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The 11 Best Aquarium Algae Scrubbers

Algae will grow when you set up an aquarium, especially if you install a heater and leave the UV lamp on for the required amount of time.

Additionally, your fish will supply food for these species. Green algae are not plants, despite their appearance. There are no leaves, stalks, or roots present. Their surroundings fulfill all of their requirements.

However, algae can cause harmful water conditions; thus, you must get an aquarium filter. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) believes that the best aquarium algae scrubbers will assist you in evaluating your alternatives and making an informed decision.


Carbon Fiber 6 in 1 Aquarium Cleaning Tool by hygger – Best Overall



  • Length: 44 inches L
  • Carbon fiber as a substance
  • Safe for freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • Attachments: Yes
  • User-friendly: intuitive

The hygger Carbon Fiber 6-in-1 Aquarium Cleaning Equipment is a flexible tool that may assist you with a variety of vital aquarium management activities beyond algae removal.

That adds a tremendous amount to its worth. The telescopic handle makes it suitable for most tanks. The accessories, notably the angled sponge, are just fantastic for cleaning corners.

Notably, there is a razor blade instrument that should only be utilized on glass tanks. It can scratch acrylic surfaces.

As long as you don’t apply too much force, it’s anti-rust and composed of carbon fiber, which offers it strength and longevity. In addition to removing algae from tubing, it can also catch fish with its net.


  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Expandable handle
  • Durable
  • Excellent value


  • Pricey
  • One must use caution when using a razor blade instrument


Algae Cleaning Magnets for Aqueon Aquariums



  • Length: 5 in.
  • Material: Plastic, magnets
  • Type of aquarium: freshwater or saltwater
  • Attachments: N/A
  • Usability: user-friendly

The Aqueon Aquarium Algae Cleaning Magnets have a brilliant design. It is hands-free, making it a practical and valuable tool. The ideal technique to tank maintenance is keeping your hands out of the water.

This instrument is simple to employ with smaller tanks. The thicker walls of larger tanks might interfere with the magnet.

The device comes with a 90-day guarantee so that you may test its functionality. The weighted construction makes it simple to retrieve the pad from the tank if it falls off the magnet.

It is a versatile product that may be used on both acrylic and glass tanks.


  • Hands-free operation
  • For acrylic or glass aquariums
  • Simplicity of usage
  • Replaceable pads


  • Tank size limit


Magnetic Neptonion Aquarium Fish Tank Algae Scraper for Glass



  • Length: 8 inches to 4.84 inches L
  • Material: Plastic
  • Types of aquariums: freshwater and saltwater
  • Attachments: N/A
  • Ease of use: Easy

The Neptonion Magnetic Aquarium Fish Tank Glass Algae Scraper is a variation on the magnet type and is available in three sizes to accommodate various thicknesses. Both the magnet and the scraper are robust and long-lasting.

While effective on glass, it is too strong and gritty for acrylic tanks. Notably, the manufacturer adds several cautions, including those for patients with pacemakers.

Its rough scrubbing side provides a wonderful cleaning boost. It is simple to handle and manipulate. It can clean your tank efficiently and with no effort.

Additionally, we appreciated that it floats in case it escapes the reach of the magnet. This makes it more accessible.


  • Ergonomic grip
  • Value priced
  • Simplicity of usage
  • Three sizes are offered


  • Magnet too powerful for certain users
  • Not appropriate for acrylic tanks


Extended API Algae Scraper



  • Length: 18 inches L
  • Material: Plastic
  • Types of aquariums: freshwater and saltwater
  • Attachments: N/A
  • Ease of use: Simple but untidy

The API Extra-Long Algae Scraper is a good option if you do not like to clean the tank with your hands. The length of the handle makes it easy to maneuver around bends and into the gravel.

It is ideal for smaller aquariums rather than tall ones. The scrubber is designed only for glass and will damage acrylic surfaces.

The sponge is two-sided and abrasive enough to make quick work of algae. It’s nearly like having two scrapers rather than one, hence increasing its worth.

It is highly absorbent and will hold a substantial amount of water. To prevent causing a mess, we advise squeezing it before taking it from the tank.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Successful cleaning
  • Durable sponge


  • Not sufficient for bigger tanks
  • Glass exclusive


Dual-Sided SUNTRY Aquarium Scrubber



  • Length: 6 in. and 8.85 in.
  • Material: Plastic
  • Types of aquariums: freshwater and saltwater
  • Attachments: Yes
  • Ease of use: Simple

The SUNTRY Double-Sided Aquarium Scrubber is a three-piece kit that contains scrubbers for both acrylic and glass aquariums. A third, shorter one is an excellent technique to clean your decorations and filter.

All three are effective in eliminating algae. The handles are not as strong as we would want. We could readily imagine them breaking under excessive force.

The sponges have sufficient texture to reach into the crevices. With the longer handles, getting below the gravel line is simple.


  • Compatible with glass and acrylic
  • Affordable
  • Hole for hanging


  • No replacement components
  • Not as sturdy
  • Flimsy handle


Aquarium Algae Scraper SLSON



  • Length: 4 in.
  • Material: Plastic
  • Types of aquariums: freshwater and saltwater
  • Attachments: N/A
  • Ease of use: Simple

The SLSON Aquarium Algae Scraper is exceptionally effective at removing algae from glass aquariums. The size of the sponge is sufficient for cleaning with few passes.

Additionally, it is gritty, so you must avoid applying too much pressure. We do not advocate applying it on painted ornaments or décor, since it is likely to create scratches. It also makes it difficult to access the tank’s corners.

Positively, the scrubber is reasonably priced. If it becomes soiled, it is inexpensive to replace. This is fortunate, as replacement components are unavailable.

Given the cost, it is of high quality. If you clean it after every usage, you will receive your money’s worth.


  • Inexpensive
  • Well-made
  • Suspended hole at the top


  • Glass tanks only
  • Abrasive


Aquarium Scrubber by Evergreen Pet Supplies



  • Length: 25 inches L
  • Material: polymer plastic
  • Types of aquariums: freshwater and saltwater
  • Attachments: N/A
  • Ease of use: Simple

The Evergreen Pet Supplies Aquarium Scrubber is available in a four-pack of sponges suited for use exclusively with glass aquariums. The quantity and cost make it a fantastic buy.

The pads are substantial and will outlast comparable items. They are also of a size that makes them easy to grasp. We like that it is created in the United States.

You must avoid placing your hands into the tank, which is a disadvantage. Oils from your skin and other residues can pollute water and harm your fish and vegetation.

Positively, these instruments are effective at removing algae and hard-water stains.


  • Value priced
  • Large size
  • Made in the United States of America


  • Specifically glass
  • Hand washing


API Algae Pad



  • Length: 3 inches L
  • Material: polymer plastic
  • Types of aquariums: freshwater and saltwater
  • Attachments: N/A
  • Ease of use: Simple

The API Algae Pad may be used on acrylic tanks without risk. Its little size increases its versatility, as it may be used on aquarium ornaments and other decorations.

Even though it is non-abrasive, it excels at removing stronger kinds of algae without excessive force.

We appreciate that the manufacturer color codes their scrubbers, given the risks associated with using the incorrect one.

Even when washing glass by hand, the sponge works well on acrylic aquariums. Nonetheless, it will discolor after a few usage. Thankfully, it is cheap to replace.


  • Compatible with acrylic tanks
  • Versatile use
  • Exactly as described
  • A color-coding system for glass and acrylic


  • Hand washing
  • Not as robust

Buyer's Guide

An aquarium scrubber also serves utilitarian objectives, despite the fact that you may associate it with beauty. It ensures that light shines in the water to meet the UV radiation and vitamin D demands of your fish and plants.

It can reduce a harmless source of waste. Algal blooms occur when environmental circumstances are favorable for the growth of these organisms.

Algae will continue to develop until it becomes excessive for its habitat. It will use all available resources before finally dying and contributing to the tank’s garbage load.

This can cause unsafe amounts of ammonia and nitrite, which can kill your fish and plants. This is a common occurrence in the delta of the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico.

Eliminating algae is essential for providing a healthy environment for fish. An aquarium scrubber removes material from the tank’s walls so that it may be siphoned out before it can damage the water.

When conditions support the spread of these aquatic species, algae eaters and plecostomus can only accomplish so much. Then, you’ll need to bring out the big guns (a.k.a. algae cleaning equipment) to eliminate the substance.

Among the characteristics of algae scrubbers to examine are:

  • Coarseness
  • Design
  • Attachments


The coarseness of the scrubber’s working end affects whether or not it may be used in your tank. Acrylic is softer than glass and can thus be more easily scratched.

Small defects in the tank’s walls can provide a habitat for the growth of germs. That can be disastrous for the health of the occupants in your aquarium.

A rough surface enhances the cleaning effectiveness of these items. However, they must be washed with hot water after each usage. The debris within the threads is a bacterial breeding habitat.


We may categorize algae scrubbers according to whether they are hands-on or hands-off in terms of whether the user must enter the water. Pads provide excellent control.

You can simply change the pressure, and the sponge may be moved or shaped to reach into tiny spaces. This can enhance the thoroughness of the procedure. You may also use them to decorate your home. The danger is that you can pollute the water with your hands.

Hands-free devices employ a variety of techniques to keep your fingers out of the tank. It is a healthier method of aquarium maintenance. Those with handles offer superior mobility.

The issue is that their utility with larger tanks is restricted. The longer the handle, the more susceptible it is to breaking, especially when subjected to extreme force.

Aquarium scrubbers often include a stainless steel scraper or a coarse, double-sided sponge. The former is more hygienic. However, it must be dried to prevent rusting.

There are a variety of sponge textures. Size is crucial so that you can reach into the corners and beneath the gravel to eliminate the ugly debris line that frequently forms.

Magnet goods resolve this issue. However, there is another disadvantage to their utility. The stronger the magnet must be, the thicker the glass.

This makes it hazardous to use near other electronic equipment, such as those in your tank. We believe that they are better suited for smaller aquariums where the risks and advantages may be weighed.


Many of the devices we evaluated feature attachments that increase their versatility. It is most useful if they can increase the scrubber’s cleaning range by utilizing various coarseness degrees, equipment, or forms.

It’s a better bargain if a single purchase can serve several purposes. If you are deciding between two items, these characteristics may sway your decision.


According to the evaluations on this list, the Hygger Carbon Fiber 6-in-1 Aquarium Cleaner‘s worth rests in its adaptability. Thanks to the attachments, you can clear algae anyplace. Additionally, you may clean your pipes and scrape the substrate to promote the nitrogen cycle.

The Aqueon Aquarium Algae Cleaning Magnets offer an alternative method for hands-free maintenance that is effective for smaller aquariums. It is little yet powerful enough to accomplish the job.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would like to thank our visitors for selecting our website to learn about and research the best aquarium algae scrubbers. We hope that you have selected the appropriate algaecide for your aquarium.

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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