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FAQ

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General Questions

Where are FoxFarm products available?

FoxFarm products are currently available in the USA, Canada and the UK, though we are always expanding!  Contact us if you are unable to find FoxFarm products where you live.  If we can direct you to a store we will, but if our products aren’t available near you we can try to make it happen.

Can I purchase FoxFarm products directly from you?

Unfortunately we do not sell direct at this time. If you are an end-use customer, please refer to our Dealer Locator to find a store near you that carries FoxFarm products. If you are interested in selling FoxFarm products in your store, please call us at (800) 4FOXFARM, and we will refer you to a distributor of FoxFarm products.

How do I carry FoxFarm products at my retail location?

Please contact our Customer Service Department by calling (800) 4FOXFARM for a list of our authorized distributors.

Are FoxFarm products sold on Amazon or eBay?

We strongly encourage customers to purchase our products from authorized independent garden centers and hydro stores. We do not sell directly to Amazon, Walmart, eBay or any other online retailer. Additionally, we cannot guarantee products that have been purchased from online or third-party sellers because it is difficult to know how they are handling or storing our products.

If you would like to locate an authorized FoxFarm retailer near you, please utilize the ‘Where to Buy’ section on our website, found here.

Are samples available for FoxFarm products?

We do not provide samples of our products at this time.

Are t-shirts or banners available for purchase?

We do not have any t-shirts or banners available for purchase at this time.

General Product Questions

What does NPK mean? What other nutrients are in your fertilizer?

NPK is a rating system that describes the amount of nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P2O5), and soluble potassium (K2O) in a fertilizer. The NPK nutrient values are expressed as a percentage of the total weight of the product in the package. As an example, our Happy Frog® Tomato & Vegetable fertilizer has an NPK of 5-7-3.

Nitrogen (N), represented by the first number, is responsible for leafy, green growth and is most important in a plant’s early growth stages. Some plants, like tomatoes, are heavy nitrogen feeders and will quickly deplete the soil of nitrogen if more is not added.

Phosphorus (P), represented by the second number, supports root development, fruiting and flowering. It helps plants transfer energy from one part of the plant to another.  The form of Phosphorus guaranteed in fertilizers is P2O5, or Available Phosphorus.

Potassium (K), represented by the third number, helps build strong cellular walls, enabling plants to better resist disease.  It also helps plants withstand extreme weather conditions and plays a role in the synthesis of proteins and starches. Potassium is typically guaranteed in fertilizer products as K2O, or Soluble Potash.

The NPK of organic fertilizers tend to be lower than what you’d see from a chemical fertilizer, but that does not make them any less powerful. There’s more to a good fertilizer than the NPK. The materials we use in our organic listed products have a “functional value” that can’t be measured in a test tube.

Our fertilizers may also include micronutrients such as calcium and magnesium, trace minerals, and beneficial microbes that meet specific plant needs.

How often should I feed and water my plants? How much water should I use?

We recommend feeding your plants up to twice a week, ensuring that they receive a regular watering in-between feedings.  When feeding and watering your plants, you will want to apply enough water or solution so that 10-15% runs out the bottom of the container.  Once the top 2-3” of media have dried out, it is time to water again.

What is pH and what is the ideal pH for my vegetables and flowers ?

pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of a soil, growing media or nutrient solution.  A pH of 7 is considered neutral, a pH above 7 is alkaline, and a pH below 7 is considered acidic. Some plants thrive in an acidic or alkaline environment, but many common garden plants prefer a near neutral pH. If a plant is in an environment that is too acidic or too alkaline for its particular needs, it will be unable to access the nutrients in the soil, growing media or nutrient solution, regardless of the amount of fertilizer you use.

You can buy a simple home test kit to measure the pH of your soil, growing media or nutrient solution, and then you can adjust the pH accordingly. Acid soils can be neutralized with calcium or agricultural lime, and alkaline soils can be corrected with sulfur or with regular applications of mulch or aged manure.  It is important to make these adjustments gradually to avoid shocking plants, and in general we encourage you to choose plants that naturally do well with your soil type.

The nutrient solution in your hydroponic system can be adjusted with a pH up or down solution.

Our fertilizers and soils are pH-adjusted to meet the needs of your plants. For instance, our Happy Frog® Acid Loving Plants Fertilizer for plants like rhododendrons and azaleas is pH-adjusted for flowering shrubs that prefer an acidic environment. In general, hydroponic systems work well at a pH of 5.8 – 6.0, and soils and growing media will support a wide variety of plants with a pH of 6.6 – 6.8.

Can I mix dry and wet fertilizers together?

You can use our dry, soluble and liquid fertilizers in combination with each other. Please refer to our feeding schedules for comprehensive instructions.

Can I mix FoxFarm fertilizers with products from other companies?

Using FoxFarm fertilizers with products made by other companies could result in burning or nutrient lockout.  For best results we recommend that you Keep the Family TogetherTM. Our products are designed to work together and complement one another, and our research and development team has created feeding schedules for a variety of growing environments.  These feeding schedules will give you clear instructions about how and when to use FoxFarm fertilizers together for outstanding results.

Should I follow the directions on the bottle or the feeding schedule?

The directions on the bottle are designed for stand-alone use. If you’re new to our products and want to experiment, the directions on the bottle are fine. We have also developed FoxFarm feeding schedules with more precise details for best results. Try one of our feeding schedules for an entire grow cycle and see for yourself.

Can I use your feeding schedules for my outdoor plants?

Our feeding schedules are designed for use in a controlled indoor environment to achieve optimal results.  Because outdoor environments are highly variable and uncontrollable, it is inappropriate to use our feeding schedule as is. Many factors, including weather, sunlight, water, drainage, and the quality of your soil will impact growth and the success of the feeding schedule plan. You should always adjust fertilization according to plant response.

What do I do if my grow cycle is longer than your feeding schedule?

For longer vegetative cycles repeat week four of our feeding schedule, and for longer flowering and fruiting cycles repeat week twelve of the feeding schedule.

Does FoxFarm offer any products for organic gardening?

Yes, FoxFarm offers products for use in organic gardening! See here.

What’s the deal with mycorrhizae? How do you tell an endo from and ecto? What’s a bacillus?

If you look at the ingredient listing on our products, you’ll see that we often put a powerful squadron of microorganisms in the mix. What’s all the fuss about microorganisms? Read on:

Mycorrhizae is a word that describes a symbiotic relationship between a fungus and the roots of a plant. Mycorrhizal fungi attach to plant roots and deliver water and nutrients to them. Tiny strands, called hyphae, can stretch long distances in the soil in search of the nutrients a plant needs. Mycorrhizae can help plants achieve enhanced root development, nutrient uptake and water absorption.

Our microbial package includes endomycorrhizae, which form on the inside of plant roots, and ectomycorrhizae, which attach to the outside of plant roots.  Under the microscope, mycorrhizal fungi colonies form nodes that look like little rice crispies attached to the roots.

Why do you include earthworm castings, bat guano, and humic acid in so many of your products?

When we get enthusiastic about a particular ingredient, we can get a little carried away. That’s why you’ll find three of our favorite ingredients – earthworm castings, bat guano, and humic acid – in so many of our products.

Earthworm castings are teeming with beneficial microbes that help plants thrive. Scientists have tried to reproduce the nutrients found in worm castings in a laboratory, but they’ve been unable to create a formula that feeds plants as well as that rich, coffee colored worm poop does.

Bat guano has been used for centuries as a fertilizer for all kinds of plants.  It is a naturally-occurring source of essential nutrients, making it the perfect ingredient for our fertilizers and soils.

Humic acid is a natural by-product of decomposed organic matter. It contains trace amounts of nutrients and it helps hold other nutrients in the soil where plants can use them. It can hold water in the soil, and generally improve soil structure for better seed germination and plant growth.

Which FoxFarm fertilizer products can be applied as foliar sprays?

Flowers Kiss®, Big Bloom®, Grow Big®, Grow Big® Hydro, and Tiger Bloom®. Use at the recommended rates of application for supplemental foliar feeding on the back label of these products.

Is it possible to burn plants with FoxFarm fertilizers?

Not all fertilizers are created equal.  The best way to avoid burning your plants it is to use each fertilizer as directed.  If you plan to use a variety of FoxFarm fertilizers together, please reference our feeding schedules for detailed instructions.

A helpful hint when feeding: always make sure that you water first so that the soil is moist, then fertilize.

At which temperature should I store my products?

We recommend storing our products in a cool, dry place with a temperature between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (4 – 32 degrees Celsius).

Why is there a hole in my cap?

We utilize two different caps: vented and non-vented. There is a small hole in the top of our vented cap that allows for airflow in and out of the bottle to keep it from collapsing or distorting during shipping or on shelves.

Are products safe to use after expiration?

Yes.  The only potential impact you’ll see is a loss of microbial activity.  The only products that we offer that include an expiration or “use by” date are those that contain mycorrhizae or bacteria.

Why use synthetic ingredients?

A synthesized or mineral fertilizer can offer just the right support when your plants need it most. Think of the last time you took vitamin C for a cold. A synthetic fertilizer can offer the same targeted benefit, and it’s fast-acting, too. Tiger Bloom®, Grow Big®, American Pride®, and Marine Cuisine® are examples of FoxFarm products that include synthetic ingredients.

Some fertilizers are naturally-occurring minerals that have been treated to make them easier for plants to use. Others may be manufactured in a laboratory. Examples include ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride, and iron sucrate. Each of these are specific nutrients designed to address a plant’s individual needs.

When it comes to synthetic fertilizers, quality matters. FoxFarm chooses only the finest ingredients for its family of fertilizers that deliver targeted nutrition for each stage of a plant’s growth. We will never use cheap fillers or low-grade industrial chemicals in our products.

Does FoxFarm offer commercial sizes for soil and fertilizer products?

Yes, select soils are available in 27cu ft and 55cu ft totes, and some liquid fertilizers are available in 55 and 250 gallon drums. Please contact a FoxFarm retail location near you for pricing and availability, or click here for more information.

Hydroponics

Can I use the soil formulation of Grow Big® in a hydroponic system?

Grow Big® Hydro (3-2-6) is formulated with a form of nitrogen that is better taken up by the plants in a hydroponic system.  With that in mind, we do not recommend using the soil formulation of Grow Big® (6-4-4) in your hydroponic system.

Will Big Bloom® clog the pump in my hydroponic system?

Big Bloom® is a suspension of fine particulates that may clog pumps from time to time. As long as you take measures to protect your pumps, such as installing a fine mesh screen, you shouldn’t experience any clogging problems.

Why do I have to adjust my pH so often with Grow Big® and Tiger Bloom®?

Both our Grow Big® and our Tiger Bloom® formulas include a concentrated micronutrient package that is low in pH. The advantage to this is that a low pH enables micronutrients to remain stable without any nutrient fallout. FoxFarm’s hydroponic fertilizers are formulated for immediate nutrient uptake, but this can cause pH swings. Regular pH adjustments are recommended, especially in early growth stages. Check out FoxFarm’s pH Up and pH Down products to help get your pH where it needs to be.

How often should I change my reservoir when I use FoxFarm fertilizers?

We recommend changing your reservoir water every two weeks regardless of your feeding schedule.

Do I need to use chlorine free water when I use your products?

No. Chlorinated community water does not adversely affect FoxFarm fertilizers. However, if you expose chlorinated water to the air for several hours, the chlorine will start to volatize and dissipate. If you’re concerned about the chlorine content in your water and you’re unable to obtain distilled water, this is a good alternative.

Do I need to flush my hydro system when I use FoxFarm fertilizers?

Yes. A regular flushing schedule will reduce the risk of mineral salt build-up. As a result your fertilizers will be made more available, allowing your plants to reach their full potential. We recommend flushing every two weeks to ensure clean operating conditions. Use a nutrient rinse solution such as our Bush Doctor® SledgeHammer® when you flush for best results.

Using Big Bloom® and Tiger Bloom® forms a white, salty build up on my rock and rockwool. Should I flush my system?

This residue can be caused by minerals in your community water supply, pH adjustment agents, micronutrient fallout, or organic sources of phosphorous. This material may not burn your plants, but it can stress them and tie up nutrients. We recommend that you change your reservoir every two weeks and flush the system with Bush Doctor® Sledgehammer® and clean water.

Why do you have Grow Big® in your feeding schedule when my plants are in the flowering cycle?

During the flowering cycle your plants are still growing. Continuing to feed with a nitrogen fertilizer like Grow Big® will help support plant growth during this critical time.

Will I get a chemical taste from the minerals in Grow Big® and Tiger Bloom®?

This is usually the result of excessive fertilizer use at the end of a plant’s life cycle.  When used as directed, you will not experience a chemical taste from the use of our fertilizers. Please refer to our feeding schedules for comprehensive feeding instructions when using our fertilizers together.

Soils & Soil Conditioners

What is the difference between a potting soil and a planting mix/soil conditioner?

Potting soils are formulated using specific ingredients that meet the needs of plants grown in container gardens. The perlite in FoxFarm potting soils creates air spaces in the soil that facilitate drainage, while peat moss retains moisture in a container environment, enabling you to water less often. Planting mixes and soil conditioners are designed for raised beds and in-ground planting. These products break up compacted soils and work well as a mulch top-dressing. All FoxFarm soils are pH adjusted to 6.3 to 6.8 and are nutrient rich.

What is the difference between Ocean Forest® Potting Soil and Happy Frog® Potting Soil?

Both Ocean Forest® and Happy Frog® Potting Soils are formulated with earthworm castings, bat guano, peat moss and aged forest products, and provide an ideal environment for container gardens.

There are a few distinct differences between these two products.  Ocean Forest® is a premium mix that contains ocean-going ingredients such as kelp, crab meal and shrimp meal.  Happy Frog® Potting Soil is an economical alternative that includes humic acid and beneficial microbes.

When would I use Light Warrior® instead of a potting soil?

Light Warrior® is a soilless medium designed for starting seeds. It is very lightweight and holds water well, which makes it perfect for germination. Be sure to thoroughly wet Light Warrior® before planting seeds. Once you are ready to transplant seedlings into a larger container, plant in your preferred potting soil.

Can I use planting mixes and/or soil conditioners in containers?

You could, but we do not recommend it.  Potting soils are formulated using specific ingredients that meet the needs of plants grown in container gardens. For best results use potting soils for your container plants.

Can I use potting soil products for my in-ground plantings?

Potting soil is designed to be used exclusively in containers. The perlite in FoxFarm potting soils creates air spaces in the soil that facilitate drainage, while peat moss retains moisture in a container environment, enabling you to water less often.  It would be best to use a planting mix or soil conditioner for in-ground planting.  While potting soils will not harm your in-ground planting environment, most people tend to prefer the look and benefits of a soil conditioner. Soil conditioners break up compacted soils and work well as a mulch top-dressing.

Can I mix native soil with potting soil for my containers?

Using native soil in container plantings may introduce disease-causing pathogens or pests into your container garden. However, if you do add native soil to containers, mix two parts FoxFarm potting soil to one part native soil.

When do I need to add fertilizer to your soils?

Most of our soils are nutrient-rich blends that won’t require any fertilizer at first. However, you may find it easier to blend dry-mix fertilizers like Happy Frog®, American Pride® or Marine Cuisine® into the soil when you prepare your garden or containers for planting. If you’re using liquid fertilizers, start feeding in the second week according to package directions.  Always adjust fertilizer rate according to plant responses.

When do I feed my plants after planting in Ocean Forest®?

Ocean Forest® combines the goodness of land and sea to create a blend that feeds for about 3-4 weeks.  During that time, you can use plain water, or for extra nutrition you can feed with Big Bloom®, which is the OMRI listed base of our liquid line.

After 3-4 weeks, we recommend that you begin feeding with a FoxFarm fertilizer appropriate for your plants’ stage of growth.  When mixing multiple nutrients, please be sure to follow the directions on our Soil Feeding Schedule, found here.

Can I use Grow Big® Hydro in soil?

Yes. Grow Big® Hydro is a water soluble nutrient designed for use in Hydroponic systems. It can also be used in soil applications, as well. When using Grow Big® Hydro in soil, we suggest mixing at 1.5 times the recommended rate.

Can I reuse soil?

We do not recommend reusing potting soil. Doing so can risk the introduction of harmful pathogens into your growing environment. If you are growing in raised beds, amend last season’s soil with our Happy Frog® Soil Conditioner before planting.

Are FoxFarm soils sterilized?

No, we don’t sterilize our soils because that would kill the beneficial microbes that can help enhance root efficiency and nutrient uptake. Your soil should be alive, not sterile!

Why do I occasionally see fungi in my soil?

Fungal growth is a natural process that can occur in our bark-based growing mediums. Within a few days of planting you may begin to notice a brownish-yellow fungus that appears on the surface of your mix. You may also notice a small amount of green fungus that forms around the ventilation holes of your soil bags.

These fungi are naturally occurring microbes that can be found on certain types of wood product. Bark is aged for long periods of time before final screening and use in our mixes. The natural aging process of the bark is facilitated by the microbes found in our environment. Once the bark is blended into our soil mixes and bagged, all it takes is the right level of moisture combined with a few warm, sunny days, and these soil microbes will grow and produce mycelium, which look like small white strands. This is the vegetative stage of the fungus which is followed by the fruiting stage, presenting itself as the brownish-yellow or green colored fungus people typically observe.

These fungi will not harm your plants in any way. The presence of beneficial microorganisms is a sign that a growing environment is fertile and teeming with life. This is why we never steam sterilize our soil- we wouldn’t want to ruin a good thing.

Does FoxFarm include any beneficial bugs in their soils?

FoxFarm does not add any insects to the soil.

How do I perform a SledgeHammer® flush in soil?

When performing a Sledgehammer® flush, we recommend using twice the volume of water as a normal feeding. For example, if you normally feed with two gallons of nutrient solution, you will want to perform a flush with four gallons of water mixed with Sledgehammer® at a rate of 2 teaspoons per gallon of water. This will help remove excess nutrients from the growing medium. Once you have completed your flush, you will want to wait until the top two to three inches of your medium have dried before adding nutrients. This will help prevent issues with over watering.

How do I perform a soil slurry test for pH and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)? Why is this better than testing runoff?

To test the TDS, we do not recommend testing the soil runoff or placing the probe directly within the soil. Testing the TDS of the runoff does not give an accurate measure of the soil’s fertility as the runoff not only includes dissolved nutrients, but also tiny suspended soil particles, which can result in inaccurate readings.  If you would like a more accurate account of the soil’s nutrient content, we recommend performing a soil slurry test.

How to Perform an At-Home Soil Slurry Test to Determine Soil pH and TDS

We recommend two slurries:

  • A 1:1 slurry – mix 1 part soil to 1 part distilled water (by volume)
  • A 1:5 slurry – mix 1 part soil to 5 parts distilled water (by volume)
  • Thoroughly mix these slurries and allow them to sit for about 15 minutes
  • Once the soil particulates has settled, check the pH and TDS of the slurry with a calibrated meter

Happy Frog® Fertilizers

How many cups are in a Happy Frog® package so that I can figure out how many packages I need?

On average, there are 11 cups of fertilizer in each of the four-pound Happy Frog® packages. This measurement varies slightly from product to product, because each Happy Frog® variety has a slightly different volume. Happy Frog® Cavern Culture is considerably more dense than the other Happy Frog® varieties, with 7 cups in each 4 lb. bag.  Some of our Happy Frog® products also come in a 50 lb. bag for large gardens and landscapes. On average, there are 135 cups in these 50 pound packages, and approximately 87 cups per 50 lb. bag of Happy Frog® Cavern Culture.

How often should I fertilize with Happy Frog®?

Most garden plants do best with a monthly feeding schedule that includes some time off during the dormant season. However, each plant is different, so be sure to follow package directions and plant response.

Can I burn plants with Happy Frog® fertilizers?

There’s very little risk of burning plants with our Happy Frog® fertilizers. That being said, we suggest that you follow package directions for best results. Using more fertilizer will not necessarily make a plant grow better! Many other factors, including weather, sunlight, water, drainage, and the quality of your soil will impact plant growth.

Should I be concerned if I notice fungi or mold growing on top of my soil after I apply Happy Frog® fertilizers?

Not at all! This is a normal condition. If fact, the fungi and mold are expected to occur and necessary to deliver nutrients to your plants. However, you can reduce the appearance of surface fungi by mixing your Happy Frog® fertilizer into the top few inches of the soil surface and watering thoroughly.

My animal got into a package of Happy Frog®. What should I do?

Bad dog! Happy Frog® makes a great snack for your garden, but Fido should stay out of it. As a precaution, please call a licensed veterinarian.  Please store all fertilizer products out of the reach of pets. Some of the ingredients in Happy Frog® fertilizers are animal based, so they smell amazing to your animal friends. When using fertilizers, thoroughly mix into the soil and water well to minimize pet interest.

Slow Release Fertilizers

Do you offer any slow release fertilizers?

Yes. American Pride® and Marine Cuisine® are both slow release fertilizers. American Pride® is great for roses, flowering trees and shrubs. Marine Cuisine® is ideal for evergreens, acid-loving plants and vegetables.

Why did my plants burn the last time I used American Pride® and/or Marine Cuisine®?

Remember that American Pride® and Marine Cuisine® include synthetic fertilizers that can burn easily when not used as directed. With these synthetic, slow release fertilizers, less is more. Don’t forget that a powerful, six-month plant food needs to be used as directed. These fertilizers are meant to be mixed into the soil. Be careful not to allow the product to come into contact with the plant leaves or stems. Pull excess fertilizer away from base of plant, and make sure that you water thoroughly.

Liquid Fertilizers

Is Big Bloom® only for making flowers bloom?

Big Bloom® works magic in the flower garden, but don’t be fooled by the name. Big Bloom® can be used for all stages of plant growth.

How do I mix FoxFarm fertilizers together?

When you mix FoxFarm fertilizers together, do not combine them in their undiluted form. Begin with a gallon of clean water. Add each fertilizer product to this gallon of water in the recommended doses. If growing in soil, adjust the pH of your nutrient solution to between 5.6 and 6.8, and if growing hydroponically, adjust your pH to between 5.8 – 6.3. For best results follow one of our FoxFarm Feeding Schedules.

Will Big Bloom® clog the pump in my hydroponic system?

Big Bloom® is a suspension of fine particulates that may clog pumps from time to time. As long as you take measures to protect your pumps, such as installing a fine mesh screen, you shouldn’t experience any clogging problems.

Why do I have to adjust my pH so often with Grow Big® and Tiger Bloom®?

Both our Grow Big® and our Tiger Bloom® formulas include a concentrated micronutrient package that is low in pH. The advantage to this is that a low pH enables micronutrients to remain stable without any nutrient fallout. FoxFarm’s hydroponic fertilizers are formulated for immediate nutrient uptake, but this can cause pH swings. Regular pH adjustments are recommended, especially in early growth stages. Check out FoxFarm’s pH Up and pH Down products to help get your pH where it needs to be.

Why do you have Grow Big® in your feeding schedule when my plants are in the flowering cycle?

During the flowering cycle your plants are still growing. Continuing to feed with a nitrogen fertilizer like Grow Big® will help support plant growth during this critical time.

Will I get a chemical taste from the minerals in Grow Big® and Tiger Bloom®?

This is usually the result of excessive fertilizer use at the end of a plant’s life cycle. When used as directed, you will not experience a chemical taste from the use of our fertilizers. Please refer to our feeding schedules for comprehensive feeding instructions when using our fertilizers together.

Soluble Granular Fertilizers

How do I mix the soluble fertilizers together, like Cha Ching®, Open Sesame®, and Beastie Bloomz®?

These products are not intended to be used at the same time. They are developed for different stages of the flowering process. Please refer to our FoxFarm Feeding Schedules for more detailed instructions.

Pest Control

Will Don’t Bug Me® kill spider mites and their eggs?

Don’t Bug Me® will kill spider mites on contact, but while it damages egg capsules, it does not destroy them. Spray immediately when you see an initial infestation. Repeat in four to five days, and maintain a weekly application in greenhouse environments.

Is Don’t Bug Me® organic?

Don’t Bug Me® is not listed for organic gardening.  For a complete list of FoxFarm pest control products that are listed for organic use, click here.

Remember that encouraging beneficial insects and tolerating a little bug damage will make your garden healthier in the long run.  Plants that produce clusters of small flowers, like alyssum, yarrow, and feverfew, will attract beneficial insects that attack pests.

Should I use a wetting agent with the Force of Nature® concentrates?

Use of a wetting agent when applying our Force of Nature® concentrates may increase efficacy.  As always, refer to label instructions when using pesticide products.

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