Please do not break these forum rules. This only wastes our time and yours. Offenders get three warnings. If a third offence occurs, the user will be banned and the users account will be deactivated. If the user asks for one, s/he may be granted another chance.
If warranted, the account will be retired, and, at the administrator's discretion, the user's ISP may be notified of possible ToS violations. The IP address and/or email address may be banned as well. At this point, there is no way for the user to be reinstated, unless he/she is proven innocent.
The only automatic exception is spamming which will see an instant ban.
Trivial posts Don't take up valuable server and moderator resources by posting a reply that concerns only you and the poster. Send them a Private Message (PM) instead. For instance, say someone from Paris posts "Hey, I've bred zebra plecos, here are the details..." and then someone else replies "Good job!" This reply is an example of trivial post.
Duplicate posts Don't take up valuable moderator resources by posting same or very similar posts in multiple forums. If you've not got a reply in a few days, you can bump the post but consider that it migth be the question or how you have asked it that might be to blame.
Semi-Exclusive posts Returning to the previous example, imagine a reply of "Hey, I'm in Paris too, can I buy some of your fish?" Now, while other forum users may live in Paris, most don't. Although a few other forum users may find the reply useful, most won't. Send a PM and you will more likely get a less guarded response.
Child Friendliness We want to see more kids keep fish. Don't use swear words. Indeed, post as if you walked into a school and gave a talk to a bunch of kids in front of their teachers and parents. In other words, be aware that users of all ages are free to use this site.
Off-topic posting Please consider whether or not your reply is to the topic in question, or if you are asking questions which would be better in a new topic. Given the example above, posting about the weather in Paris or breeding other species would be off-topic.
Topic Hijacking It is considered bad manners to "hijack" a topic by replying to off topic posts - but we really encourage the discussion. It is best practice to reply with something along the lines of "I've created a new post here to discuss". Some users reading the first topic may well then follow the link if the new topic (which may be partially related) is of interest - but, crucially, the first topic is not diluted.
Trolling/Flame Baiting Do not post contentious remarks with the primary function of provoking (angry) response. It's your responsibility to know this, if you're not sure, lurk. This forum is an international body consisting of all levels of users from folks just starting out to real die-in-the-wool experts. Stating your opinion is fine to a point, you can pass a point where it isn't reasonable or isn't introduced as a personal opinion and this will be viewed by the moderators as trolling.
Flaming Questioning the validity of a statement is fine, and even encouraged. However, calling someone a brainless idiot is not. In between is subject to the moderator's judgement.
Misinformation Passing information as fact that is opinion, without clearly doing so is an offence. For example, "I find zebra plecos hard to breed" is fine, "According to Joe Aquarist, zebra plecos are hard to feed" is also fine. "Zebra plecos are hard to breed" is not. Think about what you write in terms of how you could explain and evidence it for the greater use of all forum users.
Topic Location Please post your topics in the appropriate forum. Don't go asking about your Silurus glanis in "South American Catfishes (Everything Else)", or your Sorubim lima in "Other Catfishes". If you don't know where your particular catfish is from, or what it is, post a question in "What is my Catfish?" Topics will be moved to the appropriate forum, but if there is a pattern of misplaced topics, the poster will get a warning.
For Sale and Wanted Forums We welcome items be advertised by commercial operators as well as individuals. Remember if it is not catfish related (useful for, or of interest to, a catfish keeper generally within their hobby) then it is spam, and posting spam can get you into hot water very quickly. As a quick example, selling a camera is not allowed, selling aquatic plants is. PM a moderator if you are in doubt BEFORE posting. Duplicate posts will be dealt with as anywhere else, posting with a link to your site and no other information is not allowed. Take the time to write a bespoke description, it will help you sell or buy and will be more successful than a cut and paste of text from elsewhere. It is suggested commercial operators should also participate in wider discussions instead of only posting what they have for sale - it will result in better outcomes. Photographs are recommended. Individuals may only sell your own personal property, so no selling for friends or other non forum members. If you're selling a number of items within a few weeks, please keep them in the same thread. No more than one bump every 24 hours. No topics for 'Testing the water'. You're either going to sell the item or you aren't. All correspondence must be kept within the thread until the deal is agreed and personal details are to be exchanged either via email or pm. When an item is sold please update the original post to say the item has now been sold. Do not simply delete it from the thread.
Etiquette Location Please inform us of your location in your profile. If you don't feel comfortable giving your city or province, just the country will suffice. This helps avoid confusion with topics like "Can my catfish survive the winter in a pond" or "Anyone keep Synos in my area"?
CAPITALIZATION CAPITALIZING YOUR POST, SUBJECT, OR EVEN JUST WORDS IS CONSIDERED YELLING. JUST AS IT IS IN REAL LIFE, YELLING IS RUDE, UNLESS CALLED FOR. PLEASE REFRAIN FROM DOING THIS UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. ISN'T EVEN JUST READING THIS ANNOYING?
Subjects This is the administrators pet hobby horse. Please use a descriptive subject if posting a new topic. Examples of bad subjects are "Look at my pl*co", "Help!", "Question..." and "What is my catfish". Using the same examples these would be better posted as "Pictures of my new LDA33", "Help! Catfish has white spot disease", "Question: How do I feed brineshrimp" or "Can anyone ID this green pleco?"
Finally, the "Speak Easy" forum is a little more relaxed, at least in terms of etiquette as outlined above.