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The 6 Best Aquarium Algae Scrapers And Glass Cleaners

The aesthetics of having an aquarium - of being able to look through the glass and enjoy the sight of your fish, plants, and decorations living together happily - is without a doubt one of the undeniable delights of being a fish keeper.

But, no matter how clean your tank is or how healthy your fish are, one thing is certain to stand in your way: algae.

Algae will grow on everything in your tank, including the gravel bottom, aquarium walls, and decorations. It may make a tank appear dusty and detracts from the appearance of your carefully constructed aquarium.

Fortunately, algae is readily handled, and there are a range of instruments available to assist you simply and successfully remove it from your glass or acrylic tank.

In this post, we will look at the two major tools for cleaning the interior of your aquarium walls and removing dirt and algae without hurting your tank. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) talk about and advocate the best aquarium algae scrapers and glass cleaners.


Magnetic Aquarium Glass Cleaner Flipper Cleaner

This Flipper product combines a magnet with a scraper, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to algae removal! It is also appropriate for both glass and acrylic tanks.


  • The ability to switch between the scrubber and scraper sides of the magnet provides complete cleaning power.
  • It comes with two blades, one plastic and one metal, for acrylic and glass tanks, respectively, to prevent scratches.
  • If the magnet falls apart, the cleaner floats and orients itself to make it easier to collect.
  • It features a low profile design that allows it to readily enter nooks and crevices and isn’t too large that it would scare your fish.
  • It is effective in removing algae and may be cleaned in a single swipe.
  • It quickly covers a large region.
  • Magnetic strength


  • You must be careful not to allow the scraper to cut the tank’s silicone corners.
  • The blades deteriorate fast and must be replaced on a regular basis.


Magnetic Aquarium Glass Cleaner for Pets

This is a simple magnet cleaner that works well on small to medium-sized tanks. It is exclusively appropriate for glass tanks.


  • The inner cleaning magnet floats, making it simple to retrieve if it becomes detached.
  • Pet Magasin is a reputable brand, and the device comes with a 2-year warranty and a money-back guarantee.
  • Because it has a strong magnetic contact, it is simple to manipulate from the outside.
  • It simply and successfully eliminates the majority of algae.
  • It is quite simple to use.


  • It is less effective on coralline and will require many passes to entirely remove.
  • The magnetic interaction is weaker at the tank’s corners than it is elsewhere.


Glass Aquarium Cleaner Mag-Float

Mag-Float is a well-known maker of magnetic aquarium cleaners, and it is one of the most popular and widely available cleaning equipment on the market. Only suitable for glass tanks.


  • If the cleaning magnet separates from the outer magnet, it floats and is easy to collect.
  • Because of its buoyancy, it is simpler than ever to manoeuvre around the tank, especially on corners.
  • Because of its rough scrubbing surface, it is highly difficult on algae and removes it rapidly and efficiently.
  • Quickly covers a lot of ground
  • Although you should use caution, especially if your substrate is fine, the cleaner does not tend to take up sand or stones at the bottom of the tank, thus it should not harm your glass.


  • Because of its light grey tint, it does not integrate well in most tanks.
  • The magnetic contact is really strong, so make sure you obtain the proper size for your tank; otherwise, the magnet may be difficult to move around.


Koller Brands Multi-Tool for Scraping Fish Tanks

This KollerCraft device is a genuine multi-tasker, with three separate attachments that can help you clean your aquarium totally of algae.


  • It comes with three replaceable attachments: a stainless steel scraper, a polishing plastic scrubber, and a shovel for turning over algae-covered substrate.
  • The handle measures 22 inches long, is corrosion resistant, and constructed of fiberglass – it’s strong and long!
  • The handle also has an ergonomic grip for easy cleaning.
  • The attachments may be readily swapped out.
  • The plastic scrubber features a spinning head attachment that allows you to clean in difficult-to-reach areas.
  • The steel scraper is not too sharp and will not hurt your tank, yet it is still quite efficient against coralline algae.


  • The fiberglass handle is so flexible that applying a lot of pressure to the cleaning attachment might be difficult.
  • Because the plastic scrubber has a rounded tip, cleaning corners and tight locations might be challenging.


Pro-Scraper II from Kent Marine

This scraper set is incredibly efficient on algae and even tough coralline, and it comes with a variety of blades so you can choose which one is best for your tank’s needs.


  • It comes with three interchangeable and replaceable blades: plastic, stainless steel, and cloth.
  • The handle is composed of corrosion-resistant fiberglass and is well angled for comfort.
  • It’s really harsh on algae and quickly cuts through coralline.
  • The metal blade isn’t too sharp to scratch the tank.
  • The handle is available in six various lengths, all of which may be easily adjusted with a simple twist.


  • Because the scrapers are small, they do not cover as much land as some of the other goods.
  • The blades are quite flexible, and some users have reported that they can be difficult to extricate when changing them.


1-Count Container of API ALGAE SCRAPER For Acrylic Aquariums

This scraper, which promises not to harm your cherished acrylic aquarium, quickly removes all that bothersome algae, even in the tightest of corners.


  • The 18-inch handle is robust and lengthy, allowing you to maneuver your aquarium with any amount of pressure you require.
  • It swiftly and simply eliminates all varieties of algae.
  • The handle is tilted to enable easy access to nooks and crevices.
  • It is very simple to clean and rinse under running water.


  • Some customers have mentioned that the scrubber head loses a few fibers as it moves around the tank, causing them to adhere to the walls.
  • Because the scraper retains a lot of water, you may get a bit wet when removing it from the tank.


Hopefully, you now have enough information and tips to simply remove all that annoying algae from your own tank, and you can finally look back on your efforts with pride.

In the end, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) appreciate that you picked our website among dozens of others to read reviews of the best aquarium algae scrapers and glass cleaners. Hopefully, this article has assisted you in selecting the most suitable product.


What is the best way to clean an aquarium tank without scratching it?

When cleaning the interior or outside of the empty aquarium, use a soft kitchen sponge, aquarium sponge, or wool to work the glass cleaner into it. Paper towels are an excellent alternative cleaning item that does not scratch the aquarium tank.

How can you efficiently remove algae from an aquarium tank?

Use an algae scraper, a razor blade, or make your own out of an old credit card. Using your preferred scraper, remove the algae. If you use a razor blade to remove algae, operate in a downward manner to avoid accidently cutting yourself.

Buyer's Guide

Magnets for Cleaning Aqueon Aquariums

This is another magnet cleaner that works on both acrylic and glass, delivering a quick clean with little risk of scratches.


  • If the cleaning magnet becomes separated from the outer magnet, it lowers to the bottom of the tank to rest above the gravel.
  • It’s simple to retrieve (remember to attach some string!). and will not take up any substrate that can harm the tank walls
  • Because the magnetic contact is so strong, the magnets seldom break away, allowing for a rapid clean.
  • It readily eliminates algae from both glass and acrylic surfaces (comes with two different pads for the different surface types)
  • Replacement cleaning pads are simple to install.
  • Because the magnet is black, it will blend in with most aquarium designs.


  • The magnetic contact is so powerful that it occasionally causes noises on the glass, scaring the fish (particularly on thinner walls)
  • Coralline is not as resistant to it.
  • There are several types of glass cleaners and algae removers available.
  • Glass cleaners are commonly classified into two types: magnetic cleaners and scraper (or blade) cleaners.
  • Which type you choose is ultimately a matter of personal choice, and you may discover that one type is more suited to your tank’s unique demands and form than the other.

The Magnetic Type

Magnetic cleaners are the hottest equipment right now, and their technology is constantly developing.

The cleaner is made up of two magnetic pieces, one with a hard scrubbing side and the other with a smooth side. The scrubbing magnet is put within the tank against the aquarium glass, while the smooth magnet is positioned on the outside.

Because the magnets are attracted to each other, you may clean the interior of your aquarium walls by moving the outer magnet, which then moves the inner magnet, scraping the algae away.


  • You don’t have to stick your hands and arms into the tank, causing a sloppy mess and getting wet.
  • Depending on their size, they can swiftly cover a large area.
  • Good magnet cleaners will enable the inner magnet to float, making it readily retrievable from the tank’s top if and when the magnets pull apart.
  • Controlling it from the outside allows you to readily access difficult-to-reach areas.
  • They are not particularly invasive and should not frighten your fish.


  • In general, they are less successful in removing algae from corners because the magnetic contact lessens at these locations.
  • If the magnet is too powerful, it can be difficult to move, but if it is too weak (especially if you have really thick glass), it will continue to break apart and take a long time to clean.
  • If the inner magnet goes too close to the substrate at the bottom of the tank, it may pick up debris and damage the tank if not removed quickly.

Scrapers and knives

Scrapers and blades are the more conventional tools for removing algae from your tank, and they need you to physically slide the scraper up and down the inner glass and apply enough pressure to the blade tool to successfully scrape off the algae.

These tools are frequently more labor-intensive than their magnetic equivalents, and you will most likely get a bit wet while using them, but you will have complete control over what and how much algae you can remove.


  • You have control over where, what, and how hard you clean.
  • Scrapers are often brutal on algae.
  • You are not dependent on magnet strength.
  • Scrapers will not harm your tank’s silicone corners.


  • Cleaning might get wet and splashy if the scraper handle is not long enough.
  • Cleaning around decorations and tight locations may be challenging depending on their movement.
  • A scraper’s form and size may frighten your fish.

Remember that glass and acrylic aquariums require different tools.

Acrylic aquariums are considerably easier to scratch than glass aquariums, and using standard glass scrapers on an acrylic model may quickly destroy your tank.

As a result, it is critical to have a tool that is properly created for the type of tank you have, particularly acrylics.

Fortunately, acrylic tanks are so common these days that there are many of products on the market to get rid of algae without tearing up your aquarium. Some instruments are even capable of working on both glass and acrylic aquariums.

Your Aquarium Glass’s Thickness

If you want a magnetic aquarium glass cleaner, you must choose one that fits the thickness of your glass or acrylic. The Mag-Float, for example, comes in four distinct thickness levels. Check the thickness of your aquarium’s glass to ensure you receive the right magnetic cleaning device.

Plants and fish are unaffected.

Non-toxic ingredients are used in magnetic aquarium glass cleaners. If you have a non-magnetic spray glass cleaner, read the label to ensure that it is safe for your fish and plants.

For example, one of the safe components in the API Safe & Easy Aquarium Cleaner is food-grade silicone emulsion. The food-grade silicone emulsion has no chemical additives that might damage your fish.

If it has the ability to clean the outside, inside, or both

Cleaning the inside is critical to keeping your fish healthy. Only the interior can be spruced up using magnetic cleaners. Spray cleaners can clean both the inside and outside of a building. If you use a magnetic cleaner, you must find another way to spruce up the outside.

Aquariums made of acrylic, glass, or both

Magnetic cleaners are not suitable for use in acrylic aquariums. Because magnetic cleaners might harm the plastic, spray cleaners with a soft sponge are the best choice for these sorts of aquariums. Glass aquariums are resistant to the abrasiveness of metal cleaners.

Why Is Aquarium Glass Cleaning Important?

The Most Effective Magnetic Aquarium Glass Cleaner

Cleaning aquarium glass is critical for preventing algae and limescale buildup in the tank. Too much of it can hurt your fish and upset the aquarium ecosystem’s equilibrium.

Hard water occurs when calcium mineral deposits and limescale accumulate in the tank due to a lack of frequent cleaning. While certain fish species benefit from hard water, others flourish in less hard water. Too many mineral deposits or limescale might shorten the life of your fish. Many tropical fish species, however, like relatively hard water.

You do not have to wait for dirt or algae to appear in the tank before cleaning it. Cleaning the tank a couple of times each week can maintain your aquarium’s ecology healthy and your fish’s lives longer.

Techniques for Cleaning Aquarium Glass

While one of the glass cleaners discussed above can be used, there are alternative ways to clean your aquarium tank with items you already have at home. Here are some tips for cleaning aquarium glass.

Vinegar de Blanc

To eliminate calcium deposits from your aquarium tank, use regular white vinegar. Transfer your fish to a holding tank. In a cleaning bucket or basin, combine equal parts vinegar and water. Pour the old aquarium water down the sink.

Dip a soft kitchen sponge or algae wool into the vinegar and water solution. Apply the liquid to the tank’s inside gently until all of the debris and algae are removed.

Rinse the tank several times with water before refilling it with new salt or freshwater and returning the fish. If your tank is not thoroughly cleaned, too much vinegar might accumulate acidity in your environment and hurt or even kill your fish.

Maintain the Fish in the Tank

You can keep the fish in the tank while cleaning it unless otherwise specified. You may keep the fish in the tank while cleaning the inside using the magnetic glass cleaners indicated above. Removing the fish may agitate them as they transition to a new environment, and you may endanger them if they are not removed correctly.

Cleaning the Aquarium Glass

  • Follow this general cleaning process for aquarium glass.
  • Before beginning to clean the tank, disconnect the filter and heater for safety reasons.
  • Remove algae and other filth from the tank’s sides with an algae scraper.
  • To remove the filth from the gravel, use a siphon. Keep at least half of the water in the tank to avoid wiping out all of the beneficial bacteria in your ecosystem.
  • Condition the chlorine in the tank by adding new water.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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