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Crackhead Johny

Cherax pulcher? available in the US?

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I never had a real interest in crayfish (except for eating) until I saw this pic. I'm not sure if it is Cherax Pulcher but google image search turns up many similar or same pictures when searching for that name.

Trying to find them for sale seems difficult. maybe my Google Fu is weak?

Are they not available in the US? Affordable? Is the picture photochop? Are they illegal in the US like super red arawanas?

 

My familiarity with the eating variety of crayfish, is that they are voracious cannibalistic predators which can only be trusted with things that are intended to be eaten. Are these of better temperament or species only tank and keep them well fed?

purty crawfish.jpg

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AquaticArts has had this and other fancy Crays for sale. Check them out. They have their own site, and are on Aquabid, eBay, Amazon, etc. (formerly InvertObsession).

They might be out of stock, but you could always try asking if they could get some in for you.

 

Others have been cautioned ordering dwarf shrimp from them though (some have had the green "fungus" and not colorful as stock pics have shown)

 

If you find another source for these nice looking crays, let me know.

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1 hour ago, ShrimpP said:

AquaticArts has had this and other fancy Crays for sale.

Really? I never would have thought of checking there. I have a 10$ credit there for dead bamboo shrimp.

So I will have to check them out. Thanks.

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Yeah I just saw that. Have they ever been in stock?

 

That site is now (started a few months ago) into putting up things they want to sell, but do not have to sell, and then just marking them "sold out", when they have never had them in stock and may never have them in stock. At least they are not taking orders on things they do not have.

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When I first found Aquatic Arts about 2 years ago, they did have all of those crays in stock. But that was 2 years ago and did not keep tabs on them, so I am not sure if they ever restocked once they sold the ones they did have.

 

But I do believe a few months ago I was browsing Aquabid and did see they had a listing of one of the cray you have pictured. Some sites don't keep their website or other listings elsewhere up to date (they might have one in stock, only posted on Aquabid, but was not listed as in stock on their main site), so you might can browse around and see if you come across one. Probably would be best to send them a email message and ask if they could get one shipped in for you or when you could expect them to be in stock again.

 

Definitely are great colors on those crays though. I've never kept Cherax, but I've had Procambarus clarkii (Neon Red Cray) and they've bred readily. Would be cool if someone would breed those fancier looking crays to make them more available. The Ghost Cray on that page is also a Procambarus clarkii, looks nice as well. The Emerald Fire Cherax they have available, not as vibrantly colored, but still cool looking in it's own right.

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I emailed AquaticArts in December. And this is what they sent me, long story short it isn't good news. I asked my local fish store to give me a call if they ever got them back in stock, as they have seen them in stock before, but so far no luck. I some what gave up on procuring these guys for now. 

 

Thanks for getting in touch!
 
These crayfish are super rare and hard to come by. We used to be able to get a somewhat steady supply of them last year and this past spring. But since this summer we really haven't been able to get any high quality Thunderbolts in stock. We did receive a few shipments of them but they were very B-Grade in coloration. Health wise they are perfectly fine. But color wise they are not close enough to our standards to sell them as true Thunderbolts. Sorry about that! We are probably looking at discontinuing them unfortunately since we just can't get them in stock or high quality ones when we do finally receive some that are supposedly Thunderbolts.
 

I can recommend our new Ghost crayfish though! These are fantastic specimens :) 

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A shop down in SLO, CA had these a while back when I was working on an algae killer for them. I will see if he can get them in stock next time I'm down there.

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On 25/05/2016 at 3:16 PM, Revaria said:

I emailed AquaticArts in December. And this is what they sent me, long story short it isn't good news. I asked my local fish store to give me a call if they ever got them back in stock, as they have seen them in stock before, but so far no luck. I some what gave up on procuring these guys for now. 

 

Thanks for getting in touch!
 
These crayfish are super rare and hard to come by. We used to be able to get a somewhat steady supply of them last year and this past spring. But since this summer we really haven't been able to get any high quality Thunderbolts in stock. We did receive a few shipments of them but they were very B-Grade in coloration. Health wise they are perfectly fine. But color wise they are not close enough to our standards to sell them as true Thunderbolts. Sorry about that! We are probably looking at discontinuing them unfortunately since we just can't get them in stock or high quality ones when we do finally receive some that are supposedly Thunderbolts.
 

I can recommend our new Ghost crayfish though! These are fantastic specimens :) 

 

I am located in Canada so not much help to you but i have some;  I sold most of my stock but keep a pair for myself and they have breed for me a few times.  My female is berried once more and i spotted around 5-6 babies from the previous batch in the tank the other day.  The ones from my first batch are all young adults (3-4") now.

 

It is funny, they used to boast that their "Thunderbolt" cherax were a proprietary blend of various different type of cherax and not just regular Cherax pulcher aka Hoa Creek / Pink Coral.  

 

From my contacts in indonesia, they are still available for export; although harder to come by even since the demand for them spiked when they are officially classified.  The wild caught ones do have quite a wide range of colours.

 

 

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I know this is old, but I was looking up articles, came across this, and thought I would address some things.

First, I wouldn't buy from Aquatic Arts. Not so much for quality (but kinda that too) but mostly because they are major frauds and liars. They now have the pink clarkii crayfish, which was CREATED by a man in Missouri. But they claimed they were the original sellers of those crayfish, changed the common name, and gave NO credit to the man who actually did create them - AND who sold them their initial pink crayfish. If you look at their description of that, it now clarifies WHO created them, and renames them to their CORRECT common name.

Just as Jumpsmasher said - they once claimed the Thunderbolt was a creation of their own. Furthermore, Chris Lukhaup (the guy who actually discovered where they come from and gave them the scientific name Cherax Pulcher) took ALL of the photos that Aquatic Arts uses, but they put their own watermark on it, and removed his name. Chris Lukhaup is a good friend of mine, and lives in Germany (although he's here in the Atlanta area A LOT as well). He has no association with Aquatic Arts.

Another reason to avoid them is HUGE mark-up on what they do sell, and the quality doesn't meet the price! They offer Leopard Frog plecos for $60. Another friend of mine bought two, and they sent.... bristlenose. They did replace them with Leopard Frogs later, but it took about 6 months, and one of THOSE died before it arrived. Meanwhile, she has two bristlenose which can breed like crazy, and she doesn't want them, but now has to care for them. The second leopard frog pleco that survived was so thin it was basically just his skeleton covered by skin. His stomach was sunken so far, it almost went to his spine! But she fed him shrimp pellets and he recovered, thank goodness! She's still waiting for something to replace the second leopard frog though. For a $60 fish, that's a horrible quality. PLUS the mistake with the bristlenose... what exactly are people paying for?

I had ordered "blue diamond" shrimp from them a while back which was supposed to be a dark blue. When they arrived, they were black. But they did have a blue tint on the edges of their carapace where it grew a bit thinner. But worse than that, then they bred.... I got a huge RAINBOW of colors. So their color line clearly wasn't secure.

So, aside from all of that. Cherax Pulcher. I could not find them for sale in the U.S. either, except the one mentioned above, and they were giving NO details!

I have three. Well, I did. Now I have AT LEAST ten. I bought four from outside of the U.S. and had them imported. One died before reaching me (a female). The other three survived. I put them in a 55G alone for a few months and just kinda ignored them, aside from adding food and occasionally checking to make sure they had not climbed out (they are worse than almost ANY other crayfish about climbing out). My water is generally about 6.5 to 7.5 in PH, and super-soft. GH is MAYBE 3, and KH is generally 0-1. I'm not sure what that translates to in TDS, but we joke that if you tried to skip a stone in this water, it wouldn't even hit the first time before the water reached UP to grab it, and it just totally disappeared. That's how soft our water is! But the crayfish apparently like it because...

A couple of weeks ago I went to look for empty pleco caves (I do keep some in the crayfish tank for them to use). While trying to search the caves for inhabitants, I noticed movement under a piece of driftwood against the front glass of the tank. I looked and saw A BABY! So I grabbed the flashlight and looked around and counted SEVEN total babies! But that was just how many I actually had eyes-on contact with. After finding them I noticed COUNTLESS holes dug out from under rocks, driftwood, and the sponge filters! I was going to start pulling them out this past weekend for a different tank, but the tank had to become a hospital tank to an L014 pleco with a bad injury.

So, to answer your questions....

They are VERY difficult to find in the U.S. I'm not completely sure why. I know they are legal in MOST states, but they are illegal in Florida, which is where most of the major wholesalers are located. I asked Nautilus if they could get them, and they said they are not allowed to touch them, since Nautilus is located in Florida.

But again, they are legal in most other states including mine (Georgia). But the lack of these, and breeders, meant I had to import mine. It cost me a LOT and came out to several hundred dollars for my three. Another guy in New York got some as well, but his are not reproducing.

As for affordable, that's questionable. I plan to sell mine for $45 each REGARDLESS of quality like Aquatic Arts claims. Because there is one other issue with them that makes them all equal in my opinion - we don't know very much AT ALL about breeding them, and how they pass down genes. I CAN tell you that my babies (already about an inch long) don't have much pink on them AT ALL. A couple of them were still totally blue. But the parents do have pink, and lots of it, leading me to BELIEVE that they develop the pink as they age. But they do have the white spots on the outsides of their claws, so they are identifiable that way.
 
As for temperament.... I eventually moved three "special" angelfish in with mine. Two of those angelfish had popeye at one time but were treated successfully. However, they each lost one of their eyes because of it, and they are now blind on that one side. The third was just deformed from hatch with completely missing gill plates, mis-shapen fins, a parrotfish-like mouth, and a side-ways bending body. But they have been able to live with these crayfish for at least four months now with no problems. One of the blind ones is a superveil, and she actually still has her fins intact. So it seems these are MUCH more docile than a clarkii - which is your aggressive eat-anything live-hunter crayfish. But it may also be the fact that my tank has TONS of water wisteria, driftwood, and rocks for the crayfish to hide, and I feed them VERY well (maybe even overfeeding - but the bio filter is used to it and keeps up just fine).

I just decided today to donate some to one of the scientists quoted in journals about the Cherax Pulcher, that wanted to study them. And the rest will be placed in smaller, stacked tanks, where I will start working on documenting how they develop as they grow, how they pass colors to their offspring, whether foods determine the amount or strength of the pink coloration, and similar unknown things about their colors. For example, there is a crayfish here in Georgia that will turn MORE blue in softer, acidic water (called the White Tubercle crayfish). With hard water, they are more brown or black. So I'm going to see how this may affect the C. Pulcher as well.

ANYWAY, lots of information there, lots more to come. Hopefully this hospital tank can clear out soon, and I can, at the very least, get an accurate count of how many babies I have!

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Thanks for all the info.

IIRC I read somewhere on "the internet" the reason there are so few of the crays around is local tribes associate them with fertility and so they do not want people pillaging them for money.

 

I'm kind of surprised that Aquatic Arts says they have L134s as i though their export had been banned so they were going to go the way of the zebra plecos. Last ones someone linked me to on Aquabid were going for something like 125-150 each for young ones.

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Actually the "rumor" of the L134's being banned was just that - a rumor. Someone started it to justify raising their prices to stupid-high amounts.

But I actually work with a transhipper who regularly brings in plecos from Brazil. Specifically, they come from Belem, Brazil, which is a major export city there. It is NOT situated on the Amazon river, but of course, most of the plecos still come from the Amazon river and it's tributaries. But the L134 pleco has been very prominent on their availability list lately, so there is definitely no ban, and no shortage. I work with another fish reseller and he has bought over 80 of them through me, just in the past two months. The transhipper has been in business for over 25 years and has thousands of customers (I meet more ALL the time here in Atlanta when picking fish up from the airport), so I'm certain he's not going to risk his entire business for one illegal pleco.

The ebay/aquabid seller named happyfishonline is actually the one I think MAY be responsible for bumping the price up. He claims they are almost impossible to get, but sadly, he uses the same exact transhipper that I use! Right now he has a set of 3 listed for $300 too. I know how much he pays though, and it's no where NEAR that price. I could EASILY offer them for half of that price, and still turn a profit. But I haven't gotten any yet, simply because you have to order a huge quantity at once.

The real challenge with ANY wild-caught pleco is that they are seasonal - and not only the plecostamus family as a whole. The "dry season" tends to run from about June/July through December. What is available at the beginning of the dry season (around July), may not be available at the end of the dry season (December). As the water recedes, different species become available. Also, different parts of the river are more difficult to reach, and you have to wait longer for those collectors to return to "base" and hand over their fish.

But the bottom line is, L134 is NOT banned, and never was. They are still collected from the wild. They are still perfectly legal to export. And there are still LOTS of them out there.


As for the Cherax Pulcher, I'm not sure what the local tribes think of them. But it's the locals who collect them to export to other countries, so money is definitely winning over some of their beliefs! It's funny trying to negotiate with one because they are VERY pushy and will go REALLY low on price to get you to buy them! A dollar in that country is worth a lot! The only thing they have to cover is roughly $700 in export fees.


 

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59f39483c93d0_bannedplecos.jpg.b5ea3a7c3faadc71b3665298000aba71.jpgI don't speak Portuguese but this looked questionable. I know the last one is the pleco that is on CITES. On the other hand I see a nugget there and maybe a vampire along with the L-134? Sifting catfish forums is not a real help either.

 

Again thanks for then info. My lazy quest for pulcher will continue. I now have 8 L 134s so hopefully they will breed in a year or two. If that happens I may talk to the local zebra breeder... may.

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22 hours ago, Crackhead Johny said:

59f39483c93d0_bannedplecos.jpg.b5ea3a7c3faadc71b3665298000aba71.jpgI don't speak Portuguese but this looked questionable. I know the last one is the pleco that is on CITES.

 

This is what google translate says:

"the authorization of ibama and mandatory for the interstate transportation of ornamental fish"

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What Chappy says is correct. A friend of mine  who can speak Portuguese says the poster says Transportation of these ornamental fish requires permission from IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of the Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources), which is similar to our U.S Department of Fish and Wildlife Services. So they are not banned, they just need permission from their state department to be transported within other states of Brazil. Probably out of country as well. 

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Hello everyone, I would just like to set a few things straight here. This thread seems a bit old, but there have been some grossly untrue statements made that I feel the need to clear up, particularly those regarding Aquatic Arts.

 

1. Aquatic Arts has sold Cherax pulcher, which we (and now some suppliers) call the Thunderbolt Crayfish. We have never, ever claimed to have developed or discovered this species. When we began carrying this species in 2015 (or possibly even before), there was less information available on the species and we have since made some corrections on our listing. This species is very rare, at least in the US. To the best of my knowledge, all of Aquatic Arts' pictures of this crayfish are our own photos. The only photo that I can confirm was not ours is our former picture for the Ghost Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii var. "Ghost), which was a photo by crayfish (among other topics) expert Chris Lukhaup (for whom i have the utmost respect). This photo was uploaded before I was in my current managerial position at this company, and the employee who uploaded it did so while unaware that it was a copyrighted photo since it had no watermark or other information at the source where it was found. If I see that any of our Cherax pulcher photos are not our own, I will gladly remove them and print a retraction in our weekly newsletter, just as I intend to do with the former Ghost Crayfish picture we used. That picture has of course been replaced with pictures of our own.

Aquatic Arts has some of the highest-quality pictures of any aquarium livestock store, and our photos are often lifted without permission constantly by suppliers and other retailers. We are not in the business of knowingly using the photos of other people who are unaffiliated with us without permission, and we will gladly retract any such photos and make a public apology to the rightful photographer if it is found that any of our older photos are not our own.

 

2. Regarding the claim by Crackhead Johny, Aquatic Arts does not purposely list sold-out items that we "wish" or "want" to get but cannot get. Any even semi-experienced aquarist will realize that some items are seasonal or rarely available. They will also understand that no store, no matter how large, is able to keep every single species and variety in stock all of the time. We have a feature that allows customers to be emailed when those items are available. This tool is very useful in gauging demand for rare species. 

 

3. Aquatic Arts is still selling Cherax pulcher, and we received around 90 specimens of excellent quality recently. However, they sold out very quickly as usual. We will continue to try to get more whenever possible.

 

4. Regarding the many disparaging claims by LTygress...it is difficult to know where to begin. This person has made many sour grapes-style comments about Aquatic Arts on multiple  public forums, including under the user's probable real name. I will not mention the name or even gender of this user, and by doing so I am showing much more decency and civility than this user has shown in his/her comments toward Aquatic Arts. At best, this user's comments have been highly warped versions of non-reality and at worst, many of them have been outright lies that are solidly in the realm of legal slander and libel. This person has never worked for or with Aquatic Arts, yet this person makes several claims regarding the inner workings of Aquatic Arts. 

 

Regarding the Pink Sakura Clarkii Crayfish, Aquatic Arts did NOT purchase its initial breeding stock from the developer of this morph. We purchased them from a breeder in Pennsylvania. The original developer of the morph contacted us promptly after we listed our initial juveniles for sale and informed us that there was already a common named that he coined, so we apologized and immediately changed it. We also gave the original breeder full credit for developing the morph via several platforms on several occasions, and the original developer remarked that he was pleasantly surprised and had never expected us to go to that length. By the way, that original developer is a wonderful person that had been a customer of Aquatic Arts previously and is still a customer, but is also someone with whom I am now friends and with whom I personally consult from time to time. Also, he lives in the Northeast, not Missouri (although that admittedly might be a difference in timeline between previous claims). To be extra clear, Aquatic Arts NEVER claimed to have developed this crayfish morph, and we simply and clearly stated that we had purchased our own breeding group. How could we claim to have developed it if we stated that we bought an existing breeding group? These are all objective facts, and they are all contrary to the hearsay of LTygress.

 

On the topic of common names, I feel it is necessary to state that there is no such thing as a "correct common name." This is the exact reason why Latin species names exist. Aquatic Arts prefers not to call crayfish "lobsters" because they are not lobsters. We have coined new or alternate names for a few species, most of which were species that were not widely sold previously in the US. This is not a unique practice, and there are thousands of examples of it in the pet trade as well as other areas. Some call Hemigrammus bleheri a Rummy Nose Tetra, some call it a Firehead Tetra. Neither is "correct." Some people call Melopsittacus undulatus a parakeet while others call it a budgerigar.

 

Regarding L134 Leopard Frog Plecos, Aquatic Arts is one of a few outlets selling tank-raised specimens. We had nothing to do with the "potential ban" hysteria on wild-caught specimens because we have no interest in them. Most people know that tank-raised specimens are generally of superior health and better suited for aquarium life than wild-caught specimens. Also, wild-caught L134 specimens are typically much more expensive than tank-raised specimens. As far as pricing goes, I welcome any proof of any retailer selling high-quality, tank-raised specimens at a lower price than Aquatic Arts. Many private breeders do not even compare to our pricing for this species.

 

I suspect that the irrational hatred and considerable effort that LTygress has made to disparage Aquatic Arts stems from an email which I found from him/her. It predates most of the disparaging comments and lies that have since been posted by this user. The email is in regard to Cherax pulcher, and it mostly consists of very pushy and rude demands (which sound more like commands) to sell him/her that crayfish species. The email came at a time where Aquatic Arts simply did not have them in stock. Despite the negative demeanor of the user's email, our company owner responded in a friendly manner and assured this person that we would be happy to sell him/her some of that crayfish when we had more. There was no further correspondence that I could find. 

 

I should also add that the person posting as LTygress has made very immature, childish, and shameful personal attacks on the staff of Aquatic Arts in public forums, including ludicrously untrue, baseless, ridiculous claims that accused another forum user of having inappropriate sexual relations with one of our customer service reps (who happens to be an incredibly virtuous, decent, and happily married man) simply because that other forum user complimented the qulity and service of Aquatic Arts and did not agree with the wildly untrue claims of LTygress. This sort of slanderous, childish behavior is not the sort of behavior that is becoming of a trustworthy or reliable person, regardless of that person's alleged aquarium knowledge. Regardless of his/her claims of being a major "insider" in the aquarium trade, LTygress has shown on multiple occasions to tell baseless lies while having an irrational vendetta against Aquatic Arts and seems to be on a campaign to disparage Aquatic Arts at any cost. Any high-volume business is going to unfortunately have a few jaded customers, even if through no major fault of its own or to what extent that company will go to resolve any problem. 

 

Aquatic Arts has a reputation of exceptional quality and customer service. Any issues with customers are promptly addressed and resolved to the customer's satisfaction. We are not afraid or hesitant to make corrections and compensations when necessary, and we welcome constructive criticism. Tens of thousands of customers can attest to these facts, and Aquatic Arts has the sincere desire to continue to maintain and further bolster this reputation. We greatly appreciate the support of our customers and we are grateful to have the opportunities to do what we do.

 

I personally work very long hours every day, every week to continue to grow and improve Aquatic Arts in every possible way. If any further discussion of any of these or any other issues is desired, all are welcome to email the address listed below and put "Attn: Matt" in the subject. I will respond to you in a constructive, professional, polite, and friendly manner.

 

Best Regards,

Matt Parkison

General Manager

Aquatic Arts

info@aquaticarts.com

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Local guy now has pulchers but their colors are not close to as nice as the famous internet pic (in OP). They are just kind of blue (as a child [3-4?] I saw nicer in a local MN lake. That thing looked like it was carved out of solid turquoise [with lots of black veins]. if I knew then...) . So pass. (apparently he knows the guy who took the internet famous pulcher pic. I guess the guy is some ex rocker from Germany)

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On 5/22/2018 at 3:21 PM, AquaticArts said:

2. Regarding the claim by Crackhead Johny, Aquatic Arts does not purposely list sold-out items that we "wish" or "want" to get but cannot get. Any even semi-experienced aquarist will realize that some items are seasonal or rarely available. They will also understand that no store, no matter how large, is able to keep every single species and variety in stock all of the time. We have a feature that allows customers to be emailed when those items are available. This tool is very useful in gauging demand for rare species. 

 

 

 

Best Regards,

Matt Parkison

General Manager

Aquatic Arts

info@aquaticarts.com

"Aquatic Arts has some of the highest-quality pictures of any aquarium livestock store,".

Please do not do this internet thing. You calculate your photo quality vs your customer's band width just like everyone else. A 1 billion MP pic is not in anyone's best interest. You meet industry standard. You sling lies like this, people also assume you are slinging the same lies when it comes to aquatic stock. You are better than that.

 

Now as one of your customers. You should not be advertising things that are not in stock. Throw them in a "waiting/up coming/quest" (For example:  we are on the quest to find albino checkerboard hoplos) category or something. The internet is made out of lies, that doesn't mean you have to stoop to that level. I once placed an order with DVDexpress (IIRC that is/was their name) and then waited 9 months for my DVDs, they then replaced their DB and killed my order.

 

While you are famous for bad behavior, you also, in my experience, deliver a quality product... even if it is funny. By funny I mean when you lambchop nuked my 55. I ordered like 15 and you sent me a bazillion. I still stand by the fact they are the best lambchops I have seen live or in pictures, internally lit solid orange chrome, every one of them. I think I still have a credit with you for the bamboo shrimp that cashed out in transit.

 

Those of us who have been around more than 10 years know you have had your ups and downs. The downs gave you a bad rep.

 

I love the fact your bot/spider let you know about this thread and you decided to participate (Hi bot! make sure someone gets an email about this reply!). Well done. We all hope to have more interaction with you.  We have lots of great vendors here and I'd love to see you join them. Tips/tricks and general customer interaction is huge. You have the capability of becoming an amazing resource.

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