Aquatic Biology Research and Teaching

Qubit provides a range of systems for aquatic biology in standard and customized configurations, enabling the measurement of metabolic rate in organisms ranging from invertebrates, through corals in situ, to fish. Single channel and multichannel open flow and stop flow configurations may be used depending on the experimental design sample biomass and metabolic activity. Pricing makes the systems attractive for both research and teaching applications.

coral reef

Q-Box Aqua (from $5,800 US)

Q-Box Aqua Chamber

Metabolic O2 consumption is measured by intermittent flow respirometry in which measurements are made sequentially without removing the fish from the chamber. The chamber is flushed with fresh water between measurements. Dissolved Oxygen data corrected for salinity, temperature, and pressure are displayed in software and used to calculate VO2. All of the components of the Q-Box AQUA Package are housed in a rugged weatherproof case for easy transport and storage. Learn MORE

Data Chart for Q-Box Aqua

Mini-AQUA for small samples For aquatic respirometry measurements of small fish and insect larvae (~1g) Qubit offers the Mini-Aqua package, a modified version of the Q-Box AQUA with a small aquatic respirometer chamber (9mL) and components for a smaller total volume system. The mini-AQUA package also features a micro-chamber (1.23mL in volume) with DO probe inserted in the top portion for measurements of VO2 of very small samples such as larvae and juvenile fish less than 0.5g. The micro-chamber is used in the intermittent stop flow mode resulting in higher sensitivity and resolution of the system.


  • Rahi L et al. (2020) Impact of salinity changes on growth, oxygen consumption and expression pattern of selected candidate genes in the orange mud crab (Scylla Olivacea). Aquaculture Research 51: 4290-4301
  • Lucey NM, Collins M, Collin R (2020) Oxygen-mediated plasticity confers hypoxia tolerance in a corallivorous polychaete. Ecology and Evolution 10: 1145-1157

CISME Coral Metabolism System

Scuba Diver using a Q-Box Aqua

The CISME system measures oxygen fluxes and changes in pH during nondestructive in situ incubations of corals in which water flow and light levels in the sample chamber are controlled by the user. Respiration rate and photosynthesis rate are derived from optical measurements of DO2 and pH. In addition, a sample loop is used to collect a water sample that can be titrated for total alkalinity (TA) from which the calcification rate is calculated. The sample loop can also be used to conduct experiments in which the user introduces substances that might affect coral metabolism (such as acidified seawater for ocean acidification studies). Learn MORE

CISME Incubation Diagram


  • Romano de Orte M. et al. 2021 Unexpected role of communities colonizing dead coral substrate in the calcification of coral reefs. Limnology and Oceanography March 17, 2021
  • Dellisanti et al. 2020.  A Diver-Portable Respirometry System for in-situ Short-Term Measurements of Coral Metabolic Health and Rates of Calcification. Front. Mar. Sci., 12 November 2020

OX1LP Dissolved Oxygen Package (from $3,400 US)

OX1LP Dissolved Oxygen Package

The OX1LP Dissolved Oxygen Packages incorporate a polarographic dissolved oxygen electrode to measure photosynthesis and/or respiration in the aqueous phase, using suspensions of plant cells, animals, organelles (chloroplasts and mitochondria), invertebrates, or algae. These packages may also be used to monitor chemical and biochemical reactions that either produce or consume O2 in the aqueous phase. Interchangeable water-jacketed cuvettes with volumes of 1.0, 2.5, 4.0, 6.0, 30, and 50 mL may be supplied with the system. Each uses the same O2 electrode base and stirrer. Learn MORE


Fish Swimming

Click HERE to learn about all of Qubit’s Aquatic Biology and Aquatic Control System

Contact us about Customization. Do you require specific instrument or system features for your application?  Contact our scientific staff to discuss your exact needs and learn about our inexpensive options for customization.  We are here to help.


“We have been using the Q-Box AQUA respirometry package for a year and have been impressed with the quality and versatility of the system. The mechanical systems are well designed and easily serviced and the software is intuitive and flexible enough for use in diverse applications. The technicians at Qubit are outstanding; they were able to modify the system to suit our particular needs and they have always been quick to respond when technical support was required. The fact that Qubit ships the system in a protective case was also a big plus for field work!” Dr.

Tyson MacCormack, Biology Department, Mount Alison University, New Brunswick, Canada