Scraping off Algae from Glass? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Scraping off Algae from Glass?

Lots of different algae glass scrapers on the market. How effective are these anyway since the algae residue just ends up going back into the water and spawning elsewhere?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:04 PM
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Ive went through all of the different scrappers such as magfloat or the stick scrappers but I suggest a single edge blade on the glass. I find that to be most effective. When you scrap the glass I scrap from the bottom to the top that way I can pull the blade out before the algae scrappings disperse in the water.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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I've not use Magfloat and was going to get one. Is it just a coarse sponge, and if so, I guess one can clean from bottom up and rinse the sponge in a bucket when the magnet gets to the top.

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Ive went through all of the different scrappers such as magfloat or the stick scrappers but I suggest a single edge blade on the glass. I find that to be most effective. When you scrap the glass I scrap from the bottom to the top that way I can pull the blade out before the algae scrappings disperse in the water.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:40 PM
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I use an old credit/debit card. You're cleaning it to be able to see in, rather than to stop algae happening. I clean before a water change so that removes some of the scrapings, and some will end up in the filter.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:43 PM
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I also use stainless razor blades you put in utility knives, can be bought for 20 cents, I have yet to scratch the glass and removes any and all algae with a single pass, only thing you have to worry about is getting your sleeves wet.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Can't the sharpness of a razor potentially catch on the silcone and create issues such as peeling?

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I also use stainless razor blades you put in utility knives, can be bought for 20 cents, I have yet to scratch the glass and removes any and all algae with a single pass, only thing you have to worry about is getting your sleeves wet.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 02:04 PM
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Can't the sharpness of a razor potentially catch on the silcone and create issues such as peeling?
silicone's bond to glass is incredibly strong, theoretically all the overlap of silicone could be cut away leaving just where the two pieces of glass meet up and you wouldn't have leaks. Practically though, that should be avoided. Just be careful when you get close to silicone with the blade and all will be well. I've nicked mine plenty of times over 10 years and countless tanks without ever an issue.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 03:07 PM
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The magnetic glass cleaners can be risky. Sand and gravel can get caught in the fibers and lead to huge scratches.

I just use a razorblade. Works perfectly.

Bump: The magnetic glass cleaners can be risky. Sand and gravel can get caught in the fibers and lead to huge scratches.

I just use a razorblade or utility knife blade (without the handle attachment of course).

Bump: The magnetic glass cleaners can be risky. Sand and gravel can get caught in the fibers and lead to huge scratches.

I just use a razorblade or utility knife blade (without the handle attachment of course).
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 03:34 PM
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There are no perfect scrapers that fit for all situations and I use a wide variety for different reasons. For really think tough stuff nothing beats the tools meant for scraping glass. They are designed to be a cheap tool for removing paint from glass and do a great job if you keep a clean (not rusted?) blade in them. But some thought about keeping it out of the silicone is needed. When I get close to the silicone, I put a finger down along the side of the scraper to hold it back a 1/4 inch. This is my favorite.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Warner-Tool...1-5-in/3168621
For a $1.28, who would want to hold a razor blade in their hand?

For lighter, wide area cleaning of the soft stuff. I find the magnet scraper does let me get into places that are hard to reach because of plants, etc. but they need to stay up away from the sand or you WILL pay the price on scratches.
For algae on the silicone and corners. I have a rough scrubby sponge.
Find what works and adapt as needed?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 03:54 PM
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I have a magfloat with the scraper attachment. If you're careful, you won't get sand between the magnetic scraper and the glass. For the back wall, I glued an old credit card on a wood handle. I don't worry about the scraped off algae as many fish will readily eat it and the rest ends up in the filters.
Now algae is just a reality in most tanks and since it's a great aid in water purification, why not leverage it? I used to just let the algae grow on the sidewall in the corner behind a bubble bar as a pseudo algae scrubber. Recently, as an experiment, I've attached a piece of plastic canvas mesh I roughed up as an algae collector...
Once fully 'seeded' with algae, this should improve water quality and reduce algae elsewhere in the tank. We'll see.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 06:31 PM
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razor blade scraper on the stick is handy. although the life of the blade isn't that long and hard to find replacement.

long run best to use cheap razor blades and scrape by hand. Yes it pushes all the algae dust. I try to do a water change afterwards.

heard another way is to use paper towel to smudge it off by hand so it doesnt float back into your tank.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 06:40 PM
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I do definitely want the type scraper that uses simple razor blades that I buy in bulk! When they get wet and then stored, they do tend to rust quickly and I don't want to use a rusty blade on glass so I keep a dispenser full on the shelf with the scraper. They also work well for scraping the heavy hard water deposits off any smooth plastic before getting down to using vinegar, etc. to clean it.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 06:47 PM
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I just use a little glass cleaner brillo pad or whatever. Make sure its rated for glass (if you run a glass aquarium) - they make different ones for acrylic. Otherwise you get scratches.
Little spec algae is hard to get off the walls without putting some stank in your cleaning though... A razor blade would probably work well, but I have a bunch of scratches in my tank, so they don't work either for me..
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 07:01 PM
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Sometimes I use a magnetic scraper if I'm just trying to view my tank without cloudiness in the way. Although the best way I've found is to just take some extra durable paper towel and grab it with some aquascaping tweezers (nice long ones) and just clean the glass that way. I can get around my heaters and filters fairly easily that way. Although the best method is to get a really long pair of chopsticks and use those to hold the towel, since they also double as planting tweezers, and triple as cheeto grabbers.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2017, 07:32 PM
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The magic erasures work great. I buy the plain ones online for pennies each, in bulk. I use them around the house, but keep a stash for aquarium glass. They do an amazing job with one pass. Razor blades or credit cards right at the gravel line.

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