There are not many things in life that come close to the joy of keeping an aquarium. Watching the small attractively-colored finned beings swim in the clear waters is an incredibly pleasing experience to the human eye.
Now, if you want to keep enjoying the beautiful sight of your fish and other aquatic pets, proper maintenance of your aquarium remains an absolute necessity. You have to keep their environment healthy and friendly. You have to find ways to extract food leftovers, waste, and of course, algae.
A good aquarium gravel cleaner will go a long way to help you get rid of food remains and other forms of gunk from the bottom of the fish tank. However, for the hazy green film standing in your way, nothing works better than an algae scraper.
Algae scrapers are specially-designed cleaning tools that help remove algae from your fish tank. These tools are available in different sizes, shapes, and prices, so there isn’t a reason not to keep your aquarium clean and healthy for your aquatic pets. Get the ideal cleaning tool from our top-notch list.
- Premium scraper -- suitable for saltwater tank and freshwater aquariums.
11 Best Algae Scrapers
#1 Aqueon 100106171 Algae Cleaning Magnet
The first suggestion we have for you is one of the best-selling algae cleaners out there. You can use it for either glass or acrylic fish tanks since it comes with scrubber pads for both. So, if you have two tanks, this unit should give you maximum value for money.
The cleaning magnet works effectively for tanks with a maximum capacity of 125 gallons and a thickness of up to 3/8 inches. However, if you have a larger tank, this option is also available in a variety of other sizes.
The cleaning tool is magnetic. Therefore, you can use to clean the interior sides of your fish tank by pulling the cleaner around from outside. The scrubber has some good weight on it so that it doesn’t float on your fish tank.
Although the strong magnet means it isn’t likely to fall off when in use, the bottom-weighted design ensures that it drops straight down once it detaches from the magnet. That means lower costs in the future as you won’t have to buy the whole unit in the future.
What’s more, you don’t have to do away with the entire unit once the pads wear out. The design of the cleaner allows you to attach a new scrubber pad. That makes this algae scraper a whole lot easier to use
- The magnet is super-strong.
- It makes cleaning algae easy.
- It’s available in different sizes.
- It may not remove thicker algae growth in one pass.
#2 API Algae SCRAPERS and Hand HELD Pads
Keep the front viewing glass of your aquarium clear even when you don’t want to change the water more frequently. And yes, one of the tools you can count on to ensure that nothing stands in your sight is this cleaning accessory from API.
The very scraper works well for glass aquariums, but there is also a version for the acrylic models. Whether you choose the one for glass or acrylic aquariums, replacement pads are readily available when the current ones wear out.
Unlike the predecessor, this algae scraper doesn’t have a magnet. Instead, it features a handle. Therefore, it is easier to use for anyone since it doesn’t require any special skills when handling the corners.
We like that the handle is extra-long. The long handle allows you to clean the hard-to-reach areas when keeping your hands dry. The angled handle provides better scrubbing power even when using it for tough spots.
The ultra-thick pad wears out slower than the majority of the models out there. After use, the built-in hook provides an easy way to store the unit and keep it dry between two cleaning sessions.
- The handle is very sturdy.
- The scrubber pad is durable.
- It won’t scratch glass.
- You may need more energy for tough spots.
#3 FL!PPER Flipper Magnetic Aquarium Glass Cleaner
This cleaner is a multi-purpose tool that works well for glass and acrylic fish tanks alike. It features the earth’s rare magnets for quick and effective cleaning. The strong magnets allow you to use the cleaner for tanks with a thickness of up to 1/2 inch. Nevertheless, if you have a thicker aquarium, it’s also available in a more powerful version that supports use on fish tanks up to an inch thick.
You are getting a 2-in-1 cleaning accessory. I mean, it has a scraper on one side and a polishing pad on the other side. Therefore, with this algae scraper, you will find it a breeze to get rid of even the most stubborn algae growth.
Amazingly, even with the dual design, this algae scraper maintains a low-profile design. Thus, you will find this versatile cleaning accessory to work exceptionally well when it comes to the initially unreachable locations.
Also, the unit has three contact points and a 3-mm gap between the glass the cleaner. The unique design minimizes the likelihood of this cleaner trapping sand particles. Hence, it won’t rob your fish tank of its beauty no matter how frequently you use it.
The advanced engineering on this piece keeps the side of the magnet facing the walls of the fish tank should the magnets disengage. Therefore, you will find this unit to be a cinch to retrieve when the magnets separate.
- It isn’t likely to scratch your tank.
- The dual design is a brilliant idea.
- The low-profile design is a plus.
- Flipping needs a little practice.
#4 QANVEE Aluminum Magnesium Alloy Aquarium Scraper
Maintain the day one beauty of your fish tank by using this aquarium scraper to get rid of algae and any other form of dirt. This scraper constitutes a long handle and head with a blade at the end, so it doesn’t have any learning curve.
The handle is of Aluminum magnesium alloy construction. This alloy makes it super-strong but lightweight enough for easy use. The longer handle means you won’t get your hands wet when using this cleaner. What’s more, you can configure the handle for a shorter length when using it for smaller tanks.
The head makes use of premium-grade ABS plastic, so the scraper comes with a long-lasting performance in mind. Additionally, the ABS material is safe for fish, so you can use it with ease of mind that it won’t release dangerous chemicals into the water.
The large head covers a larger area in a single pass. The design of the blade also ensures it doesn’t scratch the aquarium, so you can buy it with confidence that it won’t cause more harm than good. Therefore, it will not only slide everything off the walls of your fish tank but also ensure that you finish the work faster and more effectively.
Apart from cleaning, this tool can serve as a gravel spatula. It comes with a protection cover that goes on the blade when using it for this purpose. Other components of the package include a scraper head, ten stainless steel blades, a brush, three protective rods, and an Allen wrench.
- The razor scraper is ultra-sharp for easy removal of algae.
- The kit offers plenty for a fantastic price.
- The handle is adjustable.
- The handle may be a little short for larger tanks.
#5 KASAN Algae Scrapers Aquarium Glass Cleaner
The Kansan Algae scraper is magnetic. Therefore, unlike a handle that provides a limited reach, you can use this magnetic aquarium glass cleaner to clean even the furthest point of your fish tank.
The magnetic mechanism means you will only need to use the exterior piece to drag the inside scraper through the areas you want to clean. The super-strong magnetic force means that this cleaner won’t fall off often like some members of the competition. With that said, you will find cleaning to be quick.
The algae scraper is neither too light to float on water nor too heavy to overpower the attraction force. The brush is non-slip and soft enough to ensure it doesn’t scratch magnetic stickers. Also, it is wear-resistant for long-lasting performance.
The glass cleaner works well for fish tanks with a maximum thickness of 3/5 inches. Hence, it will work well for most glass tanks. However, since it has a small diameter, it may not be the ideal option for large tanks, especially if you don’t want to use plenty of time to clean.
The white color of the scraper makes it one of the cutest aquarium accessories you will ever buy. Nevertheless, it’s also available in a black version if that’s what you prefer. However, be ready to pay a few more bucks for it.
- It doesn’t make noise when moving.
- It won’t scratch the wall.
- It is a visually-appealing piece.
- The small size isn’t ideal for cleaning large areas.
#6 hygger Carbon Fiber 6 in 1 Aquarium Cleaning Tool Kit
Keeping your fish tank clean and healthy for the inhabitants requires more than just removing the algae. Now, this kit contains everything you need to afford your aquatic pets a comfortable and healthy environment to thrive.
The package consists of a handle, gravel rake, a right-angle sponge, a fish net, a flat sponge cleaner, a metal blade, and a tube brush. With all these components in a single kit, you may not need to buy any additional cleaning accessories separately.
The stainless steel scraper comes in handy when cleaning algae or other stuff. The gravel rake works fabulously well for raking gravel. The tube brush delivers outstanding performance when using it for pipe cleaning. The flat sponge is for substrate cleaning. When working on the hard-to-reach corners, you will appreciate the right-angle sponge.
The handle is of high-quality carbon fiber. Hence, it’s incredibly tough to give you an easy time when dealing with the most stubborn coralline algae. The handle adopts a telescopic design that lets you adjust the length depending on the size of your tank.
The spring closure ensures that whatever you attach to the rod remains firm. Therefore, whether you are using the handle with a fishnet, razor blade, gravel rake, or any other tool of your configuration, you will appreciate how sturdy the rod feels.
- All the components work very well.
- The extendable handle is a plus.
- The scraper blade is sturdy.
- Although you pay for the whole kit, you may not use everything in it.
#7 Gulfstream Tropical AGU125MED Mag-Float Glass Aquarium Cleaner
This glass aquarium cleaner is one of the market’s most popular options. And with a very high rating on Amazon, we see it as one of the cleaners you can rely on the most to get the work done effectively in no time.
The medium size works very well for different tank sizes. However, if you have a smaller or larger aquarium, this algae cleaner is also available in a variety of sizes. Also, you can grab one or go for the two-pack option if that’s what works perfectly for you.
Unlike some options that will sink once the magnets disengage, the design of this algae scraper allows it to float on water. That means you will spend less time to retrieve the accessory, allowing you to finish the work in a fraction of the time it takes the competitors.
The incredibly powerful magnetic force reduces the number of times you have to pass on the surface to get rid of algae and other elements. And while it’s very durable, the manufacturer warns against using it on a dry surface. Also, to avoid scratching the wall of your fish tank, ensure that you remove all debris from the scraper before use.
- It is easy to retrieve.
- It cleans quickly.
- It’s easy to guide at corners.
- Some stubborn growths will require several passes.
#8 UPETTOOLS Aquarium Cleaning Tool
There is much to admire about this option. For instance, the package contains multiple attachments to make maintaining your glass tank a straightforward affair. These parts include a razor blade, gravel rake, fish spoon net, right-angle sponge, tube brush, and flat sponge.
With all these tools, it’s clear that the kit’s ultimate priority is to give your aquatic pets the healthiest environment they need to thrive. What’s more, all the parts are of the highest quality for long-lasting performance.
The handle of the kit features a stretchable design. Hence, it will telescope to give you an extended reach for larger fish tanks and then contract when utilizing it to clean smaller aquariums. Therefore, no matter the size of your fish tank, you will never have to wet your hands with this algae scraper.
The universal handle works with all attachments. The snap closure firmly holds whatever tool you want to connect to the handle, ensuring that you get a secure connection that will make your cleaning run smoothly.
- The cleaning accessories attach to the handle in seconds.
- The pole extends to different lengths.
- The box serves well for storage.
- The pole doesn’t flex easily when at full length.
#9 FL!PPER Flipper Platinum Aquarium Hand Scraper Tool
This scraper tool comes in a standard size that serves well for most tank sizes. However, in case it doesn’t seem ideal for your aquarium, you can pick the correct size from the other three available options.
More than a few scraper tools use blades to wipe off algae and other forms of growth, which is really a brilliant idea. However, the accessories of this kind will typically require you to buy replacement blades periodically, something that may make maintenance expensive in the long haul.
While this option uses a similar idea, there is something extra special about it—you may never have to buy replacement blades. In other words, the head of this accessory allows you to use old credit cards, hotel room keys, gift cards, casino cards, and other items of the like as replacement blades.
Also, there is no specific direction in which you should insert these items, so it’s pretty easy to invent a scraper tool of your own. With that said, we see this algae scraper as a perfect option for the aquarists who want to keep the maintenance costs of their fish tanks as low as possible.
The package includes a special cleaning card for instant use of the tool upon arrival. And while it works well, a few users feel that their own custom blades get the work done more efficiently and effectively, especially for the coralline algae.
- It works excellently at getting algae off the glass.
- It uses custom blades.
- The cards insert in any direction.
- It doesn’t work as well for acrylic tanks as it does for glass.
#10 AquaticHI Premium 6-in-1 Premium Cleaning Tool
This option is similar to a few preceding options in that it has six accessories that attach individually to the same handle for cleaning. The components include a gravel rake, algae scraper, algae brush, right-angle sponge, flat sponge, and a fish net.
Also, just as with the previous like options, the handle of this cleaning tool is telescopic. With the length adjustment range of up to 12 inches, you can stretch or contract the handle depending on the size of your fish tank.
Whether you want to use the brush to scrub off algae, fish net to catch fish or debris, or any other accessory together with the handle, the design of the connection points allows for easy and tool-free swapping.
The high-quality ABS material delivers long-lasting performance, whether using it for fresh or salt-water aquariums. Therefore, if you want an algae scraper that will stand the test of time even with regular use, you shouldn’t regret buying this algae scraper.
- It is easy to assemble.
- The interchangeable head is a good idea.
- The price is reasonable.
- The pads are a tad small, especially for the larger aquariums.
#11 Lefunpets Algae Cleaning Scrapers Aquarium
If you want a high-quality and reliable algae scraper that won’t cost you much, here comes one of the units you may consider giving a shot. It consists of two pieces of magnets, one for interior use and the other for the exterior side of the fish tank wall.
As you move the outside magnet, the interior one also moves along and cleans algae wherever it passes. With that said, this aquarium scraper is one of the easiest to use and will get to the farthest spots that most handles can’t reach.
The super-strong magnetic force prevents the two magnets from separating, ensuring that your cleaning runs smoothly. However, unlike some options that will scratch the glass of your fish tank, this unit cleans the surface without leaving any marks.
The cleaning magnet arrives with a durable black finish. However, it is also available in an orange color if that’s what seems to work better for your aquarium. No matter the color you choose, expect the outstanding performance you’ve always wanted for an algae scraper.
Although it’s a decent algae scraper, there are a few downsides about this option. For instance, the small design means it won’t be the ideal option for cleaning larger areas. Also, it supports tanks with a maximum thickness of 0.3 inches, which is a bit low.
- The turtle design is adorable.
- It floats when disconnected for quick retrieval.
- It works excellently for small fish tanks.
- It only works with tanks with a thickness of within 0.3 inches.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you use an algae scraper?
It depends on the model you choose. If you go for a magnetic option, you will need to use the exterior piece to pull the inside magnet to areas where you want to clean. However, when you choose models with handles, you have to use the grip to direct the scrubbing pad to the exact spot you want to clean.
Will a razor blade scratch an aquarium glass?
Some algae scrapers feature blades at the end to help wipe off algae. While most razors work well, there are a few options that may scratch the glass of your fish tank. Also, these options may not work excellently for acrylic aquariums.
What causes algae on aquarium glass?
Algae growth doesn’t happen by magic. There have to be favorable conditions for algae to grow, just as with other plants. For instance, there have to be a source of nutrients, such as food leftovers and fish waste. Another requirement is light. Algae form as a result of a reaction between excess light and the available nutrients in the water.
How do you stop algae from growing?
Although there isn’t an effective way of utterly keeping algae at bay, there are measures you can take to slow down the growth rate. For instance, you can consider using floating plants like lilies and lotus. The idea here is to minimize direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can use submerged plants. These plants release oxygen into the water, reducing the amount of CO2.
How does toothpaste remove scratches from glass?
Before we proceed to give the steps, it’s worth knowing that toothpaste doesn’t work for deep scratches. For the tiny scratches, begin by cleaning the surface with a soft material. Apply toothpaste directly to the mark using wool or a soft cotton cloth. Rub the area in a circular motion for about 30 seconds before you rinse with water. In case the scratch doesn’t go, repeat the process until it disappears.
One of the struggles that every aquarist must deal with is getting rid of algae. No matter the measures you take to maintain the fish tank clean, algae will always find a spot in your tank. For this reason, every aquarist will need to have a decent algae scraper.
Unfortunately, picking the right tool from the cheap knockoffs seems to be another hurdle. However, with our suggestions, maintaining your fish tank clean is now easier than ever!