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WAMAS Tank of the Month

Howard Isenberg (HowardofNOVA)

Congratulations Howard, on being selected WAMAS tank of the month.

About the Tank

  • 2 Firefish
  • 1 Tennenti tang
  • 2 Percula Clownfish
  • 1 Swissguard Basslet
  • 2 Blue Hippo Tangs
  • 1 Copperband
  • 1 Heraldi Angelfish
  • Blue Neon Gobies
  • 2 Green Mandarin
  • 1 Yellow Eye Kole (Frag Tank)
  • 1 Disappearing Wrasse

Experience in hobby

How long have you been doing this?

My father and I had over 20 FW tanks when I was young, but I didn't get into SW until about 2003.

Who got you into the hobby?

My x called me about a lady whose husband abandoned her, 5 kids and their 30g tank. Sad story, but the free tank got me started! I've spent a little since!

Who in the hobby most influences you?

There has been several. I met Craig Kuhn at "The Reef Tank"/WAMAS Social to get into WAMAS, Rik Leishman, I got my first coral from him (Still have, Sarcophyton), but by far, Chip "Flowerseller" Frederick, have all become great friends!

Tank setup and equipment

I have a 90g Jeff "NAGA" Haddock Acrylic 3'x2'x2' Reef Tank & sump, MAG18 going to 15w UV Sterilizer, GreySeas Media Reactor & 1" SS in Maintank & 30g Frag Tank. The system also includes a MAG18 to DIY Chip O'Downdraft Skimmer, Three Dual T5 36" 39w Retro Kits (BRK) on Main Tank and Two on the 30g Frag Tank. The stand/canopies are custom made and I dose Kalk and calcium.

  • Leathers
  • Zoos
  • LPS
  • SPS
  • Millis
  • Tyree LE Green Polyp Toadstool
  • Superman
  • Sunset Monti
  • Tricolor Monti
  • Australian Super Green Blastomussa
  • Red Echinophyllia

What and Who turned you on to T5's? Why? What is your experience with them?

Jean Marie' Le Grand "JMsAquarium", his growth was awesome and great colors! In this area, the less heat you have to deal with the better IMO!

What is your maintenance schedule like?

I do 5g+ water changes weekly. I clean the glass as needed, Change Carbon every 5-6wks. Have to admit, busy schedule makes this tough, but working to automate as much as possible. Using ACJr now and working great!

What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank?

I've had a KolpC Calcium Reactors for over 2yrs, time to hook it up! Hope to buy a house next year and plans for a 300-500g system. I plan on keeping my custom 90g Acrylic Tank from Jeff "NAGA" Haddock as long as I can, But in about a year or so when I hopefully become a home owner again, I want to put in a In-Wall Tank about 8'x4'x30". I love the depth that the 4' give in landscaping and I like the 2' depth of my current tank, but don't want to go more than 30" on any future tank! Do my scuba diving in the ocean!

What makes your setup special or unique?

My setup is very low tech. my setup is designed to be hands off.

We all have weird witches brew that we use on our tanks, what is your favorite homemade reef concoction and what does it helps with? Have you seen any success/improvement after using it?

Outside of Kalk drip, I have not tried alot of chemicals on a consistant basis. Only concoction I can recommend is my frozen feed mix (Notice all the fat fish): 1 piece Krill, Cyclopeez, Mysis and a couple cubes of Formula One in plastic container with RO/DI and thawed in frig. Feed fish once in morning and again in evening. Will add a couple of Silversides for Anenomes which I feed 2x a week with 1/2 piece each.

What is the most off the wall method you use on your tank that not many other reefers would dare to try?

I guess just KISS! Basics work!

What is your most successful propagated coral?

After all these years, still learning! I would say Leathers and GSP!

What species of fish would you like one day see it bred in captivity? Why?

My Crossguard Basslett, Beautiful fish, but a bit pricey!


You have been a part of WAMAS for over 4 years, what is your most treasured memory in the club?

While alot of good memories! I guess winning the Free Scuba Lessons from Adventure Scuba in Chantilly! Was awesome learnng how to dive with my daughter Lindsey and later Jessica!

What are your other hobbies?

Too many: Archery Hunting, Fishing, Landscaping and best is Diving with daughters (Need to do more!).

What kind of music are you into right now?

Everything from RocknRoll to Classics, not much into Rap.

Who would you most like to meet past present or future?

John Wayne, W and Charlton Heston

If you could go one place on earth where would it be?


What draws your attention about Australia?

Actually New Zealand! My Grandfather, "God rest his soul", use to tell me about there during his visit in WWII

What is the most interesting place (related to the hobby) you have visited in the US and what made it so special?

Diving with my daughters in the Keys!

With all this pollution on the reefs ecosytem, what are you doing to contribute to save the reef?

I will not dump ANY algae or tank debris/waste into the toilet or sink!! Every water change will go to the lawn, not in the drains!

Why did you choose the screen name you did?

Howard of Northern Virginia.

Football or basketball?

Anything Pittsburgh, Steelers, Pens, Pirates.

  • Coco Worm
  • 2 Huge RBTA
  • Neon Blue Striped Hermits
  • Sallie Hermits
  • Red Tipped Mexican Hermits
  • Cerith Snail
  • Nassarius Snail
  • Chestnut Snail

Scotch or burbon?

Captain Morgan Rum, Remy Cognac and Tequila

The piece of equipment you think is the best investment?

Long handled forceps and Refractometer!

Money wasted?

Cheap Plastic Salinity Checkers, should be outlawed!!

In your experience, what words of wisdom would you share with our young upcoming reefer population?

Learn the Basics, READ, LISTEN and ASK QUESTIONS!!!

Where would you like to see this hobby in the next 10 years?

100% Aqua Cultures, but if we can get to a point where at least 1/2 of the corals are home grown that would be awesome! It really worries me with all the recent "NEW Aussie Corals" out there that somewhere a reef is being wiped out in the name of a buck!