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Hints and Tips for Using RTAW - PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

New to the RTAW Forums? Please take a minute to check in here, say hi & introduce yourself to your fellow Reefers. Feel free to provide as much or as little info about yourself as you'd like!

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Hints and Tips for Using RTAW - PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING

Postby venus » Fri 10 Jun, 2005 8:13 pm

If you are new here then

Welcome to Reefing The Australian Way

Here you will find some tips to make your visit to RTAW a better experience and help you to find your way around more easily.
Welcome to Reefing The Australian Way (RTAW) Forums and thanks for joining. You are now part of a community of marine aquarium hobbyists spread throughout Australia and beyond.

Please take some time to read through this message to learn how RTAW works and the ways to get the most out of it.

Keeping a marine aquarium is a rewarding hobby and you will have more success through a better understanding of the inhabitants and what they require. RTAW's goal is to bring people together to share information on the hobby. The more effort you put in, the more you will get out of it. The more research you do, the more information you will have to understand the hobby.

RTAW is run by volunteers who are hobbyists just like you. Any time members spend answering questions is their own time so be mindful of this when asking questions. No-one gets paid to support RTAW.

The majority of the members of RTAW are also members of Marine Aquarium Societies from their local areas. There are currently 5 societies active in Australia: Marine Aquarium Society of Victoria (MASOV), Marine Aquarium Society of Western Australia (MASWA), Marine Aquarium Society of Sydney (MASS), Marine Aquarium Society of Queensland (MASQ) and Marine Aquarium Societies of Australia Orphan Group (MASAOG). The latter is for any hobbyists not in areas covered by the other societies. With the exception of the last society, these societies have regular physical meetings where members can get together socially and chat about the hobby (or anything else). For more information on the societies, see the links at the bottom of the forum pages.

There is also a parent body called Marine Aquarium Societies of Australia (MASA) which is made up of representatives of each of the societies. MASA runs RTAW with the help of members of the societies. For more information about MASA and its societies, see: http://www.masa.asn.au/masa/about_masa.html

Before going on, it will be helpful to understand some of the terminology. When you ask a question or add a response to a question, it is called a Post. When multiple posts are made in response to a single post (or responses to responses) it is called a Thread or Topic. All the Threads/Topics are collected together into various Forums.

A Post is created by either clicking the New Topic button or the Post Reply button. New Topic will start a new thread/topic within the Forum the button was clicked. Post Reply will add a post to the thread.topic in which the button was pressed.

RTAW Forums is divided up into a number of different forums, with each forum concentrating on a different aspect of the hobby. Please look over the RTAW Forums Index http://www.masa.asn.au/phpBB3/ and at the description for each forum. Posting in the most appropriate forum will increase the chances of getting a fast and appropriate response. There will be some questions or topics that could possibly go in multiple forums. Choose the one you think is closest. There are some topics for which there will be no obvious forum, in this case post in General Discussion. We also have a New to the Hobby question which is a good place to look for answers and ask questions on some of the more basic topics on the hobby.

At the top of each forum, you may see some Announcement and Sticky threads. It is a good idea to read these as they will tell you about changes and other items of interest. They may also give you hints and tips. For example, in the Tank Journal forum, there is an announcement that tells you how to upload and post pictures.

In conjunction with the Forums, we have put together a reference called RTAW Reefpedia ( http://www.masa.asn.au/masawiki/ ). This is a living document that covers diverse aspects of the hobby and it is very likely you can find answers to most of your questions here. Please take some time to look through Reefpedia and see what's there.

Over the years, RTAW has had over 4,000 members and over 200,000 posts. As you can probably imagine, a large number of questions may have already been asked and answered. If you have a question, we encourage you to use Search (search.php and linked on the top of every RTAW page) to look for previous discussions for your answer. Not only might you find the exact answer you want more quickly, but you will also not waste people's time answering questions that have been asked before.

These are just a few suggestions for getting the most out of RTAW. On the whole, RTAW are a friendly bunch and are more than willing to help who make some effort. Hopefully, this was helpful.

Enjoy your time on RTAW Forums and thank you for registering.
venus
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Searching Forums for Information

Postby Dr DBW » Wed 08 Feb, 2006 2:31 pm

Searching for Information

Before asking a question on any forum, not just here on RTAW Forums, it is a very good idea to search for available information on the subject.

A common response to an often-asked question is "do a search". This is not people trying to be difficult, but rather trying to help people to help themselves. Whilst most members don't mind repeating similar answers, it is often a good idea to attempt to find as much out as you can, prior to asking a question, so that you can ask a better structured, more informed question.

RTAW Forums gets a lot of questions daily on a broad range of marine related topics. To save you time having to wait for people to respond, you might be surprised to know that your question may have already been answered in detail by using our RTAW Forums Search feature and follow the simple search options available. When you are looking for some information, come up with a list of keywords, enter those keywords into the search engine text box and ensure that the "all of the terms", rather than "any of the terms" option is selected. When the results are returned, simply have a quick browse of the threads that appear. If they aren't appropriate then you need to rethink your keywords entered, try a different word, remove one etc.

The link for the RTAW Forums Search function is located at the top of every page on RTAW Forums for easy access.

However if after performing a search, and there are options listed below where you can perform a search, you can't find what you need to know, are looking for more precise details or clarifications, then by all means don't hesitate to ask. That is what RTAW Forums is all about, helping fellow hobbyists. Of course asking for discussion / opinions etc on a particular topic is fine. But it is good netiquette to let people know you either have read up on the subject first or done a search. Plus, there are smart ways of asking questions (article not directly related to this hobby, but the principles are exaclty the same), that will vastly increase the quality and number of responses received.

Relevant Search Engines
Searching Tips

When using the RTAW Forums Search engines, be aware of the default "search for ANY of the words". This will return all matches for any words in you string - so if you searched for "The Reef Aquarium" any post with 'the' in it will be returned. The selection below it "search of ALL of the words" will only return posts with all three search terms in the afore mentioned case.


Etiquette Tips
Observing some basic etiquette when asking a question will vastly increase the quantity and quality of the response received. Couple of articles providing some good guidelines are listed below:
Last edited by Dr DBW on Wed 05 Jul, 2006 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Posting in the Appropriate Forum

Postby Dr DBW » Wed 08 Feb, 2006 2:32 pm

Posting in the Appropriate Forum

Just a reminder to please try and use the appropriate forum for your questions. On the RTAW Forums Index page there is a blurb about each forum, the type of posts to be made within them. Each is pretty self explanatory and shouldn't really require too much thought.

The currently available Aquaria Forums are as follows:
In the General Discussion, post your methodology and general reefing questions. More often than not, equipment questions are being posted in the General Discussion forum. It is a pretty simple test, if the main subject of your question is about a piece of equipment, (skimmer, lights, pumps, hoods, stands etc etc) then please post it in the Equipment and DIY Discussion. And those questions to do with corals go in the All Corals Great and Small and fish questions into the Fish Discussion forum. The Advanced Topics forum is for those subjects that are pushing the envelope of reef keeping.

And the Community Forums currently available are:
Last edited by Dr DBW on Tue 14 Feb, 2006 9:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Posting a Picture

Postby Dr DBW » Wed 08 Feb, 2006 2:33 pm

Posting a Picture

Picture size
Please make sure that images you wish to post on the board are no wider than about 750 pixels.
Pictures larger than this will cause the window to expand in width, such that readers will need to continually scroll sideways to read text.

Inserting an image into a post
Firstly, you will need somewhere to host the picture you want to display. The picture has to be viewable from any computer connected to the Internet via typing a URL into a browser. Your options to do this are:

*Use the inbuilt Gallery feature on RTAW
*Host the picture on your own website. Many Internet access packages contain a webspace component and may give you access to simple website building software.
*Ask a friend or fellow RTAW members to host the image for you. Many members have their own webspace that they are more than happy to allow you to use to host some pictures.
*Use a picture hosting service such as photobucket or Image Shack. Upload your pictures to one these sites following their instructions. Typically, they will need to be no more than 250 kB or they will be resized automatically by the image hosting service. The resizing software is not the best, so it is best to resize the files yourself first if necessary. For this you can use any image-editing program, such as Photoshop, Infranview, Paintshop, Mihov etc.


Once the images are stored on the web and can be viewed by typing the URL into a browser, type your post, then Copy the URL of the appropriate picture and paste it into the post page. For convenience it can be a good idea to have a second browser window open with the image-hosting page displayed. Then highlight the URL address for the image and then click the Img tag that is just under the Subject text box. This will then surround the URL with the "img" tag as shown below.

Code: Select all
[img]http://image.hosting.com/testing/image_file.jpg[/img]


Click on the Preview button at the bottom of the new post window and make sure that everything is working. Done.

You can also check out this this thread on Reef Central, have permission to use it, and it explains thoroughly via a tutorial exactly how to do post a picture. Posting Picture Tutorial
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Some Helpful Forum Resources

Postby Dr DBW » Wed 08 Feb, 2006 2:33 pm

Some Helpful Forum Resources

RTAW Reefpedia
A recently released resource for the RTAW community and as the name suggests, it is an encyclopedia of information for the marine hobbyist. Have a browser though this and you are likely to find the answer to your questions. And even if you don't have a question, you will learn something new.

RTAW Archives
MASA has converted and imported every thread from the original RTAW message board to establish the RTAW Archives. The formal establishment of the RTAW Archives will ensure that the valuable information contained in the old RTAW message board is available to everyone long after the software was decommissioned. You can find the RTAW Archives by clicking on the above links or click on the RTAW Archives link item in the Resources menu on the MASA web site.

Rules and Guidelines for RTAW
Are what you agree to when you register to post on RTAW. Most of them are common sense, but would be a good idea to read them at least once.

Business Registry
Where you can find business’, or even add another business, that is associated with the marine aquarium hobby in Australia.

Terminology
Here you solve the mysterious language that reef keepers use, what is DSB, LFS, RO and a host of other abbreviations commonly used in the forums.

FAQ
A great place to learn more about the RTAW Forums software and hints on changing views and skins etc. around to more suit your requirements and preferences.

Profile
This is where you can change the forum software to suit your requirements and to add signatures and an avatar.
Last edited by Dr DBW on Mon 06 Aug, 2007 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Where Do I Send Feedback and Comments?

Postby Dr DBW » Wed 08 Feb, 2006 2:34 pm

Where Do I Send Feedback and Comments?

Please post your feedback to our Site Announcements, Questions , Comments and Suggestions forum.

If you feel uncomfortable making the suggestion or comment on the public forum, then you are also welcome to send a private message to one of the moderators of RTAW. They are listed on the main index page for the forums and the top of the index page for each individual forum.
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