A Tour of Reef2Reef
Welcome to R2R! It’s fantastic to have you here with us. If you are new to forums in general, or just new to this forum and its specific software, then you may need a little help with navigating the forum and knowing where and how to post. This is a wonderful community full of people who have knowledge and experience that are willing and able to help you with your hobby, but it can be frustrating if you don’t know how to get that information. We will help you with that right here with this series of articles aimed at helping you get the most out of your Reef2Reef experience. In part one, we are taking a tour of the site and where the different areas are located and what they are for.
From the home page, you can navigate all over the site. Reef2Reef is huge and is packed with tons of information and this is where you start to find it.
You’ll see the tabs across the top of the screen, under the R2R banner. The Home tab is orange which shows where you are in the forum. The Forums tab will take you to the forums proper. The Articles tab is where you will find quick access to the huge number of articles written by experts and hobbyists on any number of subjects relating to saltwater aquariums. Showcase is where you will find a database of corals, fish and even online retailers. The database includes pictures, discriptions, care requirements and reviews. It’s constantly being updated and added to, so if you don’t see what you are looking for yet, it will be added in the near future. The members tab will show you a list of notable members and depending on how you search, any member in our system. R2R Sponsors will take you directly to the sponsor’s part of the forum and all the individual forums for each sponsor. You’ll find product information, sales, and recent news from each. The Marketplace Feed will take you directly to the selling and trading forums. You’ll need to participate in the main forums to be able to sell in this area, but once you get started it’s not difficult to get the minimum post count needed for it. Last, you’ll see the New Posts tab which will bring you to a list of the most recent posts made in the entire forum.
In the right-hand corner, at the top of the page, you’ll find your personal alerts area. Your screen name will be there and give you access to your account and profile information and a way to edit those things. You can upload a picture for your avatar, manage how you receive alerts, and the content you want to follow on the site. There is much more, and you might want to explore this area for a bit before getting started. Simply hover your cursor over your screen name and this menu will pop down for you to choose from.
The Inbox tab is your personal message (or PM) area. Any PMs you receive will show here with an orange number just to the right of the word “Inbox” that shows you how many PMs you have waiting. Hovering your cursor over this will trigger a drop down menu that shows the active conversations you have going with the newest on top.
The Alerts tab will show you any new comments to threads (conversations within the forum proper) you are watching or have commented in. If you have been tagged (somebody mentioned you personally) you will get an alert here as well. Commenting in a thread will automatically set you to “watch” that thread. Clicking on each of these individual alerts will take you directly to that thread and that comment in the thread.
Staying in that same upper right hand corner, you’ll find the search function. You can use this box to search for specific information you might need. Type in a key word here and you’ll find countless threads and posts that related to that topic. Odds are, whatever it is has already happened, been cured or fixed and that information is there for you to find.
Rounding out the rest of the Home Page and moving from top to bottom: You’ll find the featured articles at the top, followed by the most recently commented on threads in the main forum. Below that, you’ll see the most recent sponsor threads and lastly the auction threads. You can navigate to these places by simply clicking on the title that strikes your interest.
On the left of the screen you’ll see your screen name again and information again, a small site navigation area, a list of the staff members that are currently online and a huge list of the members that are currently online.
This is where most of the action will be. Clicking on the Forums tab will bring you to a list of all the sub forums on R2R. On the left hand side of the screen you’ll find a running list of the most recent comments on the threads in this area and just below a running list of the same for the sponsor threads. Just below you’ll, again, see a list of the staff online at this time. A little secret? They are listed in order of their activity at that moment. The ones at the top of the list are currently commenting in the forums on threads or responding to messages.
This is a large area, but we are going to try to cover as much as possible. At the top you’ll see the General Aquarium Discussion and it’s group of sub forums. The “Meet and Greet” area is where you can introduce yourself and show a few pictures of your tank.
The New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums and Reef Aquarium Discussion are going to be the general areas for information and tank discussion. General questions or threads that you aren’t sure where they belong should go here, or will be found here.
We have a chemistry forum with our very own chemistry expert! Randy Holmes Farley and many others watch this entire forum to help answer your reef chemistry questions. Calcium, Magnesium, Alklinity and much, much more will be found here.
Next down is all about fish. Fish compatibility, care requirements, experiences is all found in Fish Discussion. You’ll also find the busiest Disease and Treatment forum out there. Diagnosis, treatment and prevention from more than a few experts in the field. There are also forums for breeding, predators and seahorses in this section.
This next section is one of the most important on the site. This is the member’s tank section. This is where you can keep a log of your tank build from beginning to end, with pictures. You can view other people’s builds as well, ask questions about their equipment, their set up, how they did something or made something and get real answers. This is a place to show off, get help or – most important- get inspired. Pick a section that best fits your tank build and start your build thread today.
We are pretty far down now, but this isn’t all. Now we are down to the Interest forum. This is where you will find the many, many contests and giveaways. Announcements for the forum and for people receiving badges they’ve earned are all found here. If you have a problem with the forum or figuring something out you can post in the Forum Feedback/Help forum and get real answers.
Down below this, you’ll find the selling and trading forums, a list of local reef clubs and all the vendor forums.
Inside each, individual forum you will find all the threads created. At the very top you will see the “stickies”. These are important threads that were created to give you quick access to information pertaining to that sub forum. Be sure to read through some of these since some pertain to forum rules for posting. A lot of the questions you might have can probably be answered right in those stickies. You can even post in the sticky thread itself for more details on what that thread pertains to.
Now, let’s look at the Articles Tab. Reef2Reef has many article contributors that include industry leaders, experts in various fields and even regular hobbyists who have strong knowledge in certain areas of the hobby. Scroll through here for information and articles on all manner of topics including the various giveaways and contests. In the navigation box on the left, you’ll find ways of narrowing your results. You can search the articles, find out about authors, find articles from authors you have chosen to watch… which means you’ll be notified when that author publishes a new article.
Next up you’ll find the Showcase Tab. This is where you’ll find a list of online Vendors and reviews on same.
There are also fish and coral databases, which you can find on the left hand side of the screen in the Categories box below the Navigation box. Here you will find names and pictures of corals and fish along with general guidelines and care requirements for each. This handy tool is constantly being added to so check back often to see what’s new.
Next up is the Sponsors Tab. Here you fill find the most recent sponsor threads where they announce new products, sales, auctions and Live Sales that are exclusive to Reef2Reef.
The Marketplace is where all the Selling, Buying and Trading happens on Reef2Reef. You can sort the latest threads into Livestock for sale, Equipment for sale, either of those for trade and so on. Use the navigation box on the left side of the screen for that.
That’s the dime tour. There is a little more to the site but with this, you should be able to navigate the site with a little more ease and know where to find anything you need. The next in this series will talk about how to edit your profile, preferences and to upload an avatar.
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