If you are considering adding a fish tank to your home, then you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s more than just another interior décor item. According to Feng Shui beliefs, an aquarium is a symbol associated with fortune and luck. Scientifically, aquariums confer a ton of health benefits. Attractively colored fish and the elegant ways in which they move are incredibly pleasing to the human eye. They help to minimize stress, improve blood pressure and heart rate.
Unfortunately, maintaining an aquarium is no walk in the park. Algae is one of the biggest nightmare for nearly every aquarium owner. It makes your aquarium an eyesore to look at and it’s tough to clean. Your best bet at getting rid of these nuisance plants is to invest in the best algae scrapers. Sure, you can use a scrubber that it will be tedious.
What are the Best Algae Scrapers?
Behind every gorgeous looking aquarium is an effective algae scraper. With this tool, you are able to create a healthy environment for fish as well as keeping your aquarium in pristine condition. Considering that aquarium maintenance is a routine task, you will need to purchase a durable and well-performing algae scraper.
Below find the best Algae Scrapers:
1. Penn Plax WZ20 Wizard Glass Aquarium Algae Scraper
Two cleaning techniques are better than one, which is what the Penn Plax WZ20 offers. It’s a scrubber that can be converted to an algae scraper, leaving your aquarium with a crystal clear surface. Essentially, you can attach either the scraper or scrubber tool on the tool’s end.
Another perk of the WZ20 is its handle, which can be expanded to up to 27 inches. This gives you enough length to work with so that your hands remain dry when you’re accessing those distant spots.
The algae scraper attachment is very sharp and precise; it helps to remove those stubborn algae stains that can’t come off by simply scrubbing. It also does an impressive job when it comes to scratching off heavier residue.
2. Atlantis Aquatics 5 in 1 Fish Tank Cleaner
While the Penn Plax has two cleaning techniques, the Atlantis Aquatics is a five-in-one cleaner making it superior. For starters, it can be used as a fish net to catch small fish, crayfish, aquatic frogs, snails as well as debris.
Secondly, it has a gravel cleaner rake which is great for shaping the aquarium gravel or sand mounds. This tool also helps to keep aquarium decorations and plants in place.
This device also doubles up as an algae scrubber and algae scraper. You can use it to remove algae from both acrylic and glass fish tanks. The algae scrubber is best for removing light debris while the algae scraper is good for removing stubborn algae stains.
Lastly, this algae scraper can be used as an aquascoping fork. This entails using it to plant live aquatic plants in your aquarium.
3. Continuum AquaBlade Acrylic Safe Algae Scraper
Acrylic aquariums are almost always pricier than their glass counterparts. If you spent a fortune buying that acrylic fish tank, then you should take optimal care of it. This calls for purchasing a top-rated algae scraper tailored to its cleaning such as the Continuum AquaBlade. In addition to its beautiful aesthetics, this algae scraper works very well.
One of its best features is the solid fiberglass handle, making it very comfortable to hold. Also, instead of using glue, which disintegrates easily, the Aquablade handle has been v-grooved on the side and then inserted into the scraper’s head during the injection and molding process.
Another plus of this algae scraper is that it’s long. This design makes it possible to clean the hard-to-reach areas without getting your hands wet. And since it’s white in color, you’re able to see and navigate the scraper through the dark algae.
4. API ALGAE SCRAPER for Glass Aquariums
For those whose aquariums are made of glass, the API Algae scraper is your best option. With this scraper, you can remove the algae manually with ease. We recommend adding an algaecide to the mix. The API algae scraper is also two-sided, so that you scrape off more algae in one go.
With a length of 18 inches, the handle is pretty long to prevent your hands from getting wet as you clean. The only caveat is that API algae scraper is not suitable for cleaning acrylic, Plexiglas aquariums. It’s also not meant for cleaning dry surfaces.
For maintenance, be sure to rinse the cleaning pads with tap water after each use. In case the pad picks up aquarium gravel, wash it off before carrying on with your cleaning. Doing so helps prevent the gravel from scratching your glass aquarium. You will also need to avoid extreme pressures as they can break your aquarium.
5. AQUACLEAN 5 in 1 Aquarium Tank Clean Set
Aquaclean provides you an arsenal of all the cleaning tools you will need for your aquarium. Included in the package is an algae scraper, gravel rake, plant fork, fish net and sponge brush. And the best part is that the whole package is pretty cheap. So for the price of one algae scraper, you get an algae scraper and four other cleaning tools.
If you’re not a DIY enthusiast, you don’t need to worry since it’s easy to assemble and disassemble. What’s more, this algae scraper for marine tank is also fit for freshwater aquariums.
6. Aluminum Magnesium Alloy Algae Scraper
The Aluminum Magnesium alloy algae scraper is a high-end aquarium cleaning equipment. Like Aquaclean, it’s ideal for saltwater and freshwater fish tanks. Its unique construction, which consists of a wide razor and a right-angled design make it easy to remove tough algae plants.
The algae scraper can also serve as a gravel spatula if you put the cover the safety on. Plus, it’s a magnetic algae scraper with blade. In fact, the manufacturer has provided 10 extra stainless steel blades, which feature smooth surfaces to avoid scratching glass tanks.
What’s more, the use of magnesium and aluminum materials in its build make this algae scraper durable and at the same time, lightweight. So, if you’re looking for a cleaning tool that you can use for years, this algae scraper makes a strong contender.
7. Stainless Steel Algae Scraper
If you own a freshwater aquarium, the Stainless Steel algae scraper is an excellent choice. It’s made of anti-rust material, which is what makes it fit for cleaning freshwater aquarium. Right out of the box, you will get one algae scraper with an extension rod and 10 additional blades. With its exceptional design, this algae scraper makes cleaning fish tanks a cinch.
Another plus of Stainless Steel algae scraper is how easy it is to install. Plus, you change the blades if the current one becomes too blunt. You shouldn’t use this scraper to clean aquariums of high concentration slat water. Saltwater has chlorine, which corrodes with metals like the stainless steel blades. Even if you’re rinsing it off, you should use freshwater.
Types of Algae Scrapers
The two main kinds of algae scrapers are magnetic and manual. The manual scraper looks a lot like a car ice scraper and as implied in its name, it requires you to operate it manually. Start by inserting it in the tank and then use it to clear the areas with algae. Considering how much work you’ll have to do, a manual algae scraper is best left for small fish tanks. Also, if you have a limited budget, the manual scraper is your best option because it’s cheaper than the magnetic.
In contrast, magnetic scrapers are more advanced so they don’t require as much hand work. Consisting of two separate pieces, magnetic scrapers require magnetic force to work. One portion of the scraper is submerged in the aquarium while the second portion remains outside the aquarium. The portion on the outside is what a user holds on to so as to guide the scraper around.
Magnetic algae scrapers are particularly useful to individuals with health problems. If you have an injury on your wrist, neck or back, the magnetic scraper is your best bet.
Pros and Cons of Magnetic Algae Scrapers
- They don’t require users to place their hands or arms inside the fish tank, which makes the cleaning less of a mess
- They can cover a great deal of area quickly
- An effective magnetic cleaner is designed in such a way that the inner magnets float. Once the magnets pull apart, it becomes easier to retrieve them from the top of the tank
- Magnetic algae scrapers make it easier to clean the hard-to-reach surfaces of your aquarium
- They’re not too invasive so they won’t frighten your fish
- They’re not good for removing algae from corners because the magnetic force weakens these areas
- If the magnetic force is too strong, moving the scraper around will be challenging
- Should the inner magnet get too close to the substrate, it might collect debris, which will scratch your tank
Scrapers and Blades
These were the first versions of tools used to get rid of algae from aquariums. As mentioned earlier, these ones require more manual engagement. One has to slide the scraper in up and down movements as well as exert enough pressure on the blade tool to remove all the algae.
Although cheap, scrapers are a little labor-intensive and you’re likely to get your arms wet while using them.
Pros and Cons of Scrapers
- You will have complete control when it comes the areas of the aquariums you are cleaning
- Scrapers are capable of removing all the algae inside your aquarium
- You’re not limited by the magnetic force of the scrapers
- Scrapers rarely cause damage to the silicone corners of your tank
- The scraper needs to be long enough to keep your arms from getting wet
- Depending on their designs, it might be tricky to clean the sections near ornaments
- Fish are often frightened by the shape and size of your scraper
Glass and Acrylic Aquariums Need Different Tools
Acrylic aquariums are more vulnerable to scratches than the glass type. Using the conventional glass scrapers on aquariums made of acrylic could be catastrophic. Consequently, it’s imperative that you get algae scrapers specifically designed for your fish tank.
The good thing is that acrylic aquariums have grown in popularity. In turn, manufacturers have focused on making cleaning tools ideal for these kinds of fish tanks. We even have several scrapers that can be used on both acrylic and glass aquariums.
How to Buy the Best Aquarium Algae Scraper
For many homeowners, spending hours cleaning that hazy green algae from an aquarium is not their favorite part of the day. But no matter how tedious it is, you know it’s an inevitable task. If the algae starts accumulating, not only will your aquarium look gruesome but your fish will also suffer. Thanks to technology, we now have a myriad of products to help aquarists in keeping their fish tanks clean. Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing algae scrapers.
For one, you should check the kind of material used in constructing your aquarium. Is it constructed from glass or acrylic? Depending on what it’s made of, choose an algae scraper suitable for its construction. If you use an algae scraper acrylic aquarium for glass fish tanks, you could leave gouges and scratches. If you’re not certain the kind of aquarium that the scraper is suited for, be sure to ask the store owner or online customer representative.
The next thing you should decide is just how messy you want to get when cleaning the fish tank. The handles on some scrapers are too short, causing your arms and hands to get wet. If this is not something you want, you should consider buying a magnetic scraper since it’s more advanced and will keep your arms out of the water.
If scraping an aquarium has never been your cup of tea, you can always opt for the pricier robotic algae scrapers that were recently introduced. These ones offer a hands free option for cleaning your fish tank.
But if you don’t mind getting your arms wet, you can go for the cheaper handheld scrapers. Advisably, you should choose ones with floating capabilities. This way, in case you let go of the scraper, you won’t have to dig around the aquarium, disrupting the peace of your adorable fish. The short handheld scraper by Continuum is one of the most recommended. It gives you the ability to substitute the scraper blade for stainless steel or plastic ones. The stainless steel blade is ideal for glass aquarium while the plastic blade works well for acrylic aquariums.
If you’ve decided to go for magnetic scrapers, you should first ensure that it floats. Magnetic algae scrapers tend to separate, particularly if you navigate the scraper too fast. With a floating scraper, you won’t be forced to dig to the bottom of your aquarium to retrieve the other half. Mag-Float manufacturers a ton of magnetic floating scrapers, suitable for both glass and acrylic aquariums.
Ultimately, the ideal aquarium is the one that addresses your cleaning needs. If you prefer a scraper that keeps your hands from getting wet, choose the magnetic type. And, if you like getting your hands wet, then a short or long handheld scraper will get the job done. Whatever scraper you purchase, ensure that it’s ideal for the kind of aquarium you have. Always maintain a regular cleaning schedule. If possible, you should clean your fish tank on a daily basis.
The Bottom Line
If it’s become too difficult to view your tropical fish through the dark algae, it’s time to purchase an effective algae scraper. This cleaning tool is designed to remove all the nasty deposits inside your aquarium. Plus, you will find algae scrapers that are specifically designed for acrylic and glass aquariums.