Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics

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.
Not open for further replies.

Janet H

Site Team
Dec 16, 2007
Eastern Washington
Welcome to Aquarium Advice. 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
Forum FAQs (frequently asked questions)
Our support forum where you can ask members for help with forum tech issues.
Our help desk - e-mail us for tech support, passwords, account issues, etc.
Last edited:
How to register

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

To register:
1. Open your open your internet browser and go to this link: or open the forums home page and click on the "register" link.
2. Fill out your birth date and click proceed. You must be older than 13 to register.
3. Check the "I agree to the rules" button (if you agree)
4. Click the "register" button
5. 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.
6. After you have filled in required info. Click on "complete registration" at the bottom of page. If you have not filled out all info - you will be prompted go enter the requested info.
7. You will get an email 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.
Forum navigation

Our site has several distinct sections:

  • Knowledge sharing forums for discussions on various topics
  • Classifieds - for member sales and trades
  • Reviews - equipment and product reviews
  • Articles - detailed articles submitted by memebers on a wide variety of subjects
  • Photo gallery - member submitted photos, we have an enormous collection of fish, reef and aquarium pictures.
  • Member list - fully sortable by location, member number and interest area
  • Sponsors and sponsors forum - we love our sponsors and value their participation.
The most active section of our site is the forums. This section is broken into several topic areas to make navigation a little easier and discussions are ongoing. If you have a question, please post it in the forums topic area that best suits your issue.
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 on the "forums" tab at the top of the page. You will see a list of subforum/topic areas.
  • Click on the subforum that best suits your intended post. Once it opens you will see a list of threads already in that subforum. At the top of the list, over toward the left, you should see a "new thread" button
  • Click on the new thread button and follow the prompts.
Once you have crafted your post, click on the submit reply button below the text editor to submit your post to the board.
Last edited by a moderator:
How to post a reply

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 note pad looking thing (post quick reply). A text editor box should appear.
  • Add your text and then hit post reply at the bottom of text box.
Or... you can hit "go advanced" and get a more complete text editor with formatting options and the ability to upload photos.

Once you have crafted your post, click on the submit reply button below the text editor to submit your post to the board.
How to add photos to a post

  • Click reply and scroll down to bottom of text box.
  • Click "go advanced" add text to message window and then scroll down.
  • Click "Manage attachments" A separate window will pop up.
  • Click "browse" Then select the file to be uploaded. Be sure that the photo is appropriately sized. 1000 x 750 pixels (or smaller) and no more than 250KB in file size. Forums software may automatically reduce the size, but smaller size photos will upload much faster. You may select several photos to upload at the same time by repeating the last step.
  • Click "Upload" After pics have loaded close the pop-up window
  • Click "submit reply" to mount the text of your message - photos will automatically appear at the bottom of your post.

About attachment storage limits

When you upload a copy of an image file (or other attachment) it is stored on our servers. There are some restrictions on how much data can be stored.

Registered members are limited to 10 MB of attachment storage for items posted to threads and posts and there is no limit for files posted to the photo gallery. We highly recommend that you reduce file sizes before uploading them to posts and threads.

How to embed an image stored on another site:
You can do this by using image tags. Upload the image to a service like imageshack and then copy the URL of the image and put that between tags. That will work well, as long as the host site stays in business and doesn't disable your image for overuse of bandwidth etc.

You can also paste in the location of a photo stored here at Aquarium Advice in a photo gallery.

To do this: Paste the url of the image into your post. Then add the following code on either side of the url (with no extra spaces):

[IMG]url here

The image will appear where the url was in your text.
Last edited by a moderator:
Posting a classifieds ad

This area of the Forum is reserved for selling personal items related to fresh or salt water aquarium keeping, do not post an ad on behalf of a business.

  • Members must have a minimum of 15 posts and 15 days as a member to post in this section.
  • Each ad must include the state where the item is offered.
  • Personal sales only - no commercial sales
  • Sales item must be the topic of the forum
  • Try to include pictures of your sale item in the ad.
  • Include the sale price and payment methods or expectation in the ad.
  • When your item has sold, please post a reply saying "sold" and we will remove your thread.
Last edited by a moderator:
PM System and Profile Comments

There are three ways to communicate with other forums members outside of the normal posting area.

  • Private messages that only the person you send it to can read and respond to.
  • Profile Comments messages left on the member’s page (profile). Anyone can see profile comments and the recipient has the option to delete it from their page.
  • The Java Applet chat room, linked at the top of each page
If you click on a members name next to a post and select “View Public Profile” it will take you to the member’s profile page. Click on the “Contact Info” tab and you have several options depending on what types of messages the member has chosen to accept.

If you select private message you will need to select a title, type in your message and press the “Submit Message” button at the bottom. You can add smiles and links, but you can not attach pictures to a private message.

If you elect to leave a profile comment, type in the message and press the “Post Message” button at the bottom.
Last edited by a moderator:
Customising your account, subscriptions

You can change various settings in your member account. To access your account, click "user CP" on the upper navbar.

From the left side menu in your user control panel, you can add a signature, upload an avatar (the picture beside a post), change your account information and your forum interface. After any change, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'save'.

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. 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 and we do not sell or share member information.
Photo gallery

Take a wander through our photo gallery - we have a huge collection of photos! Members may set up their own photo gallery or post pictures to existing sections of the gallery.

To set up a gallery:

Click the photos tab
> My stuff
> category admin
> add category

Fill out requested info and under parent category select members photos.

Uncheck the box that allows others to post to your gallery. Then submit by hitting add category.
You now have an open category for your pictures. Use the upload link to add photos. Be careful to add them to your category and not some one else's.

This personal gallery is the one that is linked to in the drop down menu under your user name in the avatar block beside every post.
Aquarium Advice Staff

The staff of Aquarium Advice consists of a team of moderators and site administrators who are volunteers. Their job is to keep the forums running smoothly by assisting members and if needed, enforcing the rules of the forums.

  • Moderators can help you with account issues, posting issues as well as offering great advice about fresh and salt water issues. Moderators also keep the peace and 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 compete list of our site staff here. If you feel a post needs attention, you can use the Report Post feature to alert the moderators. To report a post, just click the Report Icon (
    ) under the avatar photo to the left of the post.
The bottom of the portal page displays a list of members who are currently logged onto the forums. The moderator’s & Administrators names are listed in bold. If you need assistance, feel free to contact any of the moderators. If you see a post that you find objectionable, use the “Report Post” option under the posters information on the left side of the screen. This option will generate an alert to all members of the site team.

The Aquarium Advice Staff would like your time on the forums to be a positive experience. Let us know how we can help.
Last edited by a moderator:

To upload or change an avatar:

An avatar is the little picture displayed below your user name in the profile box on the left side of every post. You may use a forums avatar or upload your own custom avatar. Avatars are limited in size to 80 x 80 pixels or 19 KB (whichever is smaller) and Sponsors and supporting members may load avatars that are 125 x 125 pixels.

To choose a forum-standard avatar:
1. Click user CP (control panel) on upper blue tool bar.
2. Click edit avatar on left side menu.
3. Select the avatar you desire for the available pictures and click the selection dot below the picture.
4. Click save changes.

To upload a custom avatar: Choose a picture you like that is stored in your computer. Resize the picture to meet the size requirements above using a photo/image editor or camera software. Images that are too large will fail to load and you will receive and error message.

1. Click user CP (control panel) on upper blue tool bar.
2. Click edit avatar on left side menu.
3. Scroll down to the "Custom Avatar" box and click the "use Custom Avatar" button.
4. Click Choose File button. A file menu screen will appear and you can choose the avatar file to be loaded. The file name should appear in the "upload an avatar from your computer box".
5. Click save changes.
Last edited by a moderator:
How to search the forum

There are a couple of ways to search the forum. If you have a question we recommend that you search before posting. There's a fair chance that we have a several posts about your topic of interest.

The Forums search tool found on the upper blue nav bar is fairly easy to use and really quick. Our search tool searches for key words and you have a choice to search for threads or posts. Consider using the advanced search function to narrow down your choices. You must be logged into the forums to use the search tool.

Setting up your search: The search tool searches for keywords in posts or thread titles. Do not use quotes around text to be searched. Instead, use commas to separate words or phrases being searched for.
User albums: Log into our site, on the top blue navigation bar, click User CP.

On the left side of the page, under the control panel options, under Networking, choose Pictures & Albums.

In the left upper corner there is an add album button. Enter your title and description and there are choices on whether it will be a private album or public. Click submit and you will be able to upload pictures to your new album.

You can edit, add pictures or delete the album as well. You can change the display picture for your album as well.
Thanks Button

You can let a member know you appreciate their post by clicking the thanks button (
) found in the lower right corner of each post on the forum.

You have the option to enter a message to the user before sending your thanks. The latest thanks received can be viewed on your profile page, which you can access by clicking your user name linked at the top right corner of each page.
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom