General Rules

Note to New Members

Until you have reached 60 useful posts on the site you will be restricted from the following activities:

  • Using the chat room
  • Starting threads in the classified section though you may reply to existing threads.
  • Creating a signature
  • Write a review
  • Send 1 Private Message per Day during the first 60 posts

These restrictions are designed to protect the forum and it's members from spam, unwanted posts, and to encourage new members to join in the discussions. Discussions are what make this forum great.

If you pick a username that is not appropriate the moderation team will require you change it.

At Tropical Fish Forums we aim to provide a friendly community environment that is accessible by new fish keepers and experienced hobbyists alike, and is suitable for members of all ages. With over 93,000 members and between 35,000-40,000 posts every month, we have a number of general rules which ensure the continued smooth running of the forum. There are also additional rules specific to particular sections/aspects of the forum: signatureslinking to personal and unrelated websitesthe classifiedsthe scientific section, the species index and the monthly competitions. These can be found in their relevant sections, or a full list is pinned in our New Members Section.

1. We are not responsible for the content of messages posted. The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this forum. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to report the objectionable material. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary, and may do so with or without explanation.

2. We expect members to remain courteous towards others. It’s nice to show respect for others' opinions even if they do not match your own. You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually suggestive, threatening, angry, rude, hostile, mean-spirited, ridiculous, incessant, provoking, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise a violation of any law.

3. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you, by this bulletin board, or where written permission is given by the copyright holder. Posts must comply with all relevant copyright laws and it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with those laws. If another person’s material is used, please give credit to the author.

4. There is to be no advertising of commercial sites on the message board unless authorized in advance, nor commercial sales of any kind. Rules for personal sales are available here. If you are unsure whether your sale or website breaches this rule please contact the forum administrator in advance. Members should report any posts, messages or signatures that contravene this rule to the moderating team.

5. There is to be no promoting of other competing general fish forums either in the forum, chat room or private message system. Links to specialist forums containing specific information which is not available on TFF or is above and beyond the detail and complexity available on TFF are permitted. The moderating team will use their discretion to determine whether these links are allowable. If in doubt, members should report any posts, messages or signatures that they suspect may contravene this rule to the moderating team.

6. Only one active member account is permitted per person. Allowing the registration of a new user account by a previously banned member will be at the discretion of the moderating team. In general, we do not delete member accounts. This means that the valuable information that a member has contributed in the past remains for others to benefit from in the future, even if that member decides to move on from fishkeeping or Tropical Fish Forums. However, in extreme situations we may consider deletion of an account: this will be a whole moderating team decision based upon the specific individual circumstances involved.

7. Posting on TFF is a privilege, not a right. Members who spam; troll or flame others; persistently cause trouble, irritation and upset, "name and shame" retailers; repeatedly break our general rules or otherwise affect the smooth running of the forum will not be tolerated and will be subject to posting previews, posting suspensions, pm suspensions, and/or having their posting privileges permanently removed. Repeat offenders may be reported to their ISP. Finally, please remember: This is a privately owned site. As such, its’ running is not a debate and discussion will not be entered into. The administrators and moderators have final say in all areas and decisions.

Signature Rules

Please keep the images in your signature short (around 100px is best). They can be as long as 500px wide though. Please do not include animated images in your signature. They are very distracting as they wave about and wiggle.

Please do not advertise in your signature, make political commentary, or post other information that might not be appropriate for a fish forum. The general rules, in terms of content, also apply to your signature. The moderation team reserves the right, as always, to edit any signature that isn't appropriate.

Scientific Section Rules

1. Scientific Etiquette and Presentation of Arguments. Claims/ideas/theories must be backed up by some semblance of evidence, that includes topics that may be controversial. Evidence has to be cited and direct questions need to be answered in a timely manner or the claims dropped. 'I don't know' is an acceptable answer, or if you need more time to research your idea, please post how long you will need. The forum will give you the time if you ask for it but will not tolerate ignoring direct questions. If a member presents a post that can be 'debunked' based on scientific data or evidence, a spirited 'debunking' is fair. Understand that there are gradations of evidence: evidence cited from a peer-reviewed published study is considered significantly stronger than anecdotal evidence. Using a logical fallacy is not evidence, and only makes your argument look weaker; avoid using logical fallacies altogether. In particular, ad hominem attacks (attacking the person, not the argument) is strictly forbidden and will not be tolerated.

2. Editing and Revision of Posts. Changing the content of your post once presented by using the 'edit' button is intolerable. If you need to correct spelling or sentence structure (if it doesn't alter your argument) it is permissible, but please make note of your correction so that the reason is clearly understood by the members involved in the discussion. If you feel you made an honest error, please correct yourself in a separate post explaining why you wish to change your comments.

Species Index Rules

Our aim is to create one of the largest and most comprehensive fish indexes available on the internet, for this reason these rules must be followed and adhered to.

Rule 1: You must own or have owned the fish you are submitting a profile on. We do not want information that has just been copied down from a web site or book.

Rule 2: The attached photograph must belong to you or a member of this forum. If the photo is not yours, please ask the member for permission before using it and give a credit in your post.

Rule 3: You must stick to the format already in use. Profiles submitted in the wrong format may be edited or deleted.

Rule 4: All profiles are subject to moderator checks and may be edited accordingly. If a profile is deemed unsuitable it may be refused. Check your information carefully.

Rule 5: Do not hijack other peoples profiles. If you disagree with any of the information given please contact a moderator and explain what you find is wrong and if possible give sources that back up your belief.

Rule 6: Please switch off your signature when posting a profile (unclick the enable signature box)

Your post will not become visible to the TFF forum until it is approved. N.B.: If you submit your profile without a photograph of your own species or you submit a diagram or a photo taken from the internet without permission of the owner it automatically will not be approved. If you do NOT provide us with a photograph within 30 days, your submission will be removed.

Monthly Competitions
(Members are eligible to enter the competitions after both the 60 post restriction and 60 days of being a member.)

1) You may enter the competition by two different methods, self entry and by nomination.

2) Self entry submissions must be your own tank/fish/pet. Entering a tank belonging to someone else is not permitted.

3) You may nominate another TFF member's tank/fish/pet for entry. Please seek their permission first, as nominations will not be accepted unless the nominee's agreement can be verified. Nomination of a tank belonging to a non-member is not permitted.

4) Entries and nominations will be accepted for 1 calendar month before voting commences.

5) Entries are limited to 1 entry per member per competition.

6) Voting polls will commence on the 14th of the month and close on the 28th of the month.

7) For example, entries for September TOTM will be accepted from 14th August to 13th September. Voting will commence on 14th September, and the poll closed and winner announced on 28th September.

8) The moderators and admin reserve the right to accept or reject any nomination or entry as they see fit.

9) The 'Tank/Fish/Pet of the Month' winner may not submit an entry, or be nominated for entry, for at least the next two competitions. For example, the winner of the September TOTM may not enter or be entered into the October or November competitions.

10) Any attempt to influence competition results, other than by casting your allocated vote, is not permitted and may result in your entry being removed and / or further action being taken.

11) The moderator's decision is final.

How to submit your competition entry:-

12) To enter the competition, two almost identical photographs are required. The first photograph to be submitted is your competition entry. The second photograph should be identical to the first as far as possible, however must include a clearly visible piece of paper with 'TFF TOTM/FOTM/POTM COMP' and the date clearly written on. This is to ensure that the tanks/fish/pets entered do belong to the entrant. The moderators reserve the right to ask for further verification if required.


How to nominate another TFF member's tank/fish/pet:-

13) To make a nomination, please seek permission from the tank/fish/pet owner first, then post details of the tank/fish/pet. The nominee must then confirm their agreement for the tank/fish/pet to be entered, or the nomination will not be accepted. Once the nominee's agreement is confirmed, the same two photographs must be provided as for a self-entry as described above.

Classified Section 

The purpose of the Classified Section is to allow members of the board to trade their surplus stock and equipment. These guidelines will be followed by the moderating team. If you are in any doubt as to the acceptability or otherwise of an item, PM a moderator before posting the thread.

Members posting items for sale which are, or appear to be part of a commercial enterprise, (ongoing availability included), will have their posts removed and receive a warning, in line with the existing board rules. Members wishing to advertise commercial goods and/or services should contact the site owner, William.

Items not obviously related to the hobby will be summarily removed.

To address the issue of people joining the board simply to advertise their fish or gear, threads started by members with low post counts will have their threads removed at the discretion of the moderators. The moderators’ decision is final.

Direct links to online auctions etc. will be regarded as adverts and summarily removed.

Under special circumstances, moderators may allow the posting of a thread which would otherwise violate these guidelines. Where this is the case, the approving moderator will make a comment to this effect in the thread. Again, the moderators’ decision is final, and no debate will be entered into.

Please fill out the following form for any and all transactions. Please change the first line as applicable to the transaction

Livestock/Equipment make-model-size/Wanted/Exchange/Plants:
Age and condition:
Quantity for sale:
Reason for Sale:
Delivery or Collection:
Sales price:
Postage & Packaging:
Location: (Also please put this in the Topic Description line of the thread title)

All negotiations and questions must be posted in this sales thread and NOT by PM.

Communications may only be taken to PM once the sale and price has been agreed upon on the open forum and payment/collection details need to be given.

The agreement of the time and date of collection or postage, or confirmation that items have been posted should also be posted in the thread.

Please refrain from commenting unless you are interested in more details or are interested in buying.

If you suspect any foul play, please use the report button and the moderating team will deal with all reports.

By posting on this forum you are deemed to have agreed with and accepted the rules set out above. Please be aware that not using the form above will result in your topic being deleted.

Promoting Your Own Personal Website Rules 

Now that we have a computer forum you are no doubt going to want to talk about and promote your own sites.

Please be aware of the following rules:
No promotion or linking to other fish forums or sites containing fish forums. This is a long standing rule and nothing has changed.
No promotion or linking to commercial sites or sites where the main purpose is to sell things.
No promotion or linking to sites containing porn, hatred, racism, sexism, scams, warez, cracks, serials, illegal downloads or any other form of bigotry or illegal material. If you would not be happy for your Grandmother to see it, then we don't want to see it either.
No promotion or linking to sites containing spyware or excessive pop-ups.
Anyone who repeatedly spams the board with links to a site will be dealt with.
This last one is more a guidline than a rule: Please make sure that your site is actually something people will want to see and not just a list of your favourite links or a collection of 'kool' GIFs you've found. Make sure the site actually WORKS and doesn't crash or lag people's computers.

YouTube Rules
You may place a link to your YouTube channel in your signature. No graphic, just a simple link. 
You may answer another member's question using a video from your YouTube channel if the video directly answers the question. 
You may ask a question using a video from your YouTube channel if that video is used to better ask the question. For example to show an injury or disease to a fish. 
You may NOT post videos from your YouTube channel in order to promote your channel or simply post a video to get views (i.e. "what do you think of this?" or "Hey look at my..." etc.)
The moderation team reserves the right to remove any video from any post for any reason even if it isn't specifically outlined in the above general guidelines. The member will be notified of removal and the reason for removal will be properly explained to the member. 
Any links not conforming to those few simple rules will be removed.