Algae growth is common in nearly all aquariums. However, algae are not welcomed by every aquarium keeper, especially since they can make the most extravagant aquariums look unsightly. Keeping your aquarium free from algae is not always easy, which is why using algae scrapers and glass cleaners can help remove stubborn algae and diatom discoloration in your aquarium.
Algae scrapers and glass cleaners are a great way to keep your aquarium clean without having to use chemicals and algaecide medications. You get to choose from simple designs or glass scrapers and cleaners with many features that can keep your aquarium in pristine condition. We know how important it is to choose quality algae removal and cleaning tools that are not only affordable but work well for the job. With this in mind, this review will cover the top algae scrapers and cleaners you can buy today.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2024
|API Extra Long Algae Scraper
|Underwater Treasures Aqua One
|Mag-Float Aquarium Cleaner
|Best for Acrylic Aquariums
|Continuum Aquatics AquaBlade
|Hygger Carbon Fiber 6-In-1 Aquarium Kit
The 6 Best Aquarium Algae Scrapers & Glass Cleaners
1. API Extra Long Algae Scraper – Best Overall
|18 × 3.25 × 2.5 inches
|Freshwater or saltwater
This algae scraper has a double-side scrubbing pad that scrubs away stubborn algae and dispatches it from the aquarium glass. It is much more delicate than algae scraper blades and less likely to cause damage to your aquarium’s delicate glass. The 18-inch handle makes it ideal for larger or deep aquariums and makes it easy to maneuver around to ensure each section of the glass is thoroughly cleaned. Furthermore, these types of algae scrapers are excellent at removing diatoms from aquarium glass and ornaments with a flat surface.
2. Underwater Treasures Aqua One 5-In-1 Kit – Best Value
|4 × 5.1 × 1.3 inches
|5-in-1 maintenance kit
The wand and attachments can be slightly flimsy but work with well gentle use and care when attaching the various items to the wand. The scrubbing pad and blade attachments can be used to scrape stubborn algae from both acrylic and glass aquariums, while the mini rake and plant root stabilizer attachment helps maintain the gravel and press the plant roots back into the substrate. A white, small-sized net attachment is included to remove leftover fish food or catch decaying leaves that might be floating around the aquarium.
3. Mag-Float Glass Magnetic Aquarium Cleaner – Premium Choice
|2 × 1.8 × 1 inches
|Freshwater or saltwater
It includes two magnetic tools that have an algae scrub pad on the inside. One side of the magnetic cleaner is placed inside the aquarium, while the other is on the outside. It works best on glass aquariums with a thickness of 3/8 inches. The outside device can then be moved while the one inside of the aquarium follows, ensuring that any algae between the two devices are scraped off. Since it works by magnetics, the device does not work properly with curved or bowfront aquariums since the curve can break the magnetic connection.
4. Continuum Aquatics AquaBlade – Best for Acrylic Aquariums
|Marine and freshwater
The design prevents water from getting into the handle, which helps prevent the blade from rusting and the algae scraper from trapping water. It is ideal as a heavy-duty algae scraper to remove tough algae that scrubbing pads and other blades cannot. Since the handle is quite long, you may need to hold the scraper closer to the base to apply enough pressure to effectively scrape off the algae.
5. Hygger Carbon Fiber 6-In-1 Aquarium Tool Kit
|63 × 6.26 × 1.93 inches
|Freshwater and saltwater
|Adjustable telescopic handle
The attachments that connect to the telescopic handle include a tube brush, sponge cleaner, metal blade, gravel rake, and a fish net. The carbon fiber sponge is not abrasive and does not scratch surfaces easily, whether it is glass or acrylic. However, the blade attachment should not be used in acrylic aquariums as it can scratch the surface. The sponge cleaner allows you to clean tubing in the aquarium and those hard-to-reach areas, while the gravel rake can be used to gather dirt and debris that accumulates at the bottom of the fish tank.
This product goes beyond just removing algae, and it helps to make aquarium maintenance a little easier.
6. Aqueon Aquarium Algae Cleaning Magnets
|4.6 × 7.5 × 2.5 inches
|Freshwater and marine
|Weighted and magnetic
The scrubbing pad will start to show signs of wear and tear after a while, so make sure the pads are always in good condition to prevent exposed plastic from scratching the aquarium glass.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Aquarium Algae Scraper & Glass Cleaner
Nearly all aquariums are prone to having algae and diatoms growing on the glass. This can block the view of the inside of your aquarium while ruining the overall aesthetic. Not everyone wants to use a chemical to remove algae, nor is it possible for everyone to introduce some sort of algae-eating fish or invertebrate into the aquarium. Furthermore, the glass can also become clouded and discolored due to a build-up of gunk that settles on the glass. This can also look like sludge, and it is difficult to remove without the right tools.
If you are someone that doesn’t like the appearance of algae and discoloration on the glass of your aquarium, an algae scraper or glass cleaner will ensure the whole process of removing algae from your aquarium is made easy. However, glass is not the only surface that is prone to diatom and algae growth in aquariums. Acrylic or plastic aquariums have this problem too. Not every type of algae scraper is suitable for acrylic aquariums as they are more prone to scratches, which makes choosing the type of aquarium scraper important.
Types of Aquarium Algae Scrapers & Glass Cleaners
When it comes to removing mild algae growth, sludge, and small patches of diatoms from aquariums, using an algae scrub pad is the better option. More severe algae growth and diatoms can be removed using algae blades, although they should be used with caution near areas of the tank with silicone.
After looking at the best aquarium algae scraper and glass cleaners in this review, we chose two as our top picks. The API extra-long algae scraper is our favorite, for its affordability and effectiveness in keeping glass and acrylic aquariums clean and algae-free. The second is the Mag-Float magnetic algae cleaner because it is easy to use and works without you having to put your hands inside the aquarium. Hopefully, our reviews have helped you find the best algae-cleaning solution for your needs.