As someone who's spent a lifetime in the hobby, I'm shockingly less stubborn than you'd expect. In fact, I'm open-minded to the point where I actually listen to my fellow fish geeks, gleaning little pearls of wisdom along the way.
Here are 3 of the best lessons learned from the best people I know- my fellow fish geeks!
Stay "true" to the species. Don't force fit them to "adapt" to conditions that are easier for you to maintain, less expensive to provide, or quicker to create. Fish kind of have a way of "knowing" if you're not giving them exactly what they want. It's called NOT SPAWNING. In almost every instance, spawning a fish requires you to provide the exact conditions that the FISH need, NOT the ones that are your personal faves. I'd love to keep and spawn Mbuna in a blackwater aquarium, really- but that ain't gonna happen. Nope.
Specialize in at least one hobby "niche." Or at least, learn all you can about a few specialized areas. Yeah, really get deep into some stuff, wether it's about plants, breeding Spiny Eels, culturing live foods, or building glass aquariums- just crush it! Become an expert of sorts. Why, you ask? Because it's important in the grand scheme of the hobby to have lots and lots of hobbyists who know all about a few things. This helps countless others solve their problems. And let it be known. Share your expertise on social media, club forums, etc. As a "resource", other hobbyists will know that they can turn to you for the definitive answers on how to culture microworms! Yeah. Sweet.
(Extra credit)- Specializing in a species or type of fish is good for you- because you develop an expertise in the fish...and great for the hobby in general, and wild populations of the species you work with....always a good thing, right?)
Build a "team" of hobbyists you can refer to for assistance. Yeah, make friends. Tough for some of you curmudgeonly types, but it's actually easy in today's "I-can-hide-behind-my-iPad-screen-on-the-couch-in-my-underwear-while being social" society. Having other hobbyists who have experience in an area you're into is not only a cool social experience, it helps "widen the reach" of knowledge within the hobby. I mean, if you get help from "Jan in Oslo" about the blackwater tank you're building, then when "Rick in Denver" needs some help, YOU will be in a position to pass it on... Go team!
Patience. Always patience.
We'll see you tomorrow!
Until next time...
Stay inspired by others. Stay true to yourself. Stay patient...
And Stay Wet.