The Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society, further on referred to as OVAS, list the following objectives in its constitution:
- to further the study of all forms of aquatic life
- to promote interest, exchange ideas, and distribute information concerning the hobby
- to encourage the breeding and display of aquatic life
- to work toward the conservation of endangered species.
This forum represents an extension of our hobbyist club and its core values so it is crucial that we all work together to maintain a positive, informative on-line presence
Our obligation is to members and non-members that have come to this website and the club because of their interest in this fascinating hobby. It is because of the club’s objectives and desire to provide a relaxed atmosphere that we will be implementing this set of on-line rules. The rules of this forum govern the behaviour and activities of ALL OVAS members and non-members who participate on our forum.
Section 1 – Overall Community Attitude
1. OVAS is an aquatic club local to Ottawa.
The Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society is a non-profit, educational, and recreational organization. We encourage social meetings in which we share our experiences and learn from each other.
We are NOT just an online-club. This forum is provided by the club to discuss aquatic topics beyond our regular meetings. Please keep this in mind when becoming active on this forum.
2. Always display a positive, friendly attitude.
Always treat fellow posters with respect and courtesy. Be respectful of others’ opinions. Allow your fellow members to voice their opinions. DO NOT deliberately start arguments. Debates are great, as long as they remain respectful!
3. Think before you post.
Please refrain from posting meaningless threads, one word (or short) non-sense posts, or any that do not contribute to the discussion! Responses should be on-topic whenever possible.
4. Always try to “give” back to our community.
For each time you find help or answers here, try to help someone else out in return. Even a little “thank you” is encouraging. You may find that what goes around comes around.
5. Please post in letter style.
Use paragraphs, punctuation, and capital letters appropriately. Netspeak and shortcutting (b4, str8, etc) are difficult to read and should be refrained from. Do not use irritating posting styles, including use of all caps and excessive punctuation.
Section 2 – Inappropriate Behaviour
Treat others as you would want them to treat you! The OVAS Community Forum is a family forum with members of all ages. Please keep this in mind when making posts.
Although the administrators and moderators will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off this forum, it is impossible for us to review all messages. If you come across posts that violate these rules then please report them to the moderation team.
We adhere to a zero-tolerance policy against ANY personal attacks. Insulting another individuals opinion, name calling, accusations and disrespect towards anyone will result in the suspension or revocation of your account and/or membership. Flaming a moderator/web-master will result in an automatic ban from the forum.
This applies in ALL forums and PMs.
2. Swearing, Vulgarities, and Profanities are not permitted.
Do not post anything distasteful or anything you feel might offend someone else. This includes creative spelling of banned words, using special characters, spacing out the letters and images with questionable content. Think carefully if you would say this in a face-to-face conversation before you post, and keep in mind that this is a family oriented forum. When in doubt, don’t post. If you are unsure, contact a moderator or the web-master for help.
This applies in ALL forums and PMs.
3. Stalking, Threats, or other Harassing behaviours.
Will result in permanent removal from the forum and/or termination of club membership. OVAS is obligated to contact law enforcement authorities in the event we believe any criminal activity has taken place.
4. Right to Privacy.
You will not violate a person’s privacy by publishing information that is private and personal against another members will.
5. No SPAM.
Do not spam! Also, do not repost the same message in multiple threads or folders. Definition of “SPAM” lies solely with the moderators.
6. Copyrighted Material.
Do not post a copyrighted article or other material in its entirety on the forum, without written permission from the copyright holder. Instead, post interesting selections/quotations, citing the source, and a link to the full article if it’s available on the Web.
7. Political and Religious Content.
Please keep in mind that this is an aquatic forum. Refrain from discussions of political and religious nature unless they relate in some way to our hobby. In this case reflect cultural awareness.
Racism is not acceptable and will be treated with zero-tolerance!
8. Arguing about Company/Store Policies.
Posts arguing about company/store policies are NOT allowed. This includes especially local fish stores (LFS), irrespective of them being sponsors or not.
There is to be absolutely no store or product bashing on any forum, including the sponsors’ forums. Bashing consists of making unsubstantiated claims or bad-mouthing a store or an entire chain of stores for an incident you may have had with one particular person or store. Remember that if you have an unhappy experience at a store, talk with a supervisor, manager or owner of that store and try to resolve the problem.
Stores and manufacturers can only improve if they are made aware of problems with the staff and products. The responsibility is yours, the end user of these products, to try to resolve any issues you have with the person who can make the change needed to fix the problem. It is not appropriate to voice these opinions on a public forum.
9. Adult Content.
Do NOT post any messages with adult content such as: pornography and sexually oriented material, illegal substances, gambling and links to sites containing such content.
10. Obey the Law.
The discussion of illegal activities is not permitted. Do NOT post any messages that violate any applicable Canadian law(s).
If you post a link to another web site, it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that the website follows the guidelines set out by these Forum Rules. Links to any undesirable sites (i.e. pornographic, hate literature, indecent material or any site that the administration deems inappropriate) or sites that violate any of these rules or Canadian laws are not permitted.
12. Thread Crapping or Hijacking.
Thread crapping or hijacking is prohibited. If you wish to deviate from the discussion then start your own thread. Moderators, based on their discretion, may break up threads which have gone off topic.
13. Single Accounts.
Each member is allowed one online account. Registering with multiple accounts is not allowed unless a second account is approved by the moderating team due to exceptional circumstances. Members risk having all accounts closed permanently if they create multiple accounts without prior approval.
Section 3 – The Classified Section
The OVAS Classified boards are provided as a service to all forum users.
Any post in the classifieds board that violates these rules is subject to removal without notice.
1. Private/Personal Ads.
The Classified Ads boards are for personal, private, non-commercial, ads ONLY. Posts of a commercial nature, including those from OVAS sponsors, are NOT permitted and will be moved or deleted. Any posts deemed to be commercial are subject to immediate removal. All ads must be aquarium related items.
2. Advertising of Classifieds or Soliciting Sales.
Advertising of your ads in the classifieds or soliciting sales in the non-classifieds forums are not permitted. Any posts deemed to be advertising or soliciting are subject to immediate removal.
3. Ad format.
It is advisable to have a clear description of any item, as well as contact and location information. Pictures say more than words and ideally belong to the seller. Pictures can only be posted by OVAS Club Members in the Members Classifieds section. To help identify the type of ad you are posting, it is recommended to use the following notation.
FS: African Cichlids FF: Plastic Pot Scrubbers LF: Plants for low light FT: Rare plants
4. Asking Price.
Items posted for sale MUST list an asking price. The marking of items as best offer (without a price) as well as an auction-based declaration is NOT permitted. Any items listed as For Free with an implied price will be deleted.
5. Expiration / Posting Period
For OVAS Club Members, there is no expiration on ads but please delete them when they are no longer valid and please do not re-post. However, the Webmaster/Moderators will periodically delete extremely old ads if no activity is seen in them. For non-club members, ads are only valid for 30 days and may not be re-posted within this period. However, modifications to the original ad can be made at any time. Non-club member ads older than 30 days will be deleted.
6. Bumping / Duplicate Posts.
Ads may not be reposted (duplicated) during the posting period. Any price changes or modifications must be made to the original post.
7. Ad Removal.
All ads should be deleted by the originator after it becomes sold or if the seller decides not to sell anymore.
8. Links to other online ads
In general, links to other online ads are not permitted in the classifieds even if you are the owner. However, links to free items may be posted under the FF notation.
9. Grouping ads
There is no limit to the number of For Sale ads for OVAS Club Members but please group ads together when possible. There is a limit of three For Sale ads per day for non-club members. There is no limit on For Free and Looking For ads.
Section 4 – Housekeeping
1. Stay on Topic.
If your post is drifting from the thread topic, please start a new thread in the appropriate board! Off-topic discussion will be split into a new thread or deleted at the discretion of the moderators.
2. Multiple Posts.
Do not post the same topic in multiple forums. If you are unsure of which board a thread should go on, contact a moderator. Multiple posts are unnecessary and will be deleted.
3. Images in Posts.
When sharing your pictures on the forums, please try to keep files small, as not everyone has a fast high speed connection. Preferred picture dimensions are in the range of 800×600 to 1024×726; the size shall be smaller than 500kB.
Pictures included in post shall be preferably hosted on image servers or the OVAS Gallery. However only OVAS Club Members can upload/add to the OVAS Gallery. Non-Club members only have view access. You can choose to attach images to your post. However posts with attached pictures that exceed the above limitations will be rejected automatically by the forum.
If you don’t know how to resize your pictures smaller, ask a moderator or web-master for help before posting your message.
4. OVAS Gallery.
The OVAS Gallery feature is available to all forum members however only OVAS Club Members can upload/add pictures. Non-Club members only have view access. Pictures cannot exceed 1500X1500 pixel and a file size of 1.5 MB, and must be related to the aquarium hobby.
Animated avatars are not allowed.
Please try and keep your signature brief, to keep the page loading time, and visual annoyance factor to a minimum.
A signature shall not contain:
- more than 4 lines text
- any images and/or animations
- any links and/or references to external websites
- any reference to items that you have for sale / looking for / for trade; these should go in the appropriate forums
If these limits are exceeded you may be contacted by a moderator requesting an amendment to your signature. If none is made within a reasonable period of time a moderator may remove your signature from your profile.
7. Group Orders.
You may organize group orders by using the [Group Orders] board. The arranged group orders may be with any vendor; however vendors themselves, including those sponsoring OVAS, may not start or interact with threads here.
8. Post counts.
This number is in place only to acknowledge contributions made by our members. We are in no way biased to the amount of posts our members make. Please do not misinterpret post counts for anything other than what they are intended.
9. Advertising and Unsolicited Messages.
Advertising and Unsolicited Messages are not permitted. Posting of advertisements (other than in the appropriate sponsor board and designated advertising areas), chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are inappropriate on this forum.
10. Public Events.
OVAS-sponsored or -endorsed events may be posted in any board deemed appropriate by the executive committee. If you would like to host an aquarium related gathering or workshop that is not affiliated to a commercial vendor, please post that event in the appropriate board. Non-Aquatic events may not be published on this forum. Please contact any moderators in advance if you are unsure about the nature of your event.
Section 5 – Sponsor Posting
Part of our forum has been setup as a place to allow local stores who support the Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society to have a place of their own to post their store specials, social events, hours of business or anything else related to their business. It is yet another way OVAS shows its support of our local and area retailers.
1. Any OVAS sponsor sale, affiliated event or social gathering at their place of business (or private residence) may only be promoted in their specific board.
2. Members who wish to discuss any event, sale or social gathering that is being hosted by an OVAS Sponsor must post any relating discussions in that sponsor’s specific board.
3. No OVAS Sponsor may post the availability of any product or service they provide in ANY board on this forum other than in their own specific board.
4. Sponsors may post in general discussion boards to share their experiences where relevant. However, such posts shall not constitute an advertisement for a product in any form.
Any question or topic directed towards a forum sponsor by any user of the forum shall be posted in the appropriate sponsors board.
Section 6 – Forum Moderation
Moderators and the web-master have the final word on the interpretation of ALL rules and are entitled to administer penalties as they deem necessary.
This includes blatant violation of this set of rules and the general conduct of the users of this forum.
1. The moderators and the web-master have the right to delete any posts, parts of posts or entire threads if necessary, should they be considered abusive, offensive or in violation of the rules. Each individual forum has a focus on a certain topic. Questions outside the scope of a certain forum will either be moved to the appropriate forum, closed, or deleted. Please post your topic in the most appropriate forum.
2. If a member’s post is removed, they will either receive a private message or an email to the account listed in their profile to explain the reason why (with the exception that classifieds post can be deleted without further notice). If you do not understand the specifics behind the post removal please contact a moderator privately. The public forum is not the place to discuss these situations and such posts will be removed by the moderators.
3. As a member of our forum you must respect the authority of ALL moderators and the web-master. Public discussions of moderator or web-master actions are not allowed on the forum. Do not to protest moderation actions in forum posts. If you don’t like something that a moderator has done please send a Private Message to the moderator and try your best to resolve the situation directly with them. The final link in the chain is to discuss the problem with the web-master.
4. Please keep all communications with the moderators civil. All OVAS moderators are volunteers who are doing the job because they want to give back to the club. They are enforcing the rules so that all forum users are treated equally. Verbal abuse, threatening or disrespect towards moderators (either on the forum or via PM) may result in the removal of your account privileges.
Section 7 – What happens if I break the rules?
The moderators will be politely pointing out these forum rules, and if required your post will be edited or deleted.
Should you have already been pointed to these forum rules and continue to break them, then it may be elevated to 2nd Offence.
A moderator will issue a warning via private message pointing out the repeated violation of the forum rules. Any post in question will be deleted. In addition, the account will be temporary suspended from the forum for a period of up to 3 month. This is referred to as a ban.
If a member is under suspension and registers a new account in an attempt to evade the suspension they will then be permanently banned from the forum and all accounts will be closed.
Will lead to your account being put “On Hold” immediately. Moderators and Web Master will discuss and possibly delete the user from the OVAS forum and/or revoking of OVAS membership.
All offences are logged by the moderators and there is no set time frame for counting offences. It is at the moderators discretion to refer to the moderator logs when counting offences and take action as required.
Depending on the situation, the web-master may bypass any and all of these steps and take whatever action is deemed appropriate.
If your post has been edited or deleted, then posting “why was my post edited/deleted?” etc. will only make matters worse, so please don’t!
Please note that the moderators will not discuss member disciplinary situations with any other members due to privacy concerns.
OVAS reserves the right to change these rules at any time without prior notice. It is your responsibility to read any and all announcements regarding policy changes for this forum.
OVAS does NOT have any knowledge as to the accuracy of any posting or transaction and is not responsible for any business transactions that originate from posts in this forum or site.
OVAS does not receive any financial remuneration for any transactions on this forum.
You agree not to hold OVAS, its members and executive responsible for any material posted on this forum. The moderators and webmaster are here voluntarily, because we are trying to maintain a forum worthy of the tradition started with our club. Please show your appreciation for the venue we are providing.
By continuing to use our forum, you agree to abide by these rules. If you have any questions regarding the forums or how things work, please contact a moderator or webmaster with your question. We will answer these questions as promptly as possible.Thank you for helping make the Ottawa Valley Aquarium Society Community Forum as friendly for all users as possible!