Personal Experience Reefkeeping: Patience or Persistence or Something Else?

An essay from one of our very experienced reef aquarists on what it takes to succeed in this hobby.
  1. From time to time I like to reflect on what I’ve been through during my reefkeeping years. From almost day one of this marvelous hobby, I was told, “You have to have patience” or “If you don’t have patience then you might as well stop."

    This got me thinking as of late. A good friend of mine assured me that I don’t have patience, but I am the most persistent person he’s met. I didn’t know if I should take this as a compliment or a slap in the face?

    Let’s look at the definitions shall we?

    Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

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    The image above is a royalty-free image from Pixabay.

    I think as a simple human being that having patience with anything is a stretch. We all run into problems with our aquariums from time to time. We deal with delay, trouble, and suffering.

    Do we get angry or upset? I know I have and still do from time to time. This is completely natural. Does this mean we don’t have patience? I don’t think so. I believe it’s how we deal with these setbacks and feelings that makes all the difference. Is it challenging? Sure it is! Sometimes we just have to let things run their course; other times we have to jump in and make a change. Does that mean we are not patient? That’s tough to say--sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and want to act when we should really wait. This is where advice from other experienced reefers comes in. This is what friends are for, they can assure us that either we need to have patience or we need to act to persevere!

    Persistence/perseverance: to continue resolutely despite difficulty, delay, or opposition in achieving success.

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    The image above is a royalty-free image from Pixabay.

    This is where I believe most long-term reefkeepers find themselves. They have persevered over almost every reefkeeping setback you can imagine. What makes them different? What makes them tick? They don’t give up! They meet the challenges head on and stick it out. They are not afraid to ask for help or advice and will do most anything to learn more about this hobby.

    I like to confuse the two different terms I guess. I believe that to be in this hobby you start with having some patience, but perseverance, my friends, is what will take you to a whole new level. This is what will make you successful long term.

    So in closing I’ll just say, the next time you get to interact with someone newer to the hobby, take them under your wing and show them how to be persistent!

    Stay Salty!!

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    The image above is a royalty-free image from Pixabay.

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    Note from the Editor: This essay, above, reminded me of one of my favorite quotes.

    "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

    Calvin Coolidge

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    Author Profile: @120reefkeeper

    Mike has been involved in the marine hobby both personally and professionally for over 20 years. His strengths are plumbing, welding and fabrication, tank builds, dosing, and automation. Mike is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. His favorite quote is, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “ Jesus Christ

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