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Frequently Asked Questions

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Top Questions
  1. Will Marine Aquarium 3 work with Windows Vista and Windows 7?

    Yes.

    Marine Aquarium 3 is compatible with recent versions of Windows. If you run into any trouble, please e-mail us with a detailed description of the problem.


  2. How do I upgrade to the newest version of Marine Aquarium?

    To upgrade from an older version of Marine Aquarium to Marine Aquarium 3.1, please see our website HERE.

    Please note that there are separate instructions for CD and download customers.

    Thank you for your continued interest!
  3. I lost my Keycode OR I made my purchase but have not received my keycode.

    Please go HERE and sign into your account to retrieve your keycode.

    If this procedure does not work, e-mail us the following information where applicable and we can retrieve your information from our customer database:

    • The full name you registered under.
    • The Order Number from your confirmation e-mail.
    • Both the first four AND last four numbers of the credit card you used.
    • Your email address at the time of purchase.
    • Your old Keycode. (If you are upgrading from an older code)
    • The store you purchased from.
    • The date of your purchase.

  4. The fish swim slowly and/or Marine Aquarium freezes.


    Slow animation, jittering, or freezing can be caused by a variety of things. Let's try a few of the basics and see what might be causing the issue:

    1. IMPORTANT: Be sure that your video card has 64 megabytes or more of video memory and an up to date driver. Do not skip this step! Even if your computer is brand new or you have recently updated drivers, there can still be problems in this area.

      Click HERE for more information on your video card and how to check it.

    2. Start the program, hit the “S” key. This will display a number of statistics in the upper left hand corner of the aquarium. Locate “Sleep”.. Using up arrow key on your keyboard raise this setting to thirty (30).

    3. Examine the programs in your System Tray (The area just to the left of the clock on the Taskbar). Placing your mouse cursor over the icons will give you the full names of the items. If you have Windows XP you may have to "Show hidden icons" using the small circle and arrow button to the left of the System Tray.

      If the icon is Windows or another program waiting to update, run the updates then continue.

      If the icon is not one of your basic system functions (volume, task manager, mouse, video card, printer, etc.) exit, disable or close the program. Right-clicking will usually give you options. Then, check if Marine Aquarium exhibits the same behavior.

    4. Double-check your computer for spyware or viruses.

    If none of the above solves your problem, please contact us using the Tech Support page HERE.


  5. Will I receive a CD with my online order?

    No.

    We no longer manufacture CDs of Marine Aquarium, but you can find Marine Aquarium CDs at the following online retailers:

    Amazon.com

    Avanquest.com

    NovaDevelopment.com



  1. None whatsoever.

    Our downloads do not include spyware or adware of any kind. Just a clean installation file for the program. However, there are companies and software pirates that grab popular online products and alter them to include invasive spyware and even viruses.

    If this has happened to you, please contact us by e-mail and let us know the address of the web site that sold or offered you our product.

    There is a free product called AdAware, that we ourselves use. This program gets rid of all sorts of spyware, etc. on your machine you might not know about. AdAware can be downloaded from LavaSoft.





    • If you lost your keycode or never received a keycode you purchased go HERE

    • If you don't recall the email you registered under or no longer have access to your old email account you will need to log into your account and modify your profile information as outlined in our FAQ HERE

    • If you have an older keycode and wish to upgrade please see our FAQ entry HERE

    • If you have an older keycode and are not interested in purchasing an upgrade, you can download the older versions of Marine Aquarium as outlined HERE




  1. Go to our Homepage

    On the right-hand side of the screen you will see a customer sign in box.

    Please enter your account name and password in the appropriate text entry fields and hit enter or click Log In.

    NOTE: If you have lost or do not remember your account name or password please e-mail us with the information outlined here.

    After you sign in you will be redirected to your account page.

    To manage your account simply locate the "Your Cart" box on the left side of the screen and select the aspect of your account you wish to access or modify.

    • View Cart - Lists any product purchase you have pending from our website.

    • Checkout - Takes you to the checkout page where you can finalize your pending purchases.

    • Modify Profile - Allows you to modify your personal information(including email), password, and mailing lists.

    • Delete profile - Deletes your account. Warning Deleting your profile will remove all reference to your account from our server, making it impossible to retrieve your product in the future.

    • Orders History - Allows you to view and search your product order history. You can retrieve your keycodes from here.




  2. Please go HERE and sign into your account to retrieve your keycode.

    If this procedure does not work, e-mail us the following information where applicable and we can retrieve your information from our customer database:

    • The full name you registered under.
    • The Order Number from your confirmation e-mail.
    • Both the first four AND last four numbers of the credit card you used.
    • Your email address at the time of purchase.
    • Your old Keycode. (If you are upgrading from an older code)
    • The store you purchased from.
    • The date of your purchase.




  3. There are three things that can cause this:

    1. Some characters in the keycode can be easily confused (i.e. capital O and zero, capital I and the number one, etc.). Try to copy and paste your keycode into the programs registration space to avoid any possible input errors. For detailed instructions on copying and pasting, see our entry HERE. Also, if you are upgrading from a CD you will need to make sure it is in the drive while entering the keycode.

    2. Your copy of the program may have been corrupted during download or installation. Try downloading a new copy of the program and reinstalling it. Be sure to deactivate your anti-virus programs for the duration of the download and install.

    3. You may be attempting to use your keycode in another one of our programs or an earlier version. Please make sure that the version you downloaded is the version you purchased. (i.e. - the Marine Aquarium 2.0 keycode will not work with the Marine Aquarium 3.1).

      For a list of download links for older versions of Marine Aquarium, see our entry HERE.




  4. Keycodes and CDs will not work between the separate Marine Aquarium series (.99, 1.0, 2.0, 3.x, etc.). In order to prevent piracy, we modify the keycode system for each new release of Marine Aquarium. If you wish to use a new version of Marine Aquarium, and you have an old keycode, you will have to acquire an upgraded keycode.

    For more information on upgrading, please click
    HERE.

    Lastly, keycodes that we find posted on the Internet are automatically deactivated in our database. You are urged to NEVER give out your keycode to anyone. If you do, they might post YOUR keycode to a website or forum. At that point we will be forced to disable the keycode. We ONLY disable keycodes that are posted to the Internet, or from customers that could not get the product to work on their computer. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN WE "RE-ACTIVATE" A KEYCODE. We apologize for any inconvenience.




  1. To install the the latest version of Marine Aquarium 3, please see our entries on Demo and Full installations.

    To access downloads for older versions of the program please go HERE.

    If Marine Aquarium is having problems and you want to re-install, follow the procedures we outline HERE.





  2. To test Marine Aquarium, download the progam and activate the demo mode as outlined below:

    1. Download the newest release of Marine Aquarium 3 from HERE.
    2. After downloading, double-click the installer file.This will run the Setup Wizard. Read and follow the instructions to complete the installation.
    3. Once the installation process is complete, there should be a new icon on your desktop. Double-click this icon to bring up the registration window.
    4. Type TESTFISH into the registration window. This will unlock the demo mode and run Marine Aquarium.

    Let Marine Aquarium run for a little while to be sure everything is working properly. If you have any problems consult the Troubleshooting section of our FAQ.





  3. Once you have purchased your keycode you can activate the full version of Marine Aquarium. To properly install Marine Aquarium, and activate the full version, follow the instructions below (If you have already installed the newest demo version, skip to step #6):

    1. IMPORTANT: Before installing, be sure your anti-virus software is deactivated for the duration of the download and install.

    2. Delete any old versions of Marine Aquarium on your system to avoid conflicts.

    3. Download the newest release of Marine Aquarium 3.1 from HERE

    4. After downloading the program, find the folder you downloaded to and double-click on the Marine Aquarium file. This will run the Setup Wizard, which will install Marine Aquarium on your computer, simply read and follow the instructions for installation.

    5. Once the installation process is complete, there should be a new icon on your desktop entitled Marine Aquarium 3 with a picture of two fish over a starfish. Double-click the new icon to bring up the registration page.

    6. If you are Upgrading from an older CD using a CD upgrade keycode, place your CD in the computer now. Click Exit or Cancel on any automatic window that may appear. If you are not upgrading from an older CD version, please skip this step.

    7. Double-click the new Aquarium icon to bring up the registration page.

    8. Copy and paste your keycode into the registration space to avoid any possible input errors (Some characters can be easily mixed up i.e. the letter O and zero, capital I and the number one, etc.) and press enter.

    9. Once the program is running, you can press the space bar to change your settings.

    10. Do not forget to reactivate your anti-virus software when you are finished.




  4. To upgrade from an older version of Marine Aquarium to Marine Aquarium 3.1, please see our website HERE.

    Please note that there are separate instructions for CD and download customers.

    Thank you for your continued interest!





  5. Windows XP

      This is possible; however we will have to refer you to Microsoft's Support website for information on how to perform this procedure.

      IMPORTANT: Be sure to read all of the instructions carefully as this procedure is for advanced users.

      Click the link below to be taken to the Microsoft Support website.
      How To Change the Windows Logon Screen Saver in Windows XP

    Windows Vista

      Windows Vista does not currently support using 3rd party Screensavers in the Log on Screen. However, we have discovered that there are tutorials out there that outline workaround solutions.

      IMPORTANT: We cannot recommend these solutions and advise you to use caution even if you are an advanced user.

      A simple Google search for "Vista Log on Screensaver" should point you to one of these tutorials.





  1. Press the space bar while the program is running. This will bring up the Settings window. Click on the "Fish Settings" Button. This will take you to the Fish selection page of the Settings window.

    Fish Library - In the top right area of the window you will find a visual library of colorful Fish to choose from. Marine Aquarium 3 allows you to choose fish from
    twenty-nine different species (plus one Ochre Starfish) and supports a population of up to thirty fish in the tank at one time.
    Selecting Individual Fish - To select a fish, just mouse over the kind you want and left click, a box will appear around it. The number to the lower left of the fish will tell you how many of this specific kind will appear in the tank, no number to the left of the fish means the fish is set to appear randomly. An "X" next to the fish means that this kind is "turned off" and will not appear in the tank until you turn it back on, as outlined in the Individual Fish Population section below.

    Fish Information Box - On the top left you will find vital information on the fish you have just selected.

      Populating the Tank

    • Individual Fish Population - Directly below the Fish Information Box are settings to govern the population of the individual fish you have selected. Clicking on the arrow keys at the bottom of the fish information box will increase or decrease the population of this particular fish in the tank.

    • General Fish Population - Below the Individual Fish Population settings are the settings for General Population. The upper number indicates how many fish in your tank are set to randomly appear, the lower number governs the total number of fish in the tank. Clicking on the arrows to the left of this number will correspondingly increase or decrease the overall population of the tank.

    Setting Individual Fish to "Random" - Clicking the down arrow to none will bring up a “?” which sets the fish to “Random”. This fish will now randomly appear in the tank every time you start the program (assuming you have any random slots assigned, more on this below)

    Setting Individual Fish to "Off" - Clicking the down Arrow past the "?" will turn the fish off, effectively removing it from the tank until you choose to change this setting. Alternatively you may simply click the "Disable Fish" box.

    Setting all Fish on/off or Random - See Global Settings(below).

    Fish Sets - Fish Sets allow you to save your favorite tank configurations for easy access later. Clicking the "New Set" button will allow you to name and save your current tank. Next to “Fish Sets” is the “Cycle Fish Sets” radio button. Checking this will cause the program to cycle through your saved Fish Sets.

    Global Settings - In the lower mid to lower right section of the window are buttons that help you quickly set fish to all on, all off, or all random. This is good for quickly changing things around if you are bored and want a nice suprise, but don't forget to save your current configuration as a "Fish Set" before you do so or you'll lose it!!





  1. Slow animation, jittering, or freezing can be caused by a variety of things. Let's try a few of the basics and see what might be causing the issue:

    1. IMPORTANT: Be sure that your video card has 64 megabytes or more of video memory and an up to date driver. Do not skip this step! Even if your computer is brand new or you have recently updated drivers, there can still be problems in this area.

      Click
      HERE for more information on your video card and how to check it.

    2. Start the program, hit the “S” key. This will display a number of statistics in the upper left hand corner of the aquarium. Locate “Sleep”.. Using up arrow key on your keyboard raise this setting to thirty (30).

    3. Examine the programs in your System Tray (The area just to the left of the clock on the Taskbar). Placing your mouse cursor over the icons will give you the full names of the items. If you have Windows XP you may have to "Show hidden icons" using the small circle and arrow button to the left of the System Tray.

      If the icon is Windows or another program waiting to update, run the updates then continue.

      If the icon is not one of your basic system functions (volume, task manager, mouse, video card, printer, etc.) exit, disable or close the program. Right-clicking will usually give you options. Then, check if Marine Aquarium exhibits the same behavior.

    4. Double-check your computer for spyware or viruses.

    If none of the above solves your problem, please contact us using the Tech Support page HERE.






  2. We have found that Marine Aquarium can be stopped or minimized by Windows when another device or program steals priority from your system's processor. This can be caused by any combination of the following:

    1. Wireless hardware, like mice and keyboards, send signals to the computer that can prevent Windows from calling up a screen saver. Try updating the drivers for your wireless devices.

    2. Programs running in the background. Nearly all computers have programs and utilities running in the background, not noticed, but requiring resources to operate. Some of these programs are less obtrusive than others.

      Examine the programs in your System Tray (The area just to the left of the clock on the Taskbar). Placing your mouse cursor over the icons will give you the full names of the items. If you have Windows XP you may have to "Show hidden icons" using the small circle and arrow button to the left of the System Tray.

      If it is not one of your basic system functions (volume, task manager, mouse, video card, printer, etc.) exit, disable or close the program. Right-clicking will usually give you options.

    3. Windows or another program is trying to update. Be sure that ALL programs on your system have been updated or do not update automatically.

    4. Viruses and spyware can steal a lot of system resources; in fact this is one of the symptoms of being infested with this malevolent software. Update and run your antivirus program. Do a full system scan to be sure that your computer is clean.





    1. If you are not hearing sound when the program starts please check the Program Settings as outlined HERE. Make sure there are checks in the boxes next to Music and Bubble Sound.

    2. If you still cannot hear any sounds please make sure that your speakers are properly connected and set up.

    3. Failing that you will need to try updating or reinstalling your sound card driver.






  3. AutoCAD or some other program has changed the association of the .scr file type, meaning Windows no longer sees files with the .scr extension as screen saver files, but as another type of file. While Marine Aquarium will run normally as a screen saver, you cannot use the Aquarium shortcut on your Desktop. Here is a way to work around that:

    1. Open your My Documents folder and select "View" ("Tools" for Windows XP) from the Menu Bar then click on "Folder Options..."

    2. Click the "View" tab, uncheck "Hide file extensions for known file types" and click the "Apply" button. This will allow you to view the file extensions for all files.

    3. Close your My Documents window.

    4. Right-click on the Marine Aquarium 3.1 desktop shortcut and select "Properties". This will bring up the Shortcut properties window.

    5. Click the FIND TARGET... button at the bottom of the Shortcut properties window. This will take you right to the MarineAquarium3.scr file on your hard drive.

    6. Right-click the MarineAquarium3.scr file and select "Copy".

    7. Go back to your Desktop, right-click any empty space and select "Paste". A copy of MarineAquarium3.scr should appear on your Desktop.

    8. Right-click on the new MarineAquarium3.scr icon and select "Rename" from the menu.

    9. Change the icons name to MarineAquarium3.exe.

    10. Delete the old Marine Aquarium 3.1 shortcut from your Desktop.

    11. You can now run Marine Aquarium 3.1 manually by double-clicking the new icon.

    12. If you are using an older version of Marine Aquarium, the above instructions are the same except for the program's file name. To see a list of the Marine Aquarium file names, click HERE.





  1. Most computers have several layers of protection against burn-in:

    Better technology
    Advancements in monitor hardware and software mean that todays monitors are less likely to burn-in.

    Energy saver options
    To save electricity, monitors will switch to an energy saving mode after a period of time, either reducing the brightness of the display or turning off the display entirely.

    Screen savers
    Finally, there are an incredible number of screen savers that display moving images to reduce the persistence of a single image on the screen helping to avoid burn-in.

    However, even with these advancements and options, in rare cases, burn-in can still occur. To prevent burn-in, we recommend the following:

    • Different monitors have different needs when it comes to burn-in. You should check the users manual for specific information, or even contact the manufacturer, just to be sure what steps you can take for your specific monitor.

    • Set the energy saver options to turn off your monitor when not in use for a long period of time.

    • With any of our products older products, the background and foreground lighting change constantly on an automatic cycle. If you are concerned about burn-in, do not turn off this cycle.

      MA3 is different than the MA1 or MA2 series of our products in that it does not have an automatic light cycle, instead the program pans from right to left which create a constantly moving background which should help your monitor prevent burn in. Changing this setting, or stopping it will increase the risk of burn in and should be done so with caution.






  1. If you purchased a CD from a retail store or from
    Encore Software, you can register this product using the link below:

    Encore Software Registration Page

    Products purchased directly from our website as an electronic download do not need to be registered, all of your information was entered into our database at the time of purchase. However, if you did not check any of the mailing list options when you made your purchase then you will receive no notices regarding updates or special offers.






  2. The best way to keep up with our products is to check out the
    Fan Site. This site is complete with wish lists, a fish library, and discussion forums.

    Specific information on the dates and version numbers along with added feature lists for the beta test are also available on our sitesite.




For further Technical Assistance please check
our Customer Support page.



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