One of the indisputable joys of being a fish keeper is undoubtedly the aesthetics of keeping an aquarium – of being able to look through the glass and enjoy the sight of your fish, plants, and ornaments living together harmoniously.
But, however clean you keep your tank and however healthy you keep your fish, there’s one thing likely to always be standing in your way: algae.
Algae will cover everything in your tank; from the gravel substrate to the aquarium walls, to ornaments. It can make a tank look dirty and certainly detracts from the sight of your beautifully designed aquarium.
Thankfully, algae can easily be controlled, and there are a variety of tools that have been specifically designed to help you easily and effectively remove it from your glass or acrylic tank.
In this article, we look at the 2 main tools available for cleaning the inside of your aquarium walls, for removing the dirt and algae, without damaging your tank. We discuss and make recommendations for both the best aquarium glass cleaner, and the best algae scraper.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks
|Best Overall||Flipper Aquarium Magnet Cleaner||
|Best Value||Pet Magasin Magnetic Aquarium Glass Cleaner||
|Premium Choice||Mag-Float Glass Aquarium Cleaner||
|KollerCraft TOM Algae Scraper Multi-Tool||
|Kent Marine Pro-Scraper II||
Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices, and customer reviews on Amazon.
The 7 Best Aquarium Magnetic Cleaners
1. Flipper Aquarium Magnet Cleaner
2. Pet Magasin Magnetic Aquarium Glass Cleaner
This is an easy to use magnet cleaner that’s especially effective on small to medium sized tanks. It’s suitable for glass tanks only.
3. Mag-Float Glass Aquarium Cleaner
Mag-Float are one of the best-known manufacturers of magnetic aquarium cleaners and this is one of the most popular and readily bought cleaning tools on the market. Suitable for glass tanks only.
Best Algae Scrapers For Glass Aquariums
4. KollerCraft TOM Algae Scraper Multi-Tool
This KollerCraft product is a true multi-tasker with three different attachments helping you to completely clean your aquarium of algae.
5. Kent Marine Pro-Scraper II
This scraper set is super effective on algae and even stubborn coralline, equipped with a set of different blades so you can pick which one works best for your tank’s needs.
Best Algae Scraper For Acrylic Aquariums (That Work On Glass Too!)
6. API Algae Scraper Extra Long
Promising not to scratch your beloved acrylic aquarium, this scraper easily puts paid to all that pesky algae, even in the tightest of corners.
7. Aqueon Algae Cleaning Magnet
This is another magnet cleaner that works on acrylic as well as glass, providing an easy clean with a low chance of scratching.
Different types of Glass Cleaner and Algae Removers Available
Glass cleaners can generally be divided into two different categories: the magnetic type, and the scraper (or blade) type.
Which type you prefer is ultimately down to your own preference and you may find that one type best fits your tank’s specific needs and shape over the other.
Magnetic cleaners are the trendy tool of the moment and their technology is improving all the time.
The cleaner consists of two separate magnetic parts, one of which has a rough scrubbing side, and the other has a smooth side. The scrubbing magnet is placed against the aquarium glass within the tank while the smooth magnet is placed on the outside.
As the magnets are attracted to each other, you are able to clean the inside of your aquarium walls by moving the outside magnet, which in turn moves the inside magnet, scrubbing the algae off as it goes.
Scrapers and Blades
Scrapers and blades are the more traditional tools used to remove algae from your tank and involve you manually sliding the scraper up and down the inner glass and putting enough pressure on the blade tool to effectively scrape off the algae.
These tools are often more labor-intensive than their magnetic counterparts – and you will probably get a little wet using them – but you will generally have total control on what and how much algae you’re able to remove.
Keep In Mind: Glass and Acrylic Aquariums Need Different Tools
Acrylic aquariums are much easier to scratch than glass aquariums and the traditional glass scrapers could damage your tank in no time at all if you put them to work on an acrylic model.
As such, it’s really important to get a tool that is specifically designed for whatever type of tank you have, particularly acrylics.
Thankfully, acrylic tanks are so mainstream these days that there are plenty of tools on the market to give your algae a good seeing-to without scratching up your aquarium. Some tools are even sophisticated enough to work on both glass and acrylic aquariums.
Hopefully you’re now equipped with enough knowledge and recommendations to easily remove all that pesky algae from your own tank, and will be able to look on your work with pride from now on.
Just remember to never buy a cleaning tool for glass tanks when you have an acrylic one!
Featured Image Credit: MARVIK, Shutterstock