Why Clean The Aquarium Glass? (How To Clean It Effectively?)

Image of an aquarium with clean glass

An aquarium glass doesn’t make much of a difference to the look and feel of an aquarium directly. So, why should you clean the aquarium glass?

Cleaning the aquarium glass reduces algae and limescale build-up. Over time, algae and mineral build-up will spoil the aquarium look and impact its balance. Regular cleaning of the aquarium glass helps remove dirt, prevent undesired algae build-up, and maintain a balanced ecosystem in the aquarium.

Let’s now look at what tools you can use to clean the aquarium glass effectively.

What To Use For Cleaning The Aquarium Glass?

When you want to clean the aquarium glass, the objective is to remove the dirt, stains, and white residue.

However, you also need to avoid damage of any kind to your aquarium glass.

Given below are the list of cleaning tools that you can use to clean the aquarium glass:

  1. Algae Pad: An algae pad allows you to clean the inside of an aquarium. These pads come in various types. Some of them have a long handle with a flat edge on one side. The other end has a sharp point that helps scrape off algae from the surface of the glass. There are also magnetic scrubbers that can be used for cleaning the aquarium glass.
  2. Baking Soda: Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda can be used to break down dirt and greasy substances deposited on the aquarium glass. It can also remove stubborn algae from the aquarium glass. However, you will have to move your fish to another tank before starting the cleaning process.
  3. Bleach: This chemical helps eliminate bacteria and fungi from the water. It also removes stains from the glass. However, if you add too much bleach to the water, it may cause harm to the fish and plants. So make sure that you add only the amount required to get rid of all the contaminants.
  4. Lime Remover: Lime remover works by dissolving lime deposits (calcium or magnesium carbonate) found on the glass. It is a natural disinfectant, safe for aquarium use, and is an excellent low-cost option.
  5. Paper Napkins: Paper napkins or towels can be used to wipe clean the glass to remove the dirt deposited on the aquarium glass. They are a cheap option and can easily remove dirt. However, they can’t be used when the stains or deposits are stubborn.
  6. Razor Scraper Blades: These blades come in handy while removing stubborn algae from the aquarium glass. They should always be kept dry because moisture makes them dull quickly. If they become wet, wipe them with a paper towel before using them again.
  7. Sponge Brush: A sponge brush is used to scrub the algae and dust build-up from the glass. You can use them both in freshwater and saltwater aquariums. These are best to get rid of the small amounts of debris that the algae scrapers can’t remove. In addition, they are easy to grip and can help you access difficult-to-reach spots of your aquarium. They can also efficiently remove dirty things from the bottom of the tank.
  8. Towel: You can use a cloth towel to clean the glass. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water and gently rub it over the entire area until dirt doesn’t come out anymore. Warm water will soften the dirt and stains so that they can come off the surface quickly.
  9. Water Conditioner: It allows to remove algae deposits from the glass and stones used in the aquarium. It is practical, popular, and an affordable choice to treat an aquarium. Besides cleaning, a water conditioner is gentle and harmless for the aquarium.
  10. Sandpaper: Fine sandpaper with a higher grit size can be another option for removing stubborn watermarks. These stains usually form as the water evaporates. Again, please soak the sandpaper in a pail of water as you don’t want to risk scratching the glass.

These cleaning tools can help you remove stubborn algae, stains, and watermarks from your aquarium glass.

Recommended Further Reading:

How To Clean The Aquarium Glass?

Aquarium lights and nutrients help algae build up in an aquarium.

On the other hand, hard aquarium water can build white stains due to excessive minerals.

While using any cleaning tool, you must ensure that no foreign object is trapped between the glass and the tool.

Any trapped debris like dirt, sand, and other objects will lead to scratches on the glass.

So you will need to use unsoiled tools for cleaning the aquarium glass.

Given below is the step-by-step procedure to clean the aquarium glass.

1. Clean the outer glass.

The outside of the aquarium glass needs to be cleaned regularly.

Consider using a towel made of soft fabric or a paper napkin to clean the exterior of the aquarium glass.

If the dirt and debris build-up is thin, you can use a paper napkin to wipe them off the aquarium glass.

However, you will need to use a towel soaked in warm water to wipe the stubborn dirt, stains, and marks from the glass.

At times, the calcium deposit will need some hard rubbing before it comes off the aquarium glass.

However, avoid using cleaning sprays or chemicals, as they can be toxic for the aquarium pets.

2. Clean the inner glass.

This needs to be done carefully. You don’t want to stress your aquatic pets.

Your cleaning approach and tool will depend on the algae and mineral deposit build-up on the aquarium glass.

  1. Thin build-up: If the algae and limescale build-up is thin, use a sponge brush to remove them. Please remember to use a clean tool without any foreign object stuck on it. Be gentle and use the scrubbing side in a circular motion on the glass.
  2. Thick build-up: If the algae build-up is thick, you will have to resort to tools that can handle the job better. Algae pads, razor scraper blades, and sandpaper can remove thick algae deposits from the aquarium glass. A water conditioner can also remove the hard water deposits and thick algae from the glass. The water conditioner is safe for aquatic pets and can clean the stubborn stains from the aquarium glass. However, move your aquatic pets to another container if you use baking soda or bleach to clean the glass. These chemicals are toxic and can be hazardous for the tank inhabitants.

Cleaning the aquarium glass looks easy but needs to be done carefully.

You don’t want to damage the glass or the balance of the aquarium.

Related Further Reading:

How To Keep Aquarium Glass Clean?

Keeping an aquarium glass clean needs regular maintenance.

It is essential to understand that aquarium glass doesn’t get dirty overnight.

With regular cleaning, you can keep your aquarium in pristine condition.

You can clean the external glass of the aquarium once or twice a week.

Regular cleaning will ensure there’s no dirt or stain accumulation on the aquarium glass.

On the other hand, you can opt for a partial cleaning of the internal glass once a week.

However, once a month, give your aquarium a complete clean.

This will involve scrubbing the inside of the glass and removing the algae build-up and hard water deposits.

With these internal and external cleaning approaches, you can easily keep your aquarium glass clean.

There is also a common practice of using slugs to consume sick leaves and algae for keeping the aquarium glass clean.

But do snails clean the aquarium glass?

Interesting Further Reading:

Do Snails Clean Aquarium Glass?

There are many species of freshwater aquarium snails like Nerite snails, Apple snails, Assassin snails, Black Devil snails, Mystery snails, Rabbit snails, Ramshorn snails, etc., that can help to keep the aquarium glass clean.

Nerite snails are the best to control algae build-up in an aquarium.

However, others like Mystery snails and Assassin snails can also eat large amounts of algae.

However, you must note that snails reproduce rapidly and can overrun an aquarium.

Therefore, they can become a problem in the future, and you should have a plan to control their population.

You can control the snail population by adding Assassin snails to the aquarium.

These snails devour other snails and so can help control their numbers.

Moreover, it’s relatively easy to control the number of Assassin snails.

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