An aquarium’s visuals are justifiable obsessions for fish keepers. It’s a pleasure to glance through the glass and see your fish, plants, and decorations living in harmony and looking great as well.
However, no matter how clean your tank is and how healthy your fish are, algae will always be a hindrance. From the gravel bottom to the aquarium walls and decorations, algae will cover everything in your tank. As a result, a tank might appear unclean and distract from the appearance of a tastefully decorated tank.
This might make you feel as if you’re doing something wrong or you’re not making the right effort. However, the problem isn’t what you do wrong but rather what you can do better. Algae can be really annoying without the proper cleaning tools like aquarium magnet cleaner and gravel vacuum cleaner. These tools are essential for keeping your fish tank clean.
It’s a good thing that algae can be readily controlled using a range of specially designed equipment. A magnetic algae cleaner. These magnets work in two pieces that are magnetically attachable to each other. However, one of them usually stays on the inside of the tank’s walls and the other serves as a handle from outside to control the one inside.
This efficient method seems too simple to have taken humanity so long to find out for us to move on from scrubbing it by hand finally. However, even great things have their cons so we’ve set out to find the one that will do all it should with minimal efforts and problems. Below, you’ll find reviews of the best aquarium magnet cleaner on the market.
- Best for Glass: Mag-Float Algae Scraper
- Best for Acrylic: FL!PPER Flipper Cleaner Float
- Best Budget: Neptonion Magnetic Algae Scraper
Why It’s Important To Clean Your Aquarium Walls
While aquarium cleansers may readily remove dust and smudge marks from a tank’s outside, cleaning the inner surfaces might be more challenging to clean and even icky to some. When it comes to unclean tanks, algae and hard water residues are the two major culprits. Both build-ups are preventable to some extent, and a vital element of the strategy is cleaning on a regular basis.
Fish keepers are very familiar with the use of algae. Owners who have handled Green Carpet algae or the far more difficult Green Hair algae know how exhausting it can be. Despite the fact that algae can serve a purpose in an aquarium, if left uncontrolled, it can quickly turn into a significant problem, especially when attempting to see through the tank, which defeats the whole purpose of having fish.
Algae growth is primarily fueled by light and nutrients. However, even direct sunshine or overexposure to aquarium lights may promote growth. Even elements in the water supply such as phosphate and nitrate will also fuel algae development.
The most straightforward approach to keep your tank free of algae residue from excessive growth is to feed your fish sparingly and regulate the amount of light the tank receives. Maintaining filter media and changing the water on a regular basis will also assist to keep issues at bay. Other ways of controlling like using live plants and algae-eating fish are also helpful to prevent this.
Many aquarium magnet cleaners are effective in removing excessive growths of algae on the tank’s surfaces. In planted aquariums, the presence of certain algae such as Beard Algae can become problematic if you don’t know how to handle it. Getting rid of the leaves or the contaminated driftwood is the only method to remove this unwanted residue.
Hard Water Residue Build-Up
Many people who own aquariums live in areas where the water is mineral-rich. Entirely avoiding hard water may be difficult, although water treatment might help to alleviate this problem. It’s also possible that certain fish prefer the harder water conditions and you can’t really change that.
The issue with that is that the minerals in the aquarium will begin to accumulate as soon as the water evaporates. As the material accumulates, the tank will seem like you just left it there for years. In addition to the aesthetic issues that arise, it will also make it more difficult for you to see the fish to give them the right attention and the care they need and also prevent your algae from growing healthily or your fish from being safe.
Excessive mineral buildup can rise to hazardous levels in any type of tank or water, especially on the fish that prefer hard water. Residue from the hard water can be removed by simply replenishing what has evaporated or, to avoid the cause of the problem altogether, using distilled water if your fish don’t have a preference.
Cleaning residue with normal cleaning solutions is not the safe way to go either for your tank’s interior or exterior. There are aquarium magnet cleaners on the market that are safe for use with fish and will not harm them or the tank. Algae cleaners, magnets, and blades are amongst the most popular choices to be used to remove this harmful build-up around the tank.
Problem with Traditional Aquarium Hand Scraper and Blade Tools
People have found solutions and shortcuts for most daily hassles in modern times, especially when raising pets such as fish. There are many things that make algae scrapers impractical and difficult to tolerate hence why people felt the need to create a new tool to make fish owner’s lives a little easier.
The problems with hand scrapers lay on the core of hand scrapers themselves. Not only will their shape and size probably scare your fish, but they’ve also been a cause for accidents with them due to the lack of manoeuvrability.
The latter also contributes to a not-very-efficient cleaning being a problem to clean those little tight spots or around decorations. The main ick for me though would be having to put my hand inside the water, disrupting everything and making a mess all around the place.
Now, I know some of our readers might be all about traditional practices, but we assure you that this has nothing to do with heritage and nostalgic practices. Magnet cleaners are just a simple way to make your life as a fish keeper a little easier and organized, and made to provide the best experience for your fish.
What to Look for When Buying The Best Aquarium Magnet Cleaner
Like shopping for any other product, you need to set out a list of what you should keep in mind when making your choice. Now keep in mind that each of these points will help you choose between products, not make that choice for you. The products we’ve picked check most of these boxes and what will differentiate them is your own preference and situation.
Magnet Size and Strength
Aquarium cleaners may be found in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and strengths. So which one should you go for?
A general guideline is that the strength of the magnet depends on the size of the cleaner. However, don’t get carried away, for it can be difficult to move up, down, and side-to-side, and it may also damage the tank’s surface if the magnet is too powerful for the tank’s thickness.
As a result, make sure you buy the suitable magnet size for your tank. These magnets usually come sized depending on the tank’s capacity.
With that in mind: small size is appropriate for tanks up to 30 gallons, medium to 90, large to 150, and extra large for 150 and up.
What’s Your Tank Made Of? Glass vs Acrylic Aquariums
Cleaners come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be utilized in a variety of tank materials, including glass, acrylic, or a combination of both.
Acrylic aquariums are far more prone to scratching than glass aquariums, and using standard glass scrapers on an acrylic model can quickly cause damage. As a result, getting a tool developed specifically for your tank type is critical, especially if it’s acrylic.
Thanks to acrylic tanks becoming more popular, there is a variety of equipment available for cleaning your algae without damaging your aquarium. There are even options that are appropriate for both if you have several tanks made of different materials.
Best Aquarium Magnet Cleaner
There’s a bunch of products you can find that vary in price and size. However, remember that a cheap product, besides not doing the job properly might be risky for the tank and might scratch and even end up breaking it from the pressure the magnets put on the tank.
The products below are above the standard for tank cleaners and will serve you and keep your tank clean for years.
There are several well-known manufacturers of magnetic aquarium cleaners and Mag-Float is one of the best. This is a widely used cleaning equipment that is easily accessible. Only glass aquariums are appropriate for this product.
- If the cleaning magnet separates from the outer magnet, it may be easily recovered because it floats.
- Because of its buoyancy, it can be easily steered about the tank, even in tight corners.
- Due to its rough scrubbing surface, it is extremely good at removing algae fast.
- Fast and efficient at covering a large area
- The cleaner does not tend to pick up any sand or gravel from the tank’s bottom, so it should not damage your glass.
- However, you should still use caution, especially if your substrate is fine.
- Because the magnetic contact is so strong, it may be difficult to move the magnet if you don’t get the correct size.
Flipper’s algae-removal tool incorporates a magnet and scraper into one design, making it the best of both worlds. It may also be used with glass or acrylic tanks, depending on your needs.
- Complete cleaning ability due to the magnet’s ability to switch between scrubber and scraper surfaces.
- Acrylic and glass tanks are covered for the product has two blades, one plastic, and one metal, guaranteeing that no scuffs are left behind.
- If the magnet fails, the cleaner floats and self-orients so it’s easy to get back together.
- It features a low-profile design that allows it to fit into tight spaces and isn’t too large to be a threat to your fish.
- It’s tough to remove algae with and it cleans with only one swipe.
- It covers a lot of ground rapidly.
- High strength magnet
- The magnet is strong and needs you to be careful either way to not scratch your tank.
- You’ll have to replace the blades relatively often because they tend to wear out
This aquarium magnet cleaner has an excellent grip, a cool look, and a big scrubbing surface. It worked well on brown algae but struggled a little with green spot algae. It’s also made of waterproof plastic that protects the magnets from rusting.
Neptonion Magnetic Algae Scraper is made for regular glass; it is not suitable for low-iron glass or acrylic. The magnet’s intensity and abrasiveness may likely damage or dull acrylic, so avoid using it on soft acrylic.
- Large scrubbing pad
- Great handle and easy to control
- Good for light stuff
- Cannot handle tougher algae buildup
- Not the best at tight corners
All the products mentioned are excellent options and you can choose between them through your own personal preferences. If you’re looking for a large aquarium magnet cleaner and the best acrylic aquarium magnet cleaner the Neptonion Magnetic Algae Scraper is the way to go.
If you’re looking for an aquarium glass cleaner with a blade but also an acrylic aquarium cleaner, the FL!PPER Flipper Cleaner Float is the way to go. And for glass tanks, the Mag-Float Algae Scraper is your best bet.
How We Choose The Best Aquarium Magnet Cleaner
Our team makes sure to always bring you the best possible alternatives on the market based on our experience and professional opinion.
Our team selected every product with the goal of checking all the boxes and also meeting the criteria. All of these items are made to last and provide a clean tank and a safe and sturdy way of doing so. To their credit, all of the manufacturers are well-known for their fish-related items. Finally, we’ve compiled a definitive ranking of the best algae cleaners available, and we’re confident that it’ll benefit everyone and every tank, rather it is acrylic or glass.
How To Use An Aquarium Algae Magnet Cleaner
The cleaner is composed of two magnetic parts: one with a harsh scrubbing surface and the other with a smooth one. To clean the aquarium, place the scrubbing magnet inside and the smooth magnet outside of it.
The magnets should be facing each other. Because the magnets are attracted to each other, you can use the magnet on the outer part to move the other one on the inside to scrape algae off the aquarium walls.
Magnets are a great choice as they leave you the space of dealing with the problem from the outside instead of making a mess and getting your hands wet. Depending on their size, they can cover a large area very and goof magnet cleaners like the ones listed will enable the inner magnet to float so that if and when the magnets separate, it may be easily retrieved from the top of the tank.
By manipulating it from the outside, you may readily reach places that are otherwise out of reach with a more traditional cleaner. And also, unlike those big scary scrubbers, the aquarium magnet cleaners are not invasive at all, so your fish should not be alarmed by them.
Tips When Using the Best Aquarium Magnet Cleaner
Obviously, not everyone is a magnet cleaner-pro and there might be some things you’re not aware of. Below are some tips to make your cleaner last longer and not harm the tank or your precious fish.
- Remember to clean your cleaner! You may do this by washing it with clean water and then using a toothbrush to get into the tight spaces. This helps to keep the cleaning scrub free of sand and other contaminants.
- The magnet’s outside half should have additional felt under it to prevent scratching of aquarium glass if powerful enough. You may also use a thin cloth between the scrubber and the glass, but this rag will need to be washed after use.
- Remove the aquarium cleaner after each usage to prevent sand or substrate from becoming stuck and scratching the glass.
- Avoid using the magnet scrubber within two inches away from the gravel or substrate.
- Make sure to be careful either way when cleaning to avoid breaking or harming your tank especially when snapping the magnets together. Do it gradually and slowly to provide for a safe and long-lasting experience.
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