Don’t jump right in without testing the waters! Aquariums and fish keeping can be very rewarding, but only if you’re doing it right. If you are a know-nothing-at-all kind of beginner or a hobbyist with a tight budget, get something simple and manageable. Something like the Coralife BioCube Aquarium Starter Kit.
It is a small scale aquarium with all the jazzy fixes that will satisfy your fish keeping, minus all the complexities and responsibilities that come with looking after a massive aquarium. But wait a minute.. … . .not so fast!
The convenience is great, we do admit. But will the Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium Starter Kits come through a winner in terms of quality and performance? What makes it different, or better, or worse than the next aquarium starter kit in the store? Well, let’s find out.
Coralife BioCube 32 Review
Design and Construction
Rember seeing those sleek, modern and elegant looking aquariums in movies? Well, the Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium is just that.. . .but smaller and more manageable. It has beautifully sleek and chic black body held by a transparent fish tank with smoothly curved edges that does not manipulate or change the view. It’s a stunner, no doubt.
This tank comes in 32 gallons capacity which measures 20.2 x 21.9 x 21.5 inches in dimensions. Perfect for setting up inside rooms!
Pump and Filtration System
Speaking of which, the Coralife Fish Tank comes with a submersible pump which is surprisingly quiet and discreet unlike most pumps it its class and price range. Connected to the built-in filtration system, this pump has dual intake along with an adjustable return nozzle. It is also customizable and fairly easy to clean.
As for the filtration system, it has 3 chambers in it: 1 for bacteria and algae growth, 1 for holding the submersible pump and the final chamber for holding the heater and phosphorus-based filtering media.
Getting the temperature right on your aquarium is SOOOOOOOOOOO important. The right temperature means the difference between a lush coral reef with vividly fluttering clown fishes or a dead reef with sick and gloomy aquatic life. Coralife Fish Tank is clearly aware of this.
This aquarium features a temperature control system that allows the user to have maximum control over it. They even included cooling fans inside the system to cool of the water from the heat of the LED lights.
Lighting and Ambience
Speaking of which, the lighting aspect of the Coralife Fish Tank is probably its most prized feature. This tanks comes with a 24-hour timer fixed onto the hood of the aquarium. This timer to used to set up the various different types of LED lighting ambiences in your aquarium for your precious babies.
It has 3 independent channels which include bright white, sparkling blue and color enhancing LEDs. You furthermore get 30 minute sunrise or sunset and 60 minutes of moonrise or moonset. All these lighting action is to establish a sense of realism with real world lighting during different times of the day. It is a great way to keep your aquarium dwellers happy and feeling at home!
Having said that, a little bird.. . .a whole flock actually told us that the lighting system tends to give up after some time. If not that, the timer will change the lights on its own. Definitely a FISHY system.
- Easy to set up
- Offers 24-hour timer with temperature lighting control
- Features several lighting modes
- Low maintenance
- Customizable filtration system
- Beautiful design
- Quiet operation
- Lights have tendency to malfunction
- Tank tends to crack upon impact
How To Set Up Coralife Biocube Aquarium
Coralife Biocube 32 Upgrades & Mods
Even though the Biocube 32 is an excellent startup kit for saltwater or reef aquarium, you can still upgrade it to unleash the full potential of this beast. Let’s check out some awesome upgrades that you can incorporate.
1. Coralife Designer Biocube Stand
Coralife Designer stand will give an aesthetic look to your setup. This stand is specially built for the Biocube 32 (or 16) by Coralife itself.
- Features door with black tinted acrylic panel for added elegance and slim handle
- Includes shelf for storing essential tools, equipment and food
- Designed with a solid back panel for added stability and cut-out holes to route electrical cords
- Includes stand feet to keep the base elevated
- Door features magnetic push latch mechanism
2. Extended Versions: Complete Saltwater Fish Only Bundle And Deluxe Reef Bundle
Considering public demand and to ease fish keepers life, Coralife has brought two extended version of this aquarium starter kit –
- Complete Saltwater Fish Only Bundle
- Deluxe Complete Reef Package
Let’s take a look at those packages to know what extra you will be getting –
- The Coralife Size 32 LED BioCube Aquarium COMPLETE SALTWATER FISH ONLY PACKAGE combines everything you will need to get your BioCube fish only saltwater aquarium started.
- Included with the Size 32 LED BioCube Aquarium are the: BioCube New & Improved Size 32 Stand, Coralife BioCube Submersible 5W Mini Clarifier, Two Little Fishies THREE-FIFTHS SIZE AccuraSea1 Artificial Saltwater Mix (Approx. 30 gallons), Inland Seas 6 oz Activated Carbon and BioCube Algae Cleaning Magnet.
- Also included are the Coralife Deep Six Hydrometer, Coralife Digital Aquarium Thermometer, Seachem Prime, 100 ml w/ 50 ml Measuring Cup, Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter7 250 ml, Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Master Test Kit and AquaTop 5" Fish Net, Fine Mesh Netting.
- This Coralife Size 32 BioCube Aquarium Ultimate Reef Bundle combines almost everything you will need to get your BioCube started, plus some key upgrades: the IceCap ATO (auto top off) and Hydor Aqamai WiFi Controllable Wavemaker Pump.
- Included with the Size 32 LED BioCube Aquarium are the: BioCube Stand; BioCube Protein Skimmer; IceCap ATO (auto top off); Hydor Aqamai WiFi Controllable Wavemaker Pump; Coralife Digital Aquarium Thermometer; CaribSea Seafloor Special Grade Reef Sand, 12 pounds; Two Little Fishies AccuraSea1 Artificial Saltwater Mix, 30 gallons (5 bags only).
- Also included are Egg Crate, Black Styrene, 15" x 11.5"; Inland Seas 6 oz Activated Carbon; Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Reef Master Test Kit; Two Little Fishies Aquastik Aquarium Epoxy Putty, Red, 2 oz; BioCube Algae Cleaning Magnet; MarineAndReef Refractometer; Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter7 250 ml; Inland Seas 6 oz Activated Carbon; and PhosGuard, 100 ml, bagged.
- The included Stand is the NEW AND IMPROVED BIOCUBE STAND. This NEW & IMPROVED VERSION features a solid back panel for added stability. No glue is required.
3. Biocube Filter Upgrade: inTank Media Basket
As the saying goes: there is no such thing as over filtration! So a little extra help with your existing filtration system can do a lot good for your livestock. This InTank Media Basket will fit right in the rear chamber of your Biocube and no modification would be required. Install it in Chamber Two after baffle wall and you are good to go.
- THE BEST FILTRATION UPGRADE. Fits Coralife LED BioCube 32 Aquarium
- Easily installs in Chamber Two after baffle wall. No modification needed to install the Media Basket. Included: Single design dual use water director/stay hold piece.
- Media Basket will operate standalone, extra equipment is not necessary. Features a built in handle. Forces water through filtration media and not just around it
- Media Basket is four sided with one being a removable door for easy and fast filter changes. Simple to use, greatly improves the filtration and clarity of your aquarium
- Made of strong, ultra-durable USA manufactured Acrylic. Lighting hood installs as normal, you still have access to the rear chambers
4. Biocube Refugium Upgrade: inTank Fuge Basket For Coralife LED Biocube 32
You can even grow Chaetomorpha or macroalgae by installing this Refugium basket. Fits perfectly with your Biocube’s rear chamber without any modification.
- Fits Coralife LED BioCube 32 Aquarium. One shelve design, two walls, bracing on top, open sided for maximum flow
- Easily installs in Chamber Two next to the inTank Media Basket. Features laser cut finger holes for easy install and removal
- Used for macro algae (Chaeto) or bioballs to hold it above the chamber floor preventing it from being pulled into the pump. Simple to use, allows you to create a refugium, add more biological or chemical media
- Made of strong, ultra-durable USA manufactured Acrylic. Lighting hood installs as normal, you still have access to the rear chambers
- Recommended to be used next to the inTank Media Basket as it boxes in this Fuge Basket. In a freshwater setup it is used to hold bioballs or ceramic media (place in large mesh bag)
5. Cleaning Magnet For Coralife Biocube
Consider it as an accessories to clean the algae from your Coralife glass. This magnet cleaner is specially designed to work with curved surface which makes it a perfect choice.
6. Protein Skimmer For Biocube
A protein skimmer will help you to save cost in the long run. It pulls out waste and gunk and as a result you will need less water change. This will save the cost of reef salt for your tank.
Coralife Biocube Protein Skimmer works perfectly with this setup. Fits right in the chamber 1 at the rear and do it’s job. To achieve even greater result you can use a more powerful pump.
Go for the Tunze 9001 Protein Skimmer if you want even more skimming power than the Coralife Biocube Protein Skimmer. Tunze will not fit in the first chamber but you can adjust it in the refugium section easily. But you need to remove the hood to make room for it.
- Effectively removes dissolved organics from saltwater
- For BioCubes and standard aquariums up to 32 gallons in size
- Features a self-priming pump making setup simple
- For fittings refer to user manual.
- Compact Size
- Energy Efficient
- Includes magnet mount
7. Coralife Biocube UV Sterilizer
Another awesome upgrade to fight microorganisms, algae spores and bacteria in your Coralife Biocube. Installation is quite easy. Though they are not super powerful with 5 watt UV bulb but works great with the setup.
- Removes free floating algae, parasites and harmful micro organisms from aquarium water
- Features a unique twist flow design increases water’s exposure to ultraviolet light improving the treatment of unwanted algae and microorganisms
- For fresh or saltwater applications
- Easy setup and installation, includes mounting brackets for hang-on or inline applications
- Indicator light lets you know when the sterilizer is operating
8. Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
Great choice for heating your reef tank with this sleek designed heater. Cobalt Neo-Therm has an adjustable thermostat and fits perfectly in the rear chamber of Coralife Biocube.
- Super-flat design. Fully submersible, modern design for energy efficient Aquarium and terrarium heating. Includes reversible holster/bracket, which allows heater to face inward or outward. See the product images to determine the best neo-therm size for your tank.
- Accurate, one-touch system. Simply set temperature between 66-96°f with one touch and the neo-therm electronic thermostat will maintain Tank temperature within +0.5°F. Led displays both set temp and actual temp, simultaneously.
- Ultimate safety and reliability. Integrated thermal protection circuitry prevents heater from overheating. If you forget to turn it off, the neo-therm will automatically shut it down.
- Virtually indestructible. Unlike cheap, glass heaters, the neo-therm is a resin/thermoplastic heater with a shatterproof outer-casing. Made in Poland and includes a 3-year warranty.
- Manufacturer You can trust. Most manufacturers rate their heaters on the ability to raise an aquarium 2-3°f above ambient temperatures. This is unreliable and misleading, as the average home fluctuates 2-3°f or more throughout the day. Cobalt rates The neo-therm on the ability to raise a tank 11°f above ambient temperatures, so you will never have to worry about overworking the neo-therm or it keeping up!
9. Lighting Upgrade for Coralife Biocube
If you decide to go for the Tunze 9001 Protein Skimmer then you need to remove the hood and as a result you will need a lighting system for your tank. A great choice would be Kessil 160WE Tuna Blue. You will have more choices of corals to grow with this powerful lighting upgrade.
- The a160we features Kessil`s new proprietary Kessil logic
- External controllability in addition to its enhanced manual controllability
- Shimmer Kessil lights are the only leds capable of producing a spectacular shimmer that rivals MH
- Spectrum Kessil led chips are manufactured in-house with spectrums customized for aquarist needs
10. Auto Top Off System: Tunze Osmolator Nano ATO
Evaporating water is a common issue in all tanks. For a saltwater tank the issue is even bigger as you need to maintain the salinity level. If you decide to remove the hood then you should install an auto top off system to fill up the evaporated water with some RODI water. Tunze Nano Osmolator is the perfect choice for this.
- Simple, complete, Auto Top Off System
- Designed for tanks up to 55gals
- Safety timer shuts off system after 1.8 or 3 minutes as set by user
- For Best Performance refer User Manual & Follow Instructions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- I’d like to buy a Coralife fish tank for my son. But is there a smaller size? Something he could sincerely take care of?
Answer: That’s a great way to incorporate hobby with responsibility, we think. For your son, you could dodge the size 32 of the Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium Starter Kits and go for the immediate smaller size which is the size 16 or 16 gallon-er. It has all the same benefits and features, but for a smaller tank.
- Do I have to buy a heater for the Coralife Fish Tank or is it included? If not, what heater should I get?
Answer: Heater is not included in the purchase of a Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium Starter Kits so yeah, you will need to buy one separately for yourself. As for the power of the heater, we think 150 watt should do fine for a tank that size.
- What is the flow rate of the pump on the Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium?
Answer: Good question. The flow rate on the factory assembled pump, as per the company’s information, is 264 GPH.
- What is the material of tank made of?
Answer: We are pretty sure it is glass, and not acrylic. Clean, clear and absolutely sharp. The curved edges do not distort either. We like it!
- What is the dimensions of the size 16 Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium?
Answer: The dimensions of the size 16 Coralife tank 15 inches in length, 16.75 inches in width and 17.5 inches in height.
The Coralife Fish Tank LED BioCube Aquarium Starter Kits is THE way to enjoy and relish the beauty and knowledge of an aquatic system without having to dive to rain money or experience. Although it isn’t anywhere near flawless, we still think its features offer a fabulous combination for beginners. Apart from the beauty and reward aspect of it, it is cheap and fairly capable of meeting your fish keeping standards. Thumbs up!
If you are still looking for further options then check out our massive review of the best nano reef tanks. With this, it’s a wrap! Thank you for staying with us. We are glad we could help and we will be back with more reviews next time. Take care!
Table of Contents
- Coralife BioCube 32 Review
- How To Set Up Coralife Biocube Aquarium
- Coralife Biocube 32 Upgrades & Mods
- 1. Coralife Designer Biocube Stand
- 2. Extended Versions: Complete Saltwater Fish Only Bundle And Deluxe Reef Bundle
- 3. Biocube Filter Upgrade: inTank Media Basket
- 4. Biocube Refugium Upgrade: inTank Fuge Basket For Coralife LED Biocube 32
- 5. Cleaning Magnet For Coralife Biocube
- 6. Protein Skimmer For Biocube
- 7. Coralife Biocube UV Sterilizer
- 8. Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater with Adjustable Thermostat
- 9. Lighting Upgrade for Coralife Biocube
- 10. Auto Top Off System: Tunze Osmolator Nano ATO
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final words