Forum 101 - Posting basics, account help, 2024

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Janet H

Site Team
Dec 16, 2007
Eastern Washington
Please take a moment to read through this discussion if you are having trouble posting or have other basic questions about how our forum works. Here are some links to find more help about using the forum (if you don't find what you need in this discussion thread).

Forum Rules
Link to configure your account
Site Team - Page to help you find site team members
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How to register

Registration is free and open to everyone over 13 years old. While even unregistered viewers may read our board, only registered members can post here.

To register:
  1. Open your internet browser to the forum and click on the "register" link in the upper right corner.
  2. A form will appear and you will need to fill out the info requested. Be sure that your e-mail address is filled out correctly. We do not sell or share your information.
Username: displays on every post you make and does not need to be your real name.
Email: required to verify your account. We will send you an e-mail with a link to click to complete the registration process.
Password: used to login to your account
Birthdate: required. You must be over 13 years old to register.
Location: Displays on your posts
Verification: a simple tool to stop spammers; must be completed
I agree - must be checked to complete registration.

You will get an e-mail asking you to verify your email address. Please make sure that any SPAM filters you have enabled do not prevent email from our site from coming through.

This completes the registration process.
Logging in

Once you have registered you may login to post or search our database for information about a variety of royal matters, post questions, participate in discussions, and upload images.

You will see a login box in the upper right-hand corner. Enter your e-mail address and password OR username and password (passwords are case sensitive) and then click the "stay logged in" box.

Our site exchanges little bits of data called cookies with your computer to keep you logged in at page changes. Many virus protection programs or your computers own safety settings (if set very high) may be deleting these cookies when you navigate away from a page and then you get logged off. You can try the following things:
  • Set your system security settings to medium.
  • Be sure that you have enabled cookie handling.
  • Check your Virus protection software and firewall settings to be sure that cookie handling is not being blocked there - you can specifically allow cookie exchange with the site.
At the end of your visit, you can log out or just navigate away from our site. Our server will automatically sever your connection after a period of time.

If you have forgotten your password and cannot log in, you may request a new one via the Login form or you can use the Contact Us link located at the bottom of each page. You do not need to be logged in to use this link.
Username / Display name

Your username displays next to each post and identifies your account. Your e-mail address will NOT display publicly on your account or posts - only your username.

While you can change your password or update your e-mail address once you have logged in via your account settings (click on your username on upper nav bar), only an admin can change your username.

If you need to have a username change please use the contact us link at the bottom of the page. Tell us what your current username or email address is and make a request for a new one. If your desired name is already in use, you may have to choose again. Usernames are best kept to a short length (under 16 characters) and shouldn't contain any special characters (like % or & or #). They also have to be G-rated and may not be e-mail addresses or web addresses.

If you have forgotten your e-mail address and cannot log in, contact us with as much info about your existing account as you can remember and we'll try to help. The Contact Us link is located at the bottom of each page. You do not need to be logged in to use this link

If you have 2 accounts, we can merge them and move all posts to one account but we will need to know which account you wish to retain. Duplicate accounts are not allowed.
Account settings and preferences

To access your account and adjust various options and settings you can click on your username in the upper right corner. You will find various menu options to control your account and subscriptions. Here's a direct link:

Look at the menu on the left side of the page to view various options to configure your account.

One of the features of our forum is the ability to receive e-mail updates of new posts to a thread you may be interested in or when someone mentions you in a post by using the @ sign followed by your username.

You can opt for no e-mail, instant e-mail, daily or weekly. If you have elected to receive e-mail, make sure you have a valid e-mail address listed in your account profile. your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable.

After you have adjusted your settings, be sure to scroll down and click save
How to post a new question (thread)

Questions or a new topic thread can be started in the section of the forum that best fits the topic you have in mind. Once you have posted your question you can edit that post for a brief period of time.
  • Log into the forums.
  • Click into the forum area that best meets your subject.
  • Once it opens you will see a list of threads already in that forum. At the top of the list, over toward the right, you should see a "Post thread" button.
  • Click on the post thread button and follow the prompts.
Once you have crafted your post, click on the "Post Thread" button below the text editor to submit your post to the board. You can edit your post for a period of time after you've posted.



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How to post a reply and how to Quote another post in your response.

To reply to an already existing thread:
  • Log into our site.
  • Open the thread you want to reply to.
  • In the bottom right-hand side of the post you want to respond to, click on the Reply link. A text editor box should appear. The text of the post where you clicked the reply link will appear in your post and you can type your response below
  • Add your text and then hit post reply at the bottom of the text box.
  • If you do not want to quote another post in your reply, you can either delete the quoted text from your reply box or you can use the "Post Reply" option at the end of the last post on the thread.
Once you have crafted your post, click on the "post reply" button below the text editor to submit your post to the board.
Using the Multi-quote button

The Multi-quote option allows you to insert quoted text from several posters into a single reply editor.

Click the multi-quote icon on each post you want to insert into your reply and then click "insert quote" at the bottom of the reply box. All the posts will be inserted into your reply and you can click in below each one to respond.

About Draft Posts

Partially completed posts can be saved as drafts. You can find the tools to manage drafts in the reply editor on the right side. Expand the 3 vertical dots to reveal this tool.

You can retrieve your draft for up to 24 hours and complete it before posting your reply. Some things to keep in mind:

  • To locate your draft you'll need to return to the thread where you were replying. Your draft should appear in the reply editor.
  • Your post will autosave every minute or so as you're typing.
  • After 24 hours the draft is deleted.
How to add photos to a post
  • Click reply and add your reply text.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the reply editor to find the "attach files" option. (note you can also use the insert image tool at the top of your post box)
  • Click and a separate window will pop up that allows you to "browse" files on your device or computer. Select the file to be uploaded and click open. While images should be smaller than 2 MB our software will size the display of the image down as needed for display. Repeat this process to add multiple attachments to a post
  • Once the images have been uploaded they will appear as thumbnail images below your post. You can just leave them as is or if you want to insert them into your post text, click on the image and select insert. The image will be inserted where your cursor is located in the post.
  • Click "Upload" After pics have loaded, close the pop-up window
  • Click "Post reply" to mount the text of your message - photos will automatically appear either at the bottom of your post or in the location you specified via the "insert" function.
  • The following file types can be uploaded: txt. pdf, png, jpg, jpeg, jpe, gif
Using the "Insert Image tool and How to embed an image stored on another site:
There is a small tool on the post reply box to either drag and drop an image to be added to your post or to embed an image that is hosted on another site. Embedded images from another site will be inserted in your post where your cursor is.
Caveat: if you embed an image hosted elsewhere and the image is removed at that site, it will be removed from your post as well.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not upload images that are the intellectual property of others (copyrighted images). This is not legal and your images will be removed.
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Mobile Viewing & Font Size, Width

Mobile viewing:
The forum can be used on a mobile device. No app is required, the view will adapt to your screen size but many of the usual tools will be located under menus. Look for the "hamburger" menu in the upper left corner to find most of the needed menu items.


On Desktop: There are controls in the upper right corner to change to a dark view of the site, enlarge font size for the whole site, or expand the display width (if you have a super wide monitor)

Customize your account: avatar, banner & signature

An avatar is the little picture displayed below your username in the profile box on the left side of every post. You may upload your own custom avatar. Avatars display at 100 x 100 pixels but you can load a larger image and it will be resized. A larger image will look nicer after it's auto-resized.

To upload a custom avatar: Choose a picture you like that is stored on your device/computer.
  1. Click into your account and select the Account details section:
  2. Find the option for "avatar" in the center section of the screen and click the existing placeholder image to choose another image from your computer.
  3. Once you have uploaded an image click "Okay" You can drag the image around to the center and crop it.
  4. Finally, hit Okay again to save your new avatar.
  5. Once you have done this - scroll to the bottom of the page and click save on your details page.
To upload a profile banner: Established members with more than 10 posts may upload a larger image that displays across your profile page. This option appears in the same place you would add an avatar (just below) and the process is the same as adding an avatar. Example here: Janet H

Signatures - display on every post you make and can also be configured in your account

Signatures limits:
  • New members may have a 1 line signature and no links
  • Established members may have a 3 line signature and 1 non-commercial link
  • Images are not allowed in signatures.
  • Please keep signature fonts small as they appear over and over.
  • Signatures must meet all forum guidelines and be non commercial, family friendly and free from political content
Messaging/Conversation System And Profile Posts

You can communicate with other forum members outside of the normal posting area via Direct Conversation/ Messaging.
  • Conversation system is a discussion between you and the person you send it to, but does not post publicly.
  • Profile Posts left on the member’s page (profile). Anyone can see profile comments and the recipient has the option to delete them from their page.
If you click on a member's name next to a post and small "card" will appear. You can use the "start Conversation option on that card to begin direct messaging, or clicking on their username on the card will take you to the member’s profile page where you can leave a profile post.

You can also initiate Conversations directly from your message box - A small envelope icon located at the top right of the page. You can add smiles and links to these messages, and established members can attach pictures to a private message.
Reactions and Alerts

You can alert another member
to a post (e.g. if you are asking them a direct question in a discussion) by incorporating the @ sign into your own post followed by their username. They will get a notification of the alert along with a link to find your post.

Reaction options (thumbs up, smilies, etc) can be found at the bottom of each post. Click the "Like" icon to see the options. Your reaction will be displayed beneath the post once you've clicked.
Forum Site team (Moderators & Admins) and reporting trouble

The staff of the Forum consists of a team of volunteers. Their job is to keep the forums running smoothly by assisting members and if needed, enforcing the rules of the forums. The moderators may warn, suspend or even ban a member who has continually violated the rules of the forums. These disciplinary actions are extremely rare and are done with a consensus of the moderator team. You can view a complete list of our site staff here: Site Team

The display on the right side of the Forums page displays a list of members who are currently logged onto the forums. The moderator’s names are listed in bold in this display. If you need assistance, feel free to contact any of the moderators.

You can help! If you see a post that you find objectionable, use the “Report” option at the bottom of each post and message. This option will generate an alert of a possible problem for the site team. The site team would like your time on the forums to be a positive experience. Let us know how we can help :)
How to search the forum

In the top right corner of the board, you'll find the search icon. You can search for content by subject or posted by a specific member.

When searching for content, you can search by keywords in the text of a post or in the thread title only.
The advanced search (direct link ) will allow you to search specific sections of the site including images and media.

Searches are based on keywords or members username so keep your searches simple. Don't use complex search commands or terms. Don't do this: "Travel in Paris" as that entire character string (including the punctuation) will be searched for. Instead search: Travel Paris

You can search the member list as well from this page:
Following and ignoring - peacekeeping made easy

There is a function to ignore posts (you will not see them) made by specific members or follow posts made by a member.

To ignore a member click on their username next to a post or in the member list to pull up the profile card. You will find a link to ignore and another to follow.

Once you've ignored a member you will no longer see the content of their posts (although you will still see that they posted). You can reset these choices in your account settings if needed.

Clicking the bookmark icon on a post will instantly bookmark that content (saved in your profile) so you can find it later. You can find all bookmarked content in your account details (look for the bookmark menu item over on the left). Occasionally you might want to add some additional context to help you locate that bookmark again in the future and you can do this in the bookmark dropdown menu.

The bookmark icon looks like this: 1709857710560.png

You can manage your bookmarks here: copying links, editing the bookmark itself, or deleting it.
User titles that display below your username reflect your post count
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Aquarium Advice Apprentice - 10 posts
Aquarium Advice Regular -50 posts
Aquarium Advice Activist - 100 posts
Aquarium Advice Freak - 200 posts
Aquarium Advice FINatic - 500 posts
Aquarium Advice Addict - 1000 posts
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