How to Clean a Fish Tank Glass? Step By Step Process

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Written By Fun Fish Tanks

I Love my Fishes 

Owning an Aquarium is something that you can always be very proud of. It’s like you own your own very unique aqua universe that you can show to your friends, family and guests. However, when your friends or guests come close to your Aquarium or Fish Tank and notice that, the glass pane is very dirty, it doesn’t feel nice right.

Today, in this article, we’ll walk though the entire process of properly cleaning your fish tank glass. This includes, what equipment’s and cleaning agents you should use and the process involved in cleaning your fish tank without hurting your fish pets.

 "Staff Divers  Cleaning a big Aquarium of Great Cleveland Aquarium"
Image –greaterclevelandaquarium.com – “Staff Divers Cleaning a big Aquarium of Great Cleveland Aquarium”

Equipment’s Required to clean a Fish tank Glass

Knowing your Fish Tank Glass Type

Most of the Aquariums out there are made up of Plate Glass or ADA Glass which are commonly used for Windows, Cars, Glass Doors and Glass walls.

However, these days, Aquariums or your fish tank could also be made of Sapphire crystal Glass which is used in most of the Smartphones these days.

Plate Glass is very brittle and breaks easily while it is also easily scratch able. Sapphire Crystal glass is much more resistant to scratches. Before you buy your Aquarium Glass Cleaning equipment, it is important to note what kind of Glass your Fish tank is made of.

If you bought your Fish Tank from a reputed Aquarium Dealership, most probably, your Fish Tank is made of ADA Glass which is totally fine.

In this case you can use, any of the latest Fish Tank Cleaning equipment’s like Algae Scraper that’s made of Aluminum Magnesium alloy and that should work just fine.

How to Clean Fish Tank Glass? – Step by Step Process

Cleaning your Fish Tank glass is pretty simple actually if you do it the right way and follow the guidelines.

However, nowdays, most people just use whatever they think can clean the glass, while, it may bring a bright shine to the glass, on the other side, your fish may be suffering. So, here’s how you can properly clean a fish tank glass.

1. Test the Water Quality First

Every water in an Aquarium has something called Nitrate levels which is essentially level of water toxicity of your fish tank. Experts recommend having 0 ppm Nitrite, 0 ppm Ammonia and less than 40 ppm nitrate levels.

Aquarium Water Quality Test Strips

As these levels become higher due to time and feeding, these levels go up which means you have to frequently change the water in order to reduce the level of toxicity.

To Test the toxic levels of your water, you can use a water test kit that can easily help you do that.

After you have tested the water and made sure that the ppm levels of nitrates are below 40 ppm, it’s time for cleaning.

2. Use an Algae Scraper to remove Algae stuck on the walls.

HOTOOME Algae Scraper

Algae Scrapers come with and without blade attachments and they are meant for dealing with different types of glass. You should be fine with both as long as your Glass is made with ADA glass type that’s specifically meant for Aquarium glasses.

A Algae scraper with blade is better because it helps you easily slice through Algae that’s hard stuck on the glass walls. However, if the Algae build up is mild then, a regular Algae Scraper should be fine.

Slowly slice though all the Algae that’s stuck on your Fish Tank Glass walls. Do it gently however, because if you do it roughly, it may scratch the glass.

3. Wipe off the remaining Algae using a Sponge and Clean the Glass from inside

If the Algae build up is very less, it can be easily removed using a simple sponge. Gently rub the walls of the Fish tank while removing the remaining Algae. Cleaning any dirt spots that’s there on the Fish tank glass.

MR.SIGA Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge
  • Make sure that you use a clean sponge which is new. Because a used sponge contains soap and other detergents can harm the water quality of the fish tank.
  • You do not need to remove the fishes as well and it’s completely ok to clean the fish tank glass without removing the fishes.
  • However, what you should not do is remove the water. This is because your water overtime builds up essential beneficial bacteria’s that helps the Aquarium ecosystem. Removing the water means destroying these helpful bacteria’s.

If the Algae has built up on top of your Aquarium rocks, you can use a toothbrush to gently brush off the Algae.

Finally, let the Algae waste drop or sink on the bottom of the fish tank. You can easily use a Aquarium Vacuum to remove the Algae waste.

4. Using an Aquarium Magnet

Many people actually use Aquarium Magnet to clean the Fish Tank glass and although, it’s not the perfect method to clean your fish tank, it still works.

Aquarium Magnet

You can get Aquarium Magnets on any local Aquarium Stores or even on Amazon. The process of cleaning your Aquarium glass using Aquarium Magnets can be tedious and I don’t normally recommend it. But you can always try just for fun.

Using Aquarium Magnets does the same thing that a normal sponge or Algae Scraper does, the only difference is that now you don’t need to dip your hand into the Aquarium water.

One part of the Magnet is attached inside the fish tank glass and the other part which is normally has a handle shape is used to move the magnets to clean the glass and remove any Algae build ups.

These magnets come in different shapes and sizes and also strength. While many also come with a blade that helps remove the tough Algae spots.

5. Test Water Quality again

Lastly, test the water quality again and make sure that the nitrate levels are all below 40 ppm. This is important so that we know that, our fish is not swimming in toxic water.

Many people ask if they can use Glass Cleaning solutions for their fish tank and yes, you can as long as it is made for cleaning Aquarium Glass.

Here is a Aquarium Cleaning solution that is safe for your fishes. – API Safe & Easy Aquarium Cleaner

After you have used the solution to clean your fish tank glass both from inside and outside, you can recheck the water quality and if the nitrates levels rise up, you may have to change the water again to bring back the levels down.

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