carbon was a mainstay in virtually
every filter except the undergravel filters, and even
in them, they would enclose carbon in plastic containers
and made the outflow of the UGF's flow through the carbon
out into the tank.

Technology was nothing like we have today. In those days
the carbon was used to "soak up" the urea from the fish
especially in over crowded tanks. Now, with todays
knowledge and technology, carbon is no longer a "must."
Our filters are much more advanced and now use medium
that did not exist then. This new filter medium now gives
us far more surface area per square inch that allows the
bacterial colonies to grow and filter the water to a far
better quality that we every could have hoped for back
then. Better water quality means healthier fish that can
live longer lives. It also allows us to keep, in many
cases, fish that we either never knew of, or could not keep
in a home aquarium.

Almost every medication has instructions to remove any
carbon from the filters when treating a tank.

We know that carbon will adsorbe some of the chemicals
that make up the fertilizers that we add to the tank.
"We" now normally don't use carbon unless... We are trying
to remove left over medications after treatment from a tank.
Or, if we are trying to remove the coloration (tanic acid)
that driftwood leaches into the water when fresh.

I never over stock my tanks, and when I use a fiter that has a space for carbon, I use sponge media to replace
the carbon and fill that space.

Nice pictures. Ya gotta hide (IMO) that bright green
stuff. Tuck it behind the driftwood, or get some stem
plants, plant them in groups, and let them grow up to the
surface and across to hide the hardware.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 20-Feb-2011 16:40Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
itsjustme1966
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female canada
Well guess I will just take it out then..
I very rarely test my tank, figure theres not much need to if I keep good water quality weekly.
What of my GH and KH Frank as noted its at the high range of the charts??
should I be doing anything? it has always read this even before plants..
yaaahhh gotta hide that intake... the large piece of DW floats up and is resting on it,,kinda..will have to figure something out.. it was at one point on aslab of flat rock, that I wanted out of the tank.dont know if it will ever water log up..been in the tank for 2 yrs now..lol
thanks for the info
Sue
Post InfoPosted 20-Feb-2011 17:23Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Sue,
I'm surprised at the span between the two. Hard water is
generally due to the source, that is, its coming from rocks
that are carbonates such as limestone. The tests read the
total amount of Calcium and Magnesium is present in
the water.
Those elements come from the limestone which a blend of
Calcium and Magnesium carbonate. The Carbonate hardness
or KH is a measure of the buffering ability of the water
and, as the name sounds measures the amount of carbonate
(HCO3) that is present.
As the limestone or other carbonate rocks are broken
down by the water flowing through the cracks in the
rocks, the Ca and Mg is freed up as well as the
carbonate component.

Because of the span between your two tests, I'm wondering
if the strips are not giving you false readings. Even the
most expensive strips are not as accurate as the liquid
tests or the "pillow" tests. Exposure to heat, light, and
moisture, as well as age, will ruin their accuracy.

Over all, the trend says that you have hard water. Going
by the GH reading, you would do fine with Swordtails,
guppies, molies, and goldfish.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 21-Feb-2011 00:07Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
itsjustme1966
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Hmmm , well when I go back to work on Wednesday I will get the kits I need then retest.
Ive kept fish for years here and have not kept guppies, mollies, swords..just not my cup of tea..
I do have goldfish, fancy ones and ones from my pond..
Huh??
the fish ive kept seem to be fine..got a 10 yr old upside down catfish..and black neon and rummynose in the same tank that are around 3 yrs old..
Im very curious to see if the liquid test kit will give me a different reading..amybe a more accurate PH too..
thanks Frank
Sue
Post InfoPosted 21-Feb-2011 00:29Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi,
If you are curious, you might just want to take a water
sample into the local pet shop and see what they come
up with. Most will test for free, assuming that you would
come back later and purchase products from them.

If the fish are "happy" I'd not worry about it as they
have acclimated to the water by now.

Frank


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 22-Feb-2011 06:21Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
itsjustme1966
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female canada
Im manager at a LPS.....
Im a pet nutritionist.
We run about 50 tanks. A pet store like ours doesnt get to involved with big time fish. For our area we sell the easy to keep ones..we do have some odd balls and do keep a good variety. I do the ordering and try to keep a maximum for the tanks on certain fish. So if I want some Oscars in I order 2. I have 2 55gals for bigger fish and a 65gal(old Hagen tank) for the pond fish, Koi/shubunkins..etc.
I can also Special order fish for people as well.

Since were not a "fish store" we are limited to what we can get, unless its an outside purchase, Hagen, All glass, Central Aquatics..etc
hagen tho limits us even more, we cant get the new Fluval Edge canister filters....I want one but dont want to pay retail..
Back to the PH .. I think it is off,from that time I tested, I still need to get a liquid kit. I did buy the phosphate one (liquid) and it reads under 0.25..probably more like 0.10...
So "0" - "0.25" - "0.5" etc.. mine is between the first 2 readings..so I guess not 0 but under 0.25..
well not a heck of alot of phosphates.., I did do a 50% water change last night and very minimal vac, didnt touch the filter.
So still have to remove the carbon pad and remember I mentioned I have one of those Phosphate pads in there..maybe its working.
I have a strict feeding schedule. I used to feed alot of frozen foods but not anymore, I use Sera foods. some food can contain phosphates..how would you know ?? does it say on the bottle, never really looked much at the ingredients.
So it is coming together ok so far.
Im now going to be looking at lighting..Hmmmmm
I have a cheap C02 from Hagen I want to try, or maybe DIY one..but that worries me..pressure buildup..any horror stories you know of..
Sue
Post InfoPosted 24-Feb-2011 06:33Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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Hi Sue,
Nice to better get to know you...
First, CO2 is the easiest way for plants to get the Carbon
that they need. It requires less energy to break the CO2
bonds than it does to break down the organic chains
that are made up of Carbon atoms bound with other elements.

As a rule of thumb you don't need to inject CO2 in low
light tanks (1-2 watts/gallon). The low light plants
can break the Carbon out of the bonds fairly easily and
so will grow just fine without the additional carbon.
It's when you start driving the plants light in the 3+
watts/gallon area that you need to add Carbon in some
form liquid (Flouish products), or gaseous form.

All that being said, the addition of injected CO2 in
any tank housing plants, regardless of the light level
will promote some truly stunning growth. For instance,
take a look at the photos of Keith's tanks. He uses the
liquid form of Carbon, and his Anubis are amazing to look
at.

The problem with the DIY CO2, is that there is no way to
store it, and no way to provide a constant level of CO2.
The DIY system is a mixture of water, yeast, and sugar, in
a closed container. When first mixed it will give off
a surge of CO2, and then as the mixture ferments to
produce alcohol, the CO2 output goes down to the point
where the gas is no longer produced. That means the CO2
saturation in the tank will surge upward, and then fall off.
Then you replace the bottle and the same cycle occurs again.
The plants just never get settled into a consistent level
of CO2 and the fluctuating levels "drive the plants nutz"
trying constantly adjust. It's a constant sine wave of
CO2. Adding more bottles in series can help so that as
one bottle is tapering off, the other is starting up, but
that requires constant work washing, preparing the mix,
and connecting the bottles. The weak point in the connections
is the use of the plastic caps that come with the bottle,
and the hole one drills into the cap to insert a piece
of rigid tubing (for connection to the flexible air
hose) is very fragile. It is the seam around the rigid
tube inserted into the cap that is THE biggest source
of leaks, and requires extreme care when attaching
the hoses, and when tightening the cap onto the bottle.

A rule of thumb for CO2 is to use liquid Carbon in tanks
of 30gallons and less, and injected CO2 gas for tanks
30 gallons and up. The liquid Carbon is expensive and
it would take quite a alot to get the Carbon saturation
you would need for the plants in, say, a 55+ gallon tank.
The biggest expense in the injected pressurized gas system
is the regulator followed by the bottle itself.
Purchase a good dual stage regulator, a bubble counter,
one can rent the 5 pound bottle of gas, and a CO2 reactor.
I have a 30G tank that I inject gas into, 24/7/365.
A bottle of gas costs me $20 (including tax) and runs for
about 6 months at the rate of 1 bubble/second. I have two
bottles. I keep one full all the time, and one connected.
When the one runs out, I replace it with the full one and
take the empty to be filled. That way the saturation is
constant and the plants don't go for a day or two without
the injected CO2.

Hope this helps...
Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 24-Feb-2011 07:46Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
itsjustme1966
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female canada
EditedEdited 25-Feb-2011 05:20
Yes it does help thanks.
I have a better understanding, of how it all works now with planted tanks. Over the years I kinda kept myself in the dark on it.
At work we carry a small amount of items for planted tanks, liquid ferts, hagen CO2, difusers..etc..
I only ever grab the AquaPlus water conditioner for my tanks. I add nothing else but that and water... Waste control, clear water, adjusters etc..I know what the bottle says they do, but never really hands on with them. Dont need a waste control!.. thats why I bought the python and under stock my tanks.
So it would be a waste of time even setting up the Hagen Co2 for the tank then? Ok good. That then leaves me to use it for a 20gal I have,,lol, for a later date.
Now, Im getting new bulbs same as I have now T5 HO 54 wattX2 so 108 total, which would give me 1.3 watt/gal
low range.Its a 80 gal,but I think there are really only 77gal..which then would be 1.4..is this correct?
Now being that my lights are well over a yr old, would new ones make the plants react with more growth? or maybe a Algae bloom..Powerglo and Lifeglo are the two.
Oh and something else I just thought of, sorry cant remember If you mentioned it before..How long should I have my lights on for?? right now I have them set on timer for 7am till 12 noon, then back on at 7pm till 12 midnight, steady 10 or 12 hrs or is broken up ok?
Schedule:
Monday nights 40-50% WC, vac, 2 doses Flourish excel, dose again Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Filter is done wednesday nights.
plant ferts 2-3 times a week, but only did twice last week.
think thats all I need for the tank, plants look ok, so far...
feeding is once a day, but over an hour..I would give them a little flake food, then 1/2 hr later maybe some frozen shrimp..they like tubifex worms(freeze dried) and sinking shrimp pellets too..I dont feed this all in one day its scattered over the week..they may get frozen 3 times a week..
Im looking into what food may have phosphates? Do you know of ones that do that I should stay away from? Frozen I heard is bad it and causes Algae break outs.
So what about the lighting, how long to leave them?
thanks Frank
Sue
Post InfoPosted 25-Feb-2011 05:13Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
itsjustme1966
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So I ordered bulbs and will add one this week and one next week, as to not stress any plants and fish..

waiting for your reply on lighting suggestion of how long to leave on. I hope that I can still keep the same schedule that I have now, being in the morning for 5 hrs and then the evening 5-6 hrs..
thanks
Sue
Post InfoPosted 25-Feb-2011 15:12Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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EditedEdited 26-Feb-2011 01:18
Hi Sue,
I like the Jungle "Start Right" for my water changes and
can only get it from one of the "big" stores.

For flake food, I'm using Aqueon "Tropical Flakes"
with only 1% Phosphorus. You will probably have to just
read the labels on what is available and choose the one
with the least.

I too use the python.. Best thing since sliced bread!

As far as the Hagen system is concerned, the CO2 ladder
is a good idea, but ,personally, I balk at having to
continually have to purchase the tablets. As store mgr,
perhaps you could set up a "show tank" with a few zoo fish
and lots of plants with it and see if you think it's worth
it for use at home. The ladder is a good "reactor" that
will allow the CO2 to mix with the water with little waste
CO2 escaping. If you wind up with a turned in, broken
hagen system, you could scrounge the ladder assembly and
use it with some other source of CO2.

The lights should be replaced in staggered fashion. The
"trick" is to pick some convenient date to remember.
Christmas, a birthday, etc., and then that day, replace one,
and a week later, replace another, etc.
Swapping out all the bulbs at once can lead to the plants
wilting, and if you have crypts, cause them to "melt."

The 90 gallon tanks that I've seen are more what I would
consider "Show or tall" tanks vs "regular or long" tanks.
Generally they are near, or at two feet deep. It is the
depth that causes the "problem" with lights and plants.
As the light from a source travels through water, regardless
of how clean or clear it is, the light is scattered and
absorbed. Red light, the low end of the spectrum, is
absorbed within a few inches and blue light, the high end
of the spectrum is absorbed with in feet of the surface.
You have to get the light down through the water column
to the surface of the gravel where the plants are. You can
do that by adjusting the Kelvin rating of the bulbs through
selective purchasing. 6700K bulbs are the "ideal" for the
human eye and for plants. But they will not penetrate the
two feet down to the gravel. 6700K bulbs are best for the
shallower tanks, say 18 inches and less.
I'd suggest you use 8800K to 10,000K bulbs to get
the light energy down through the water column in that
90G tank. If you don't like the "look" of the light with
all the bulbs being the higher K rating, try mixing one
or two bulbs of the 6700K rating in the hood, that will
whiten the light up from the bluish tinge of the 10,000K
bulbs.

In order to control algae, many folks have gone to setting
up a dual "lights on" schedule that you mention.
I'd rather cure/fix the cause of the algae.
Our aquarium plants are "geared" to the sun's day/night
cycle. Our tropical, aquarium plants, are geared to
the sun in the tropical part of the world where the sun
is much more intense and the angle more straight up
and down than at an angle up here in the more
temperate area.
I would consider using a 10-12 hour "lights on" period,
and, I would adjust that "on" time so that you are home
to enjoy looking at your tank when you are home. Set the
timers so the lights are on in the evening, and turn off
say, an hour before you normally go to bed. On time might
start at 1 in the afternoon and go off at 11, or Noon to
10.

The fert schedule should depend upon the plants. Some
prefer to over fertilize and let the plants use what they
need. To me, that could lead to an over abundance of
nutrients that algae might take advantage of. If you look
at the leaves, the plants will tell you what they need or
if they are happy. If what you are doing works, and the
algae is just barely present (as you said in an earlier
post), then I'd say you have the schedule down pat and
not mess with it.

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 25-Feb-2011 15:38Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
itsjustme1966
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Hobbyist
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female canada
EditedEdited 26-Feb-2011 05:01
thanks Frank

Im sorry if it seems that you are going over it again with me on some topics, your such a great help.
So yah I will buy the same bulbs as I purchased before because ones a 6700k and the other a 10,000k.
I have checked a number of my fish food and your right the Aqueon is the lowest. I like the Aqueon too.
question, does spirulina promote algae growth??

I did aleady purchase the Hagen CO2 so I will just use it for my other tank, later setup.
Perhaps I should use one at work, wouldnt hurt, we keep a 30 gal long for plants and they are sold so fast,so they never get a chance to grow up..and I dont dose the tank either my bad.. We dont keep alot soooo..
things are coming together quite nice
Added about 20 cherry shrimp tonight. Rainbows just loved them!!. 10 maybe survived the downward spin to the bottom to hide..
May I ask what you do for a living? You must be like a marine biologist or something no??
Well kudos to you!! thanks for taking the time to explain everything.
Sue
Post InfoPosted 26-Feb-2011 05:00Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
FRANK
 
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EditedEdited 26-Feb-2011 13:46
Hi Sue,
You aren't pestering me a bit. This is the most activity
we've had on the forum in quite a while. I'm enjoying
our conversations.

Does spirulina promote algae growth??

I honestly don't know.

I took your questions and cut/pasted
it into my search block and came up with dozens of "hits."
Some were from folks who keep African Rift fish who seemed
to feel that dosing their tanks with the powdered Spirulina
from a health store was a great idea and that it promoted
algae growth for their fish to feed on. Another thread
said that nothing happened when they tried it in their tanks.

I had some fish that enjoyed vegetables in their diet and
I put Spirulina tablets in my tank for them to munch on.
They nibbled at them but did not consume them and left
them, each tablet, in a small crumbling pile. I got busy
at work and home caring for my wife, and neglected my
tank maintenance and the next time I looked at the tank
I had three different types of algae competing with each
other to see which could grow the most extensively.
At the time I was convinced that by feeding the tablets, I'd
seeded the tank and was reaping the results. Now, 10 years
later I'm not so sure. I remain a bit skeptical on the
subject and have vowed not to use it as food again, just in
case. There is always blanched peas, cucumber, and lettuce
etc. For me, there is no sense in tempting fate. As far
as the health food source is concerned, that stuff is
treated for human consumption and not the same as the
tablets sold for fish consumption, so I don't think their
experiment was valid.

Perhaps others are reading this thread and have some
thoughts or experience with it. Dr. Bonke may very well
know the answer, but while he also moderates, I've not
seen any activity from him in a couple of years.

As for the rest, I'll PM you with my background, it's nothing so glamorous

Frank

-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 26-Feb-2011 12:41Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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