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I've been using my stainless steel sand tool exclusively as a glass scraper for about 9 months. Has been working wonders. Anybody else use this tool for the scraping job?

I see many companies make glass scrapers with replaceable razor blades. Am I running a risk of scratching my glass using the non-replaceable "blade" of the sand-flattener?

Anybody with any experience on this, I welcome your input.
 

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Even the algae scrapers that use a razor blade can scratch glass if not held at the correct angle or if the blade edge slides sideways on the glass, so that’s not necessarily the answer. That said, the tool you’re using could potentially scratch the glass also. For either the algae scraper or your leveling tool, pressure applied can make the difference. You’re thinking that wasn’t much help. Read on...

Do you really need an algae scraper? When you scrape the algae off the glass, everything you scrape off goes into the water. Some of the algae ends up in your filter media, the rest floats around and ends up on your substrate, your plants, your decorations, etc., where it can possibly start a new colony.

I’ve found most algae can be removed with a piece of paper towel. Just swipe from top to bottom. If you need to make multiple passes, grab a new piece if paper towel. Nearly all of the algae is caught on the paper towel. Compared to the amount of money we spend on our aquariums, paper towels are cheap. It’s important to use white paper towel, not the stuff with prints. Fish have been known to jump out of the tanks because they were scared by the ugly prints. Okay, maybe I made that last bit up.

The edge of a (hopefully expired) credit card works if you don’t want to use paper towels, but I’ve found that paper towels and occasionally a little perseverance gets it all off. Maybe I just have easy algae. Some people use sponges (make sure it‘s new). If you use a sponge, use a separate one for each aquarium to keep from spreading algae, and possibly parasites or snail eggs. With paper towels I don’t have those worries.
 

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Even the algae scrapers that use a razor blade can scratch glass if not held at the correct angle or if the blade edge slides sideways on the glass, so that’s not necessarily the answer. That said, the tool you’re using could potentially scratch the glass also. For either the algae scraper or your leveling tool, pressure applied can make the difference. You’re thinking that wasn’t much help. Read on...

Do you really need an algae scraper? When you scrape the algae off the glass, everything you scrape off goes into the water. Some of the algae ends up in your filter media, the rest floats around and ends up on your substrate, your plants, your decorations, etc., where it can possibly start a new colony.

I’ve found most algae can be removed with a piece of paper towel. Just swipe from top to bottom. If you need to make multiple passes, grab a new piece if paper towel. Nearly all of the algae is caught on the paper towel. Compared to the amount of money we spend on our aquariums, paper towels are cheap. It’s important to use white paper towel, not the stuff with prints. Fish have been known to jump out of the tanks because they were scared by the ugly prints. Okay, maybe I made that last bit up.

The edge of a (hopefully expired) credit card works if you don’t want to use paper towels, but I’ve found that paper towels and occasionally a little perseverance gets it all off. Maybe I just have easy algae. Some people use sponges (make sure it‘s new). If you use a sponge, use a separate one for each aquarium to keep from spreading algae, and possibly parasites or snail eggs. With paper towels I don’t have those worries.
I took your advise and voila! I have two Fluval Flex tanks and the scraper wasn't doing it on the curved glass. Some elbow grease and paper towels did the trick. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

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Good advice skayell. I will try the paper towel method.
Glad it worked. I hate the thought of scraping glass. And obviously razor blades aren’t safe for acrylic tanks. When you really need the elbow grease (and a scrubby sponge) is on the waterline marks. For acrylic aquariums and hard water or water with high KH, I sometimes have high water marks. Shrimp and fish don’t seem to mind, though.
 

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News Flash! I found out about 3 hours ago that all paper towels are not equal. The brand I’ve used for decades—Bounty—is mildly acidic, about 6.6 and the Viva that were substituted on an order are too acidic to read with a water chemistry kit. I think from now on, I’ll stick with sponges or wiping hard with my fingers, which works better than you’d think.

No, this is not an endorsement of Bounty paper towels. I don’t work for them.
 

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Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is fabulous on algae, especially on curved tanks and for getting the nasty stuff off the silicone. Safe for tanks? I read online somewhere, so it must be true, that the Monterey Bay Aquarium uses it, so I guess it is good.
 
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