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Caves and other Spawning Media

Contents:

  1. breeding Apistogramma`s
    by fishman-at-cybernetics.net (Ronald J- Belliveau SLIP) (Sun, 7 May 1995)
  2. Breeding caves
    by Pete Johnson <petej/tlg.net> (Mon, 26 Aug 96)
  3. Apistogramma borellii
    by Ken Laidlaw <K.Laidlaw/roe.ac.uk> (Thu, 11 Sep 1997)
  4. Coconut Shell
    by bae/cs.toronto.edu (Beverly Erlebacher) (1 Dec 97)
  5. Flowerpots as caves.
    by Donald Nute <dnute/ai.uga.edu> (Mon, 23 Feb 1998)
  6. Flowerpots as caves.
    by swaldron/slip.net (Steven J. Waldron) (Mon, 23 Feb 1998)
  7. Flowerpots as caves.
    by "Ed Pon" <edpon/hotmail.com> (Mon, 23 Feb 1998)
  8. Flowerpots as caves.
    by "Ed Pon" <edpon/hotmail.com> (Mon, 23 Feb 1998)
  9. Fwd: Re: Flowerpots as caves.
    by Thomas Soelter <Thomas.Soelter/ruhr-uni-bochum.de> (Tue, 24 Feb 1998)
  10. Flowerpots as caves.
    by Ken Laidlaw <K.Laidlaw/roe.ac.uk> (Tue, 24 Feb 1998)
  11. Flowerpots as caves.
    by swaldron/slip.net (Steven J. Waldron) (Tue, 24 Feb 1998)
  12. Flowerpots as caves.
    by swaldron/slip.net (Steven J. Waldron) (Tue, 24 Feb 1998)
  13. Pelv taeniatus
    by <kathy/thekrib.com> (Thu, 3 Dec 1998)
  14. spawning places
    by Ken Laidlaw <K.Laidlaw/roe.ac.uk> (Tue, 12 Jan 1999)
  15. spawning places
    by IDMiamiBob/aol.com (Tue, 12 Jan 1999)
  16. Drilling Flowerpots
    by Ray Pollett <112221.73/compuserve.com> (Mon, 20 Sep 1999)
  17. spawning cave colors
    by "gkadar" <gkadar/idirect.ca> (Mon, 10 Apr 2000)
  18. spawning cave colors
    by Apistodave/aol.com (Mon, 10 Apr 2000)
  19. Coconuts? Slightly off topic.
    by "David A. Youngker" <nestor10/mindspring.com> (Tue, 15 Aug 2000)
  20. preparing coconut shell caves
    by FBethea <FRANCINEBETHEA/excite.com> (Thu, 10 May 2001)
  21. preparing coconut shell caves
    by JerrCarol/aol.com (Sun, 13 May 2001)

breeding Apistogramma`s

by fishman-at-cybernetics.net (Ronald J- Belliveau SLIP)
Date: Sun, 7 May 1995
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria

[Editor: snipped part of this posting]

I agree with Wright.  Would add a couple things to what he said.  Include
a couple 3" or 4" clay flower pots.  Turn them upside down and break a 
sm. hole in the rim (now at the bottom) to form an entrance.  I also use 
pieces of African root(wood) and a bunch of java moss (Vesicularia
dubyana) to increase thenumber of hiding places.These fish like to be
able to hide and thefemales can be agressive afterlaying eggs.  I also
have good luck usingfloating plants (Salvinia minima and Regnellidium 
diphyllum).  These plants grow fast and provide "cover" which adds to the 
fish's security.IMO, the R. diphyllum also assist significanly in
maintaining good waterquality: they grow long roots that hang down while
thier leaves are slightly emerged.  Also, my local pet shop mgr is always 
happy to buy the excess from me.

Good luck!


Ron Belliveau                  "I have fishes, therefore,
fishman-at-cybernetics.net                  I am!"


Breeding caves

by Pete Johnson <petej/tlg.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 96
To: "apisto" <apisto/aquaria.net>

Wright Huntley writes:

>By the way, have you ever used the little pots with holes in their sides 
>that are intended for holding a candle under a pot of potpourri? They show 
>up all the time at Goodwill stores and seem to be a perfect breeding hut 
>for Apistos, when put in the tank upside down. For about $2.50 I get a 
>breeding cave for cichlids, and a small peat pot for spawning grounds for 
>smaller killies.

A fabulous idea, and one that never occurred to me while I was scavenging 
Goodwill for jars and other glass containers. After reading this I went 
to the local outlet and in 15 minutes found four "caves" for about $6. 
The colors are pretty inventive, too.

      ***************************************
      If you want to respond to this message,
      send the response to apisto-at-aquaria.net
      so others can see it.
      ***************************************



----------------------------------------------------
     If wishes were fishes we'd all have ponds.

Pete Johnson        San Jose, CA       petej-at-tlg.net
----------------------------------------------------




Apistogramma borellii

by Ken Laidlaw <K.Laidlaw/roe.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 1997
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

> I have two females and 1 male borellii in a 15 gallon 
tank.
> 4 clay flowerpots are scattered about the bottom.
> No gravel is present in this aquarium.
> A large portion of the tank is covered with java moss.
> PH is around 7. A few young Apistogramma sp. "Schwarsaum" fry
> are used as dither fish. No signs of spawning yet.
> Any suggestions?

Yes, put some fine gravel or sand on the bottom of the 
tank, even just under the flower pots.  Take a small chip 
out of the flower pot rim and then stand them on the rim so 
that there is only a small hole to enter by.  The female 
after spawning will often use the sand to block the door 
and remain inside until the fry are ready to swim.  In my 
experience female apistos prefer to be completely hidden 
from view with their eggs.   Even better than lower pots 
are the clay saucers used to stand a flower pot on, the 
ones 3-4" diameter provide a nice low roof on which to 
spawn.

Hope this helps,
Ken.

*****************************
Ken Laidlaw
Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
Tel: 0131-668 8100
Fax: 0131-668 1130
Web: http://www.roe.ac.uk
*****************************



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Coconut Shell

by bae/cs.toronto.edu (Beverly Erlebacher)
Date: 1 Dec 97
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria.freshwater.misc,rec.aquaria.freshwater.cichlids

In article <65tait$car-at-bgtnsc02.worldnet.att.net>,
 <Draves-at-worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>I'm not sure about what to do with the hairy junk on the outside of
>the coconut shell.  I'd like to put in some coconut caves for my
>new world cichids to get away from each other for awhile.  If I boil
>it and clean off the outside, will it be no good to the pleco?

Just leave the "hairy junk" on the outside.  It won't do any harm, and
your pleco will eat it.  I don't boil the shells, they will sink without
boiling.



Flowerpots as caves.

by Donald Nute <dnute/ai.uga.edu>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

On Mon, 23 Feb 1998, Peter Stegenborg Larsen wrote:

> I am going get a couple of dwarf cichlids, and I was wondering how
> flowerpots is used as caves. 
> 
> Do I turn it up side down, and break a little of the rim, so the
> cichlids can enter? 
> 
> Which size and type (material) of pot is the bedst?
> 
> Is it better to find rocks, and build the caves myself? And if so, do I
> have to glue them together with silicone?

I use pots about 2-2 1/2" in diameter made of clay. They get a little
slippery feeling after they have been in the water for a while. I've tried
them all different ways, but mostly I just lay them on their sides facing
toward the front of the tank so I can see what's going on. Many species
lay their eggs inside the pots on the top or the sides. Others lay their
eggs on the sides or top of the pots. A few tunnel under one side of the
pot and create a little cave there, laying their eggs on the pot which
makes up the "roof" of their cave.

There is absolutely no need to glue rocks together if you stack them
carefully. Given a choice between rocks and pots, most of my dwarf
cichlids have picked the pots. But some pick the rocks, and some even
decide to spawn on the glass in a hidden spot such as behind a filter. I
find they aren't too picky if they are ready to spawn.

Don

------------------------------------------------------------------
Donald Nute
Professor and Head, Department of Philosophy        (706) 542-2823
Director, Artificial Intelligence Center            (706) 542-0358
The University of Georgia                       FAX (706) 542-2839
Athens, Georgia  30602, U.S.A             http://ai.uga.edu/~dnute


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Flowerpots as caves.

by swaldron/slip.net (Steven J. Waldron)
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Here's my flowerpot method:
Take a 2.5" diameter terra cotta pot, half bury it horizontally in the
gravel,making sure to leave the inside of the pot free of gravel. Throw
some fine sand into the botom of the pot for females to excavate holes for
depositing wrigglers. Place a piece of slate or river stone in the front
opening to make a rock facade. Adjust the aperture of the opening according
to the size of your female (and too small for the male). Cover the entire
pot with java moss.
Don't neglect coconut shells, they look a bit more au natural.
- Steve Waldron

*********************************************************************
Steven J. Waldron                       phone/fax: (415) 386-7377
2550 Balboa St. #2                      email: swaldron-at-slip.net
San Francisco, CA, 94121 USA

"Well I woke up in the morning
There's frogs inside my socks"   - Bob Dylan, On the Road Again



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Flowerpots as caves.

by "Ed Pon" <edpon/hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Doug wrote:
>It's nice to hear these ideas.
>
>Chipping a corner out of a 3" terra cotta pot isn't as easy as people 
might
>lead you to believe. I had to glue pieces back on with silicone. 

I usually get three or four inch terra cotta pots and place them upside 
down in the aquarium.  The drain holds can be enlarged using a rat-tail 
file.  You can also drill a hole on the side of these pots using a 
masonry drill (about 2 bucks at Home Depot).  Once you start the hole 
with a masonry drill, you can use pliers to slowly chip the edge of the 
hold until you get the hole to the right size.  My fish seem to prefer 
the holes on the top (bottom when not upside-down). The terra cotta 
dishes that can be obtained from a garden shop can be used on the bottom 
of the inverted pot if you would like to grab the fry after they've 
hatched.  

You can usually tell when there are eggs in the pot because apisto 
females who are not being picked on will usually only go in when they 
are cleaning the pot in preparation to spawn, or are in there guarding 
eggs.  When they're guarding eggs, thye'll sometimes come out to grab a 
quick bite and then return to continue fanning the eggs. 

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Flowerpots as caves.

by "Ed Pon" <edpon/hotmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

I just remembered another way that a friend of mine who used to 
wholesale tropical fish used to put a hole in the side of the terra 
cotta pots.  He used a high-speed air rifle and punched nice, neat, 
round holes in the side of his pots.

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Fwd: Re: Flowerpots as caves.

by Thomas Soelter <Thomas.Soelter/ruhr-uni-bochum.de>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Hi apisto-philes,

i saw apistos spawn in:

-coconut shells
-clay and plastic flower pots
-rock builded caves
-on filter sponges
-plant leafs
-.....
-and even on the front screen of the tank.

If they are breedy they just do it whether there is a cave or not. With cave is
preferable to spawning on filter sponges or heaters. Give them a any cave and
they use it (i'm not informed on colour-phobie as was mentioned before). It's up
to you to decide which material.

Thomas


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Flowerpots as caves.

by Ken Laidlaw <K.Laidlaw/roe.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com


On Tue, 24 Feb 1998 09:16:46 EST IDMiamiBob-at-aol.com wrote:

> Steve writes:
> 
> <Snip>< Place a piece of slate or river stone in the front
> > opening to make a rock facade. Adjust the aperture of the opening according
> > to the size of your female (and too small for the male). ><Snip>
> 
> Well, gee, Steve, how do the males ferilize the eggs if they can't get in
> there?

By driving his milt into the cave by beating his tail.

Ken.



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Flowerpots as caves.

by swaldron/slip.net (Steven J. Waldron)
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com


>> Steve writes:
>>
>> <Snip>< Place a piece of slate or river stone in the front
>> > opening to make a rock facade. Adjust the aperture of the opening according
>> > to the size of your female (and too small for the male). ><Snip>
>>
>> Well, gee, Steve, how do the males ferilize the eggs if they can't get in
>> there?
>
>By driving his milt into the cave by beating his tail.
>
>Ken.
>
 Yes, thanks Ken, exactly. I discovered this breeding a large form of
macmasteri. The female would preferentially oviposit in the smallest of
possible niches (e.g. crevices in bogwood). The male positions his vent
over the opening and hovers (and presumably releases milt). After, he will
vigorously tail slap the area, getting a current going through the egg
containing hole. My version (actually Brian Wolinski's) of the incomplete
divider method.
- Steve Waldron



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Flowerpots as caves.

by swaldron/slip.net (Steven J. Waldron)
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

>Why is it so important that the male can't get into the cave?
>
>Peter.

The importance depends on your fish. Do you have a harmonious pair for
which the boat rarely rocks? Or are they more "Sid and Nancy" (O.J. and
Nicole?), lovin' and hatin'. You have to remember these fish come from
highly complex multi- structured microhabitats with high densities of
conspecifics. The male patrols his territory amongst the leaf litter,
chasing off competitors, and probably has little contact with a female
tending eggs within his territory. In the aquarium, the pair come into
continuous contact within the small confines of say a 20 gallon tank. This
is unnatural and the male might turn his aggression towards the female.
Dithers work to alleviate some of this, as does providing a complex
aquascape, but conspecific dither fish are magnets for a territorial
apisto. If there is any reason for a female to feel stressed and not
confident in the outcome of her brood, she will seek to maximize her energy
expenditure by eating her eggs. Providing a barrier from an overly
aggressive male is just another technique for minimizing stress for an egg
tending female.
- Steve Waldron



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Pelv taeniatus

by <kathy/thekrib.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

> Incidently, I had some A. caucatodies spawn inside a piece of driftwood
> in a hole that I did not know existed till I saw the female peaking her
> head out of the hole.  It was smaller than a dime on the 3 foot piece of
> wood.  It reminded me of the way the flowerpots were used.  Has anyone
> else used flowerpots this way (inverted)?  Hope this all helps!

Michael,

I use them all the time.  We mostly have flower pots, next is coconut
caves, bog wood, PVC L's, all of which have worked.

Congrats of your spawn.

Kathy


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spawning places

by Ken Laidlaw <K.Laidlaw/roe.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

I like the little saucers that are used for standing pots 
on,  I have these about 3" diameter.  Turned upside down 
with a notch out of the rim they make nice low roofed 
caves.  Alternatively use pots that are small, there are 
ones that are about 2" rim diameter.  These again are stood 
on the rim and either have a notch out of the rim or you 
can enlarge the drainage hole.  

I think they prefer to use the rim style entrance as they 
can pile sand in the doorway to feel secure.  Some Apistos 
will block the door and not come out at all until the fry 
are free swimming.

Use pots without glaze. I see some now that are glazed on 
the inside, don't know what could leach out of there into 
the water.

If you want to make your own then then do not need to be 
big, perhaps 2x2 x 0.75" high.  The opening only needs to 
be 0.75x0.75" as the male doesn't need to fit in but can do 
his job from outside the entrance.

Regards,
Ken.






spawning places

by IDMiamiBob/aol.com
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

Mike Roberts writes:

> I was planning on making "caves" out of slate instead of using flower pots
>  for my upcoming A. Cacatuoides tank.  I am VERY limited on "floor space."

I have used slate with success.
  
>  I see the recommendation of using flower pots quite often.  I went to my
>  local hardware store and rediscovered the bewildering array of shapes and
>  sizes that clay flower pots come in.

Some folks, myself included have discovered that larger pots can be broken up
and the larger "shards" arranged into a sort of slate-like pile with natural
openings on the undersides.  Because the shards are curved, these cave
structures are not going to slip and crush a fish or a clutch of eggs.  Pots
as small as 2 inches work.  I currently have a broken 4 inch pot in a tank
with A. cacatuoides.  The pot is broken at an angle from one top corner to the
opposite bottom corner.  The bottom section is lying inverted, with the
drainage hole facing sideways in the tank.  The female has been swimming in
and out through the drain hole for days now.  Her color is not yet yellow
enough to be in breeding mood, but I anticipate that when she is, this will be
the spot she chooses over the dozen or so other prime locations in the tank.
  
>  What size of opening, height, and depth would the list members recommend
for
>  these "slate cave" breeding niches?

When mine have spawned in the area between two pieces of slate, or between a
piece of slate and a piece of driftwood, they always pick the point where the
two items come together.  These areas are so narrow, I cannot imagine how the
female can possibly squeeze in there.  But she does.  One of the favorite
places for my panduros was between two slates five inches long, with 3/4 inch
between them at one end, and coming together at the other.  Guess which end
she seemed to prefer.  Yeah, the end where they come together.  How?  I dunno.

Bob Dixon


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Drilling Flowerpots

by Ray Pollett <112221.73/compuserve.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999

I soak them overnight. I drill with a normal wood hole saw. Drill for a few
seconds, soak for 5 minutes, repeat till done. Never broke a flowerpot yet.

Best Wishes,
Ray


spawning cave colors

by "gkadar" <gkadar/idirect.ca>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000
To: <apisto/majordomo.pobox.com>



>I've used halved and cleaned coconut shells with success...just cut a small
>V for an opening after they've been cut in half...I'm even thinking of
>siliconing a piece of slate or glass to the coconut shell, so they have a
>flat egg laying surface...just a thought.


As far as coconut shell preparation, living in the Caribbean for about 2 1/2
years came in handy for this.  If you take a hammer to the coconut and don't
just smash it to death, but use increasing amounts of force gradually,
around and around the coconut, you'll find that the shell will separate from
the meat and you'll have really big conical pieces of shell with slightly
irregular edges.  (One of our 'competitions' was to see who could get all
the shell off in the minimum number of pieces and yet keep the meat part
intact with the juice still inside......takes patience, equally insane
company and a few 'rum and oranges'.  You should sit out in the garden
enjoying a few rays.)  Those pieces require no modification whatsoever.
Just place them in the tank in such a way that their is a small gap in one
area for the momfish to slide in.  Mine get into their 'bunkers' by laying
on their sides and wriggling in.  No problems with fertilization either.
The male can get in with effort or just fertilize from just outside by the
gap.  Then once the eggs are fertilized, the mom piles up the gravel at the
opening so no one will bother her.

The first time I ever had apistos spawn, it was a pair of wild caught blue
cacatoides.  The Mrs. figured out what the coconut shell was for within a
few hours of bringing her home from the store.  She definitely wasted no
time in doing what comes naturally and in overwhelming me with a cloud of
fry.

Gabriella




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spawning cave colors

by Apistodave/aol.com
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000
To: apisto/majordomo.pobox.com

In a message dated 4/9/00 8:24:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
IDMiamiBob@aol.com writes:

<< 
 > I just wanted to mention that all of my terra cota flower pots seem kind
 >  of bright orange to me.  This is the only thing i use to make spawning
 >  caves for my apistos.   So the recent spawns of Viejita ll, Hongsloi ll,
 >  Piauensis, Panduro, Aggie Alenquer, Aggie red/gold, Cacatuoides, >>
I found that they wouldn't  spawn in pink flowerpots, guess they couldn't 
find the eggs


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Coconuts? Slightly off topic.

by "David A. Youngker" <nestor10/mindspring.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2000

> Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 13:39:29 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Christopher Newell

> ...I bought two coconuts and managed to get them open
> this afternoon without maming myself. The sticker on the
> coconut said to use a "stout knife or vegetable peeler" to
> get the meat out.  I successfully managed to bend the
> peeler and figured I'd better put the knife away before I
> sliced off my thumb.  Now I have four meat filled coconut
> halves in the kitchen sink.
>
> ...Any suggestions on how to dig the meat out?

Yes indeed -

Place a half-shell in the microwave for two minutes. It will partially dry
and cook the meat, causing it to draw back from the shell. It is then _much_
easier to pry out - and even makes good "snack chips" if you don't mind the
added cholesterol...

- -Y-

David A. Youngker
nestor10@mindspring.com


preparing coconut shell caves

by FBethea <FRANCINEBETHEA/excite.com>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2001
To: apisto/listbox.com

This is how I prepare coconut shells for use in my tanks.

First method:
Drill holes in both of the ends to drain juice.  Be careful, it can be
messy. Then I run it through the shop band saw.  Next I use a screwdriver to
get the meat out.  (I give the meat to my coworker who likes to eat it.) 
Finally, I take it home and boil it for at least an hour. I use plyers to
break a 'V' shaped entrance.  A little scuffing with sandpaper at the
entrance cut takes the edge off.

Second method:
I drill the holes as before and score the shell all the way around with a
hacksaw.  Then I take it outside and drop it on the concrete.  This method
is not a reliable way to get even halves, but the fish could care less.  If
a half is too deep I use a hammer to make concave shards that the dwarfs use
as well.

HTH
Francine
Fish - Photography - Genealogy






preparing coconut shell caves

by JerrCarol/aol.com
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001
To: apisto/listbox.com


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I just did a couple more coconut shell caves last night. I find it's simple 
to just saw in half. Let dry in oven on lowest setting -like keep warm. After 
several hours the coconut will dry out and start to come away from sides. I 
just use a sharp paring knife and get behind where its starting to come away 
and can get it out real clean. I also soak after all this is done in mild 
bleach solution. Then rinse WELL, air dry and they work fine. Oh yeah of 
coarse you need to drill holes for cave entrances. I'm a newbie so my advice 
might not be the best, but it works for me.
                                                        JerryB

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<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  COLOR="#0080ff" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SCRIPT" FACE="Comic Sans MS" LANG="0">I just did a couple more coconut shell caves last night. I find it's simple 
<BR>to just saw in half. Let dry in oven on lowest setting -like keep warm. After 
<BR>several hours the coconut will dry out and start to come away from sides. I 
<BR>just use a sharp paring knife and get behind where its starting to come away 
<BR>and can get it out real clean. I also soak after all this is done in mild 
<BR>bleach solution. Then rinse WELL, air dry and they work fine. Oh yeah of 
<BR>coarse you need to drill holes for cave entrances. I'm a newbie so my advice 
<BR>might not be the best, but it works for me.
<BR> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;JerryB</FONT></HTML>

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This page was last updated 17 February 2002