It’s been a while since the Oceanic BioCube with the open top design came out, and while we’re not typically fans of stock all-in-one nano aquariums, this new HQI BioCube looked pretty neat in the vendor hall at MACNA. Ditching the old hood style lighting scheme, this new nano features a 150-watt double ended HQI metal halide setup that is mounted to a swing arm that easily flips back and out of the way whenever an aquarium keeper needs to do some maintenance. The open top is closed off with a glass top to prevent fish from jumping out, but it’s use is optional.
Also making it’s debut in the BioCube is a built-in refugium that takes the place of the old wet/dry filters that were formerly included. To grow the algae, a light is mounted to the back of the aquarium and shines in on the macroalgae. We like seeing natural filtration instead of ceramic rings and bio-balls, but a refugium as small as this is very limiting and may not operate as well as a well-placed nano protein skimmer. Speaking of skimmers, the Oceanic HQI BioCube does come with a small airstone powered protein skimmer, but it’s another item we feel is a bit of an unreliable performer.