Aquarium Glass Cleaning Tools

5 of the Best Auqarium Glass Cleaning Tools for your Aquariums

Cleaning aquarium glass can be a real chore for us aquarium keepers. While keeping up with our water changes and having lots of plants can help, algae finds a way. These tools aim to help make your life a little easier, but keep in mind that it will still require some work. 

So, what tools should you use to clean your aquarium glass? Here are my 5 best aquarium cleaning tools.

1. Magnet Cleaners

Practically everyone who has owned a fish tank has bought or seen a magnet cleaner. They are easy and convenient, you don’t have to get your hand in the tank, and pretty good at cleaning glass and some acrylic. There are many brands, types, and styles that we can choose from. A few pictures can be seen below.

While magnet cleaners are great tools for cleaning glass aquariums, they do have their disadvantages. Most magnet cleaners are typically not very strong and will take multiple swipes to remove some types of algae. Others just can’t be removed with a typical magnet cleaner. Also, most magnet cleaners will not work well for tanks with bends in them. 

It is important to note that they do make special magnet cleaners for tank bends and even heavy-duty magnets for thick glass. One final negative to using magnet cleaners is their bad habit of picking up sand and/or fine gravel from the tank substrate. This will then turn into a devastating scratching pad, especially for acrylic. Be very careful when near the bottom to not pick anything up.

This being said, be careful with all of the cleaners listed below and your substrate. Sand is great at scratching glass and acrylic.

Cleaning Aquarium Glass
Mag-Float is one of the most well-known brands because they were the first to have the inside magnet float to the surface when finished. This photo is an Amazon affiliate link if you would like to support the blog.
Some magnets like this Hygger have built in blades for scraping some of those hard-to-get algae. This photo is an Amazon affiliate link to help support the blog.

2. Razor Blades

Razor blades are one of the best ways tools for cleaning aquarium glass. They are great for getting that tough to destroy algae. They are also handy tools for cleaning empty aquariums to remove built-up calcium. Razors can be found with nifty handles like this one to the right.

A negative to using razor blades is that they should probably only be used on glass. They can easily scratch up acrylic and you should be careful even with glass. Another negative to using razors is the need to be careful with your hand and to be careful with the silicone in the tank.

Razor blades make great glass cleaners.

3. Old Plastic Cards

Old plastic cards are one of my favorite tools for cleaning aquarium glass or acrylic. Plastic is soft enough for our hands and hard enough to remove most algae. They are also typically “free”.

Some negatives to plastic cards are that they don’t always remove the hard-to-get stuff and they also can require a little more elbow grease than razors.

4. Algae Scraper with Handle

These aquarium glass cleaning tools are a combination of the effectiveness of razors with the convenience of not having to put your hand in the tank. They can have multiple tools to add like the one to the right.

I have personally not had good luck with one that I have purchased in the past. I find that they can be kind of tedious and still require a decent amount of elbow grease. They can easily hit structures in the tank as well.

I would recommend these with the sponge top. This would be primarily for light algae.

This photo is an Amazon affiliate link to help support the blog.
This photo is an affiliate link to help support the channel.

5. Magic Eraser Sponges

Last but not least, I would like to mention the “Magic Erasers”. Many aquarists probably use these for a variety of tasks around the house. Fish keepers have recently realized how great they are as tools for cleaning aquarium glass, inside and out.

These seem to be great at cleaning most algae and grime off of tanks and are soft on acrylic or glass (still be careful of sand). They do still require elbow grease and getting your hand in the tank, unfortunately. 

Be sure to not get any scented sponges. You want to be sure they are plain and without chemicals, like the knockoff Amazon erasers to the left.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.