Why Does Your Aquarium Glass Get Algae?
Algae comes in all different shapes and sizes. Most commonly it will either be green or brown in color and if left unchecked, can obscure the view and vibe of your pretty aquarium. It can grow on literally any surface in your aquarium: Plants, rocks, wood, substrate and even your glass! Today we will discus the different ways and tools you can use to most effectively get rid of algae and bacteria growing on the inside of your glass.
What Else Can Make Your Aquarium Not Clear?
Your aquarium might also be impacted by algae and or bacteria growing in the water, not just on the glass. This will cause the water to be cloudy and no matter how much you remove it from your glass it will still not improve your view. Check out this previous article to learn all about how to resolve and prevent cloudy aquarium water.
Best 5 Tools For Cleaning Your Aquarium Glass
To effectively keep you aquarium glass clean and clear, you definitely need a few tools. It can be really tough to completely prevent things like algae from growing on you glass and its often not a sign of a larger problem.
- Long or short wand style scrapers
- DIY scrapers
- Magnet scrapers
- Aquarium safe sponge cleaners
- Microfiber cloths
Long Handle Aquarium Scrapers
Aquarium scrapers come in all different sizes and styles. Some have special titanium blades, while others utilize plastic cards. Either one of these types will work well to scrape off even the toughest algae. A couple of my favorites can be found below:
- Flipper Scraper
- Continuum AquaBlade
I personally like the Flipper scraper and all the sizes available. You can use the plastic cards that each one comes with, or swap it out for an old credit or gift card when it eventually gets dull. This is basically a DIY scraper, just with a very nice handle that can help you target the hardest to reach areas of your fish tank.
I also really like the Flipper Nano scraper for its small size and additional algae pad on the back for the less intense clean jobs. All of Flippers scrapers are both glass and acrylic safe, no need to worry about scratches!
You can use a few different tools that you may have laying around the house. The obvious benefit here is that it wont cost you anything and can be just as good as a store bought item. One of my favorites for when the green spot algae is extra stubborn is a razor blade. Razors wont scratch glass if used properly, but you definitely don't want to use them on acrylic tanks.
As mentioned above, plastic cards can also work well. I prefer to use razor blades on hard water stains near the top of my tanks but also use them on nano aquariums or any tank that allows me to get my full arm in. Razor blades are most useful on algae near the bottom of the substrate where you can reach. Be careful though, razor blades can cut you if your not paying close attention :)
Sponge Style Scrapers
These are probably my least favorite style of scraper, but still worth a mention. In theory they should work great. they are made with an abrasive sponge like material that will remove most types of algae and not scratch your glass. My problem stems from the ergonomics. When I use these styles of scrapers, I find myself always having to flip it around or change my angle just to get the right amount of pressure where I need it.
Magnet scrapers have got to be my favorite tools for getting rid of front panel aquarium algae. They are easy to use, you don't have to get your hands and arms wet and they won't scratch your glass as long as you keep them free of sand and other debris. Here are some popular magnet scrapers I've used:
- Mag Float
- Nano tank (white label)
Again, I prefer the Flipper brand of one simple reason being usability. One side is a durable back of sponge like material that works on easy stuff and great for regular daily or weekly cleaning. When you let thing go for a while, you can flip it over seamlessly and make use of a titanium scraping blade that works great on the notorious green spot algae.
They also just came out with a floating version of the Flipper so if you happen to loose the in tank portion, you don't have to reach all the way into your tank. My hands have never been more dry!
While the Flipper does have a small tank version, it's still pretty large for a nano tank. I've been using these random off label scrapers for a while now. They are perfect for little aquariums, this image is of my 6 gallon Waterbox. I would prefer these to be a square or rectangular shape, that might make it better for cleaning right along the seams.
Overall, I still recommend you check these out if you have a nano tank and want to have the ease of cleaning your glass without getting your hands wet.
Once the inside of your tank is clean, you got to do something about all the water that inevitably end up on the outside! Yes you can use paper towels, newspaper or even a regular old fishroom towel, but I prefer to be extra carful with my tanks and use microfiber towels.
Luckily, we have some custom microfiber towels that also come with a free holograpic Betta fish sticker! Support the blog and the YouTube channel by shopping around our site :)
Don't Forget To Style Up You Tank With Our Static Clings!
I think that just about it for cleaning your aquarium glass. I hope this quick list pointed you in the right direction and helps you get the job done! Preventing algae form showing up on your glass can be difficult, if its the only algae you are experiencing consider yourself lucky!