If you have a Coralife Biocube 32 gallon aquarium, you have probably been looking for some upgrades to add to it. The one thing I noticed that was consistent among people who own this tank, is they believe their tank is not upgradeable. Well, I’m here to tell you that it is definitely upgradeable and you can really turn your Biocube 32 gallon into a beast of a reef tank!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Biocube 32 right out of the box the way it is. Here is my Biocube 32 tank and stand combo. You can easily use this tank with the included equipment, but if you really want to beef it up there is some great gear you can add or replace. Plus there are a few tips that I will show you in this article that can really help.
If you are looking to purchase the new upgraded model of the Biocube 32, check out their availability.
- Programmable hinge top hood with 24-hour timer loaded with bright white, blue and color enhancing LEDs
- Features 30-minute gradual sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset timer
- Integrate backwall filtration chambers to hold biological, mechanical and chemical media
The aquarium is available to buy on its own or you can purchase the stand with it to make a set. I recommend you consider the complete kit as it’s better valued and Coralife builds the stand to match that exact tank.
- 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
15 Best Coralife Biocube 32-gallon upgrades
There are quite a few different pieces of equipment that you can choose from to upgrade the stock gear that the tank comes with. Here are some options:
On top of buying the tank and stand combo, you can also purchase a deluxe reef bundle which includes everything you need to set up a new reef tank. It includes:
- Tank, stand, cover with new Led lighting
- BioCube Protein Skimmer
- Coralife Digital Aquarium Thermometer
- CaribSea Seafloor Special Grade Reef Sand
- AccuraSea 1 Salt
- Egg Crate
- Activated Carbon
- Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Reef Master Test Kit
- Two Little Fishies Aquastik Aquarium Epoxy Putty
- BioCube Algae Cleaning Magnet
- Coralife Deep Six Hydrometer
- Brightwell Aquatics MicroBacter7
- Seachem PhosGuard
So as you can see, that’s a lot of extra equipment added to this kit. Instead of buying each item separately, you can get it for a lower price all together in the same reef package. The only thing it doesn’t include is an aquarium heater which you can buy separate and for this sized tank, you don’t need anything too expensive or fancy.
- This Deluxe Reef Aquarium Bundle combines 6 products: the Coralife Size 32 LED BioCube Aquarium with the BioCube Stand, and NEW STYLE BioCube Protein Skimmer (V2) w/Needle Wheel along with a FREE Inland Seas 3 oz Activated Carbon, FREE BioCube Algae Cleaning Magnet and FREE MarineAndReef Reefractometer.
- The Coralife Size 32 LED BioCube Aquarium features LED lighting and timer capabilities–taking it to the next level of all-inclusive aquariums. It has a compact and customizable filtration chamber, hinge-top canopy design, quiet submersible pump, dual intakes, adjustable return nozzle and clear glass back panel for easy refugium set-up.
- The Coralife BioCube NEW STYLE Protein Skimmer (V2) w/Needle Wheel is a step up from the old skimmer that used an airstone and an air pump. This Skimmer fits perfectly in the back chamber of the BioCube.
The inTank media baskets are designed to improve the filtration ability of your Biocube 32. They are designed from solid acrylic and come with a 4-sided tower design system that will hold any filter media or padding you choose. No modification is necessary, these baskets fit right in the back of your Biocube and will greatly increase your options for filtration.
These are also designed to pair up perfectly with the Tunze 9001 protein skimmer. They will both fit in the rear chamber with no modifications needed.
Extra shelves can also be purchased separately here.
The new media baskets include the water director but you can purchase those separately here if needed.
- 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
Intank also makes a refugium basket for the Biocube 32. They are similar to the media baskets only designed to be set up as a refugium. This basket only includes 1 shelf leaving plenty of space for macroalgae like cheatomorpha, or bio-balls.
Just like the media basket, there is no modification required. It fits right into the rear chamber of your Biocube 32 and can be used in conjunction with the inTank media basket. The inTank fuge and media basket make a great pair and really improves the overall performance of your Biocube.
- 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
The Coralife algae cleaning magnet is great for the Biocube 32 as it is designed to be used with curved glass. They are small in size and don’t take up much space in your tank. They are affordable and do a good job cleaning algae from your glass. Don’t expect them to scrape hardened on algae, they are not strong enough for that. But for cleaning small amounts of algae on a regular basis, this magnet will work for you.
The Biocube protein skimmer is a great addition to any of the Biocube size tanks. They are designed to specifically fit into chamber 1 of the rear section and you are able to close the hood of the tank without doing modifications. There are many poor reviews online about this skimmer, but in my opinion, most people are not using them correctly.
Like any skimmer, they need time to break in and start working properly. These skimmers are not designed to be powerhouses and pull tons of skimmate from your tank right away. I find the included pump to be under powered so if you have a stronger pump laying around, I would suggest using it. I find any air pump that is rated for a 10-gallon tank will work great.
I use the Biocube protein skimmer on my 32-gallon tank. It works for me. There is an alternative skimmer that you can use if you prefer. The Tunze 9001 is an improvement over the Biocube skimmer. See number 9 in this list below.
- 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 anyone who owns the Biocube 32, you will notice a 1/2″ gap that is present between the false wall and the splash lens. The inTank fish saver guard will prevent livestock from leaving the display tank and entering the sump area.
These are easy to install and include 2 clips to fit over the back wall. They will fit the Biocube 29 and 32-gallon tanks. Once installed they generally don’t have to be removed. They are black in color which hides its appearance.
- Fits Coralife BioCube 29. Fits Coralife LED BioCube 32. Perfectly designed to follow the contours of the BioCube aquarium
- Blocks the 1/2" gap that is present between the false wall and the splash lens
- Made of high quality, super strong ABS plastic. Features two integrated clips for an easy install over the false wall
The Biocube UV sterilizer was designed to work will all Coralife Biocube tanks. This is a mini 5w UV light that will easily kill any undesirable free-floating organisms that pass through it. It will help clear cloudy water and take care of algae blooms. These units are easy to install and have running in minutes. They are not a powerhouse UV sterilizer but work great on a Biocube 32.
- 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
Chances are once you have your new Biocube tank, you will need a heater for it. Heaters are not supplied with the kit so you will need to purchase one separately. Many types of heaters will work with this tank but I recommend the Cobalt Neotherm heater.
This heater will fit perfectly in the rear chamber so you won’t see it in the tank and the power cord will be hidden. I also recommend the 150-watt model. It is rated for tanks up to 40 gallons. The Cobalt heaters are a bit more expensive than other heaters but they are worth it. They are durable and reliable, 2 things you want in an aquarium heater. Plus they have a great modern look and the thin design is really cool.
- 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.
If you really want to beef up your Biocube 32 skimming capability, check out the Tunze 9001. This is a compact skimmer that will fit in the rear chamber of the Biocube. It will not fit in the first chamber as the Coralife skimmer does, but you can fit it into the refugium section.
The Tunze 9001 is an upgrade from the Coralife protein skimmer. Tunze is a great brand and their equipment is reliable and well built. Yes, this skimmer will outperform the other skimmer, but there is a big problem with it. The Tunze 9001 will not fit with the hood of the tank closed. You will either need to perform some sort of modification or use it with the hood removed. If you decide to go that route, you will need to change to a different lighting source. If you don’t mind removing the hood and go with a topless tank, then the Tunze 9001 is a great choice.
As mentioned above, if you decide to remove the hood of your Biocube 32, you will need to change the lighting. The included LED lighting that comes with the tank is great and will be suitable for soft corals and some low light LPS corals. But if you are like me, I decided to try some different corals that have higher lighting requirements, so I removed the hood of my Biocube and installed the Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue LED.
The Kessil A160 is capable of handling all coral types and is one of the premium LED lights in the hobby. You can’t go wrong with Kessil. The nice thing about this light on the Biocube is that it fits perfectly with the gooseneck mount and it looks great. Very modern and sleek design. The shimmer that these lights produce is unmatched and I am a huge fan of these lights. It makes for a really nice upgrade to the Biocube 32 gallon tank.
- 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
Here is my Biocube 32 with the Kessil A160WE installed. I also use the Spectral controller which is not needed but allows for full programming of the Kessil LED. You will also need the gooseneck mount which fits the Biocube 32.
The Inkbird temperature controller is one of the best purchases I ever made for my tank. They are inexpensive and will protect your tank from unexpected heater malfunctions which can wipe out a reef tank very easily. Trust me I know. You can read about that here.
These temperature controllers will provide a digital display of the current temperature and set temperature. You can set it to come on and off within 1 degree allowing for a stable and consistent water temperature in your tank. They are reliable and I highly recommend you have one of these for your Biocube tank.
- 🥇🥇【Easy to use】 Supports °C/°F display.
- 🥇🥇【Dual relay】able to power refrigeration and heating equipment as conditions change.
- 🥇🥇【Dual Display Window】Displays measured temperature and set temperature at the same time.
If you have multiple pieces of equipment hooked up to your Biocube, then you most likely have power cords all over the place and unorganized. The ADJ PC100A power bar is perfect for the Biocube 32 tank that will not only keep everything organized, but it fits perfectly on the top shelf of the Coralife stand so it is easy to access.
There are 8 LED rocker switches that you can label so you know what piece of equipment is plugged into each port. Each port will take 3 pronged plugs. It’s really nice that the switched are lighted so you can easily see them in the dark. This power bar is a great way to upgrade your tank. I have had this power bar for over a year with no issues and it was a great choice.
- CREATE AN ORGANIZED BOOTH: The ADJ A/C Power Center allows you to omit clutter and keep cords organized. Don't break your neck in the dark tripping over cluttered wires.
- CONNECT YOUR DEVICES: The A/C Power Unit is constructed with 8 120v 3-prong Edison sockets and a built in 15 amp circuit breaker that provide lasting power to your devices.
- SEE IN THE DARK: Each power socket contains a lighted rocker switch that makes it easy to see in dimly lit clubs. Never lose control of your lighting!
Like all saltwater tanks, water does evaporate and will need to be replaced with RODI water to keep the water levels stable. If you are using a Biocube 32 gallon tank with the hood removed, then your water will evaporate even quicker. The best way to prevent water from evaporating from your tank and keep your salinity consistent is by using an auto top off system.
The Tunze Osmolator Nano ATO is a perfect choice for the Biocube 32. It is rated for tanks under 55 gallons. It has a simple design that is easy to install into the rear chamber of the Biocube tank. The pump itself can be hidden inside the stand. The Tunze ATO is a great choice for replacing evaporated water in small tanks that is reliable and well built.
- 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
The return pump of the Biocube 32 gallon tank is rated at 264 GPH. Which if you do the math is a tank turnover rate of around 8. For some people, this may be suitable if you have a fish only tank or a few soft corals. I mentioned in the article what size aquarium wavemaker do I need, that the average turnover rate in your tank should be 20-30X your tank water volume.
So adding more flow to the Biocube 32 can be done by including a wavemaker or powerhead. You can also change the return pump size as well. Adding a wavemaker will give you more options with respect to flow management. Certain corals will require additional flow while others do not.
The Koralia nano circulation pump is the perfect pump for the Biocube 32 if you are looking for a bit more flow in the tank. They are very small in size and will bump up that turnover rate into the range that you desire. You could purchase the model which is rated at 425 GPH so including both the return this pump and the Koralia will bring you into the 690 GPH range which is now over the 20X turnover rate you are looking for.
- New and improved patented vibration absorbing magnet and suction cup support.; Can safely hold the Koralia Nano 425 positioned in tanks with glass (or acrylic) up to 1/2" thick.
- Flow rate of 425 gph; Ideal for fresh water aquariums from 28 to 50 gallons; Salt water aquariums from 15 to 30 gallons
- Power absorbed: 4 Watts. 50% less power consumption and up to 20% more water flow when compared to previous Koralia models
If you decide that the Biocube 32 stock return pump is not producing enough flow for you then you can swap it out for the Sicce 1.5 return pump. This is a small pump that will fit into the return pump chamber of the rear sump area. It is rated at 357 GPH so it will give you close to an additional 100GPH over the stock return pump.
Sicce is a reliable brand and this pump is known to be quiet and work well. Many people have swapped out the included return pump for this one. Personally, I have no problem with the stock return pump but if I do upgrade, I will go with the Sicce 1.5.
- SYNCRA SILENT: This pump is designed to pair elevated performance and energy efficiency with extreme silence. It is the perfect pump to provide constant movement in a completely silent environment.
- VERSATILE: The Syncra Silent line of pumps is ideal for aquariums, indoor fountains, and all submersible or in-line applications which require high performance and total silence.
- PRODUCT DETAIL: The 1.5 pump is perfect for both wet and dry. Features taller suction cups to prevent vibrations. An AISI 316 Stainless steel shaft and stepped hoses are included.
So as you can see there are many options available if you want to upgrade your Biocube 32 gallon tank. Many people have said that they are a basic tank and not really upgradeable but clearly that is not the case! Once you add some of these upgrades to your tank, let me know on Facebook and show everyone your setup!