How to Clean Fish Tank Glass?

Fish Tank Features Transparent Glass, and this is the reason you can enjoy the flight of the beautiful fishes for hours. But if the glasses get foggy and dirty ridden with tiny algae, it will no more look as eye-catching as it is used to be.

There may be pretty much causes for the algae to gather on the side glasses of the tank. And the smart methods are many to scrub the glass in the most efficient way possible.

You can clean the glass manually, or you can use several tools or materials to make the task more comfortable and hassle-free.

Beside the said methods, you can apply other techniques that involve the less physical effort by ensuring the elimination of the nutrients algae lives on.

Let’s explore the most common methods of cleaning the fish tank glass.

Ways To Clean the Fish Tank Glass

There are three most popular methods to clean the glass of the algae accumulated over time. Algae on the glassy side walls of the tank resist the owner of the aquarium from enjoying the ecstatic movement of the fish and uncommon beauty of the aquarium.


It turns a beautiful showpiece into an eye discomfort. The following three measures can effectively solve the problem and get your aquarium glasses rid of the algae. Here you go with them:

  • Use Your Hand to Clean the Glass
  • Make the Algae the Feast of the Algae Eating Species
  • Prevention is better

Manual Glass Cleaning

The extent of using your hand depends on the density of the algae born on the side glasses of the aquarium. If you take the initiative of cleaning at the early stage, you can wipe them off with just a sponge. 

You have to press the sponge against the algae-coated glass and apply the coarse side of the pad if the mosses are stubborn.

Algae grown over a lengthy period of time may not respond at the gentle rubbing of a sponge. In this case, you can use a scraper with a handle to be operated by hand.

Most often, these handles come equipped with a razor blade to treat the overgrown algae that show sufficient resistance while washing up with the hot-water soaked sponge.

Hold the blade 0f the scrapper with a 45-degree angle to effectively cut the moss from the glass surface. Care should be taken that your hand is not cut and the glass is not scratched.

The most effective manual moss cleaning of an aquarium glass will be to take the help of a magnetic algae wiper. That type of wiper features two parts – inside and outside.

The part kept inside the glass will be attached with the cleaning pad, and the outer part will have the handle to move the inner pad where it requires scrubbing – lichen-ridden part of the glass.

The magnet is kept with the inner part, and the outer handle is attached with a flat metal part to maneuver the magnet as you need. You need to be careful of the strength of the magnet used and the size of the whole wiper.

Strong magnetic power is required to deal with the stubborn moss, and a bigger size wiper is for the larger aquarium.

While the obstinate lichen must need a magnet of superior strength, the larger tank glasses are not impossible to clear off the algae with the relatively smaller magnet. 

But it will not be wise to use a smaller magnet to handle a relatively large aquarium as it will grow result in acute monotony.


Moss Eaters Can Perform Better

Suppose, you are not comfortable to go through the dirt-cleaning manually and there is an effective and efficient alternative that can save you from getting smeared with aquatic dirt.

You may not know that the spumes overgrown on the walls of the aquarium can be a voluptuous feast for the algae eaters like the snails, certain fishes, and other algae eating species like Otocinclus and Rosy Barbs.

But before finally selecting the moss eaters for your aquarium, you need to conduct a research on which species will suit your aquarium size, water, and existing species.

The other alternative you can opt for is the aquarium vegetations. These will increase the visual quality of your fish tank along with the stopping the spread of algae.

The mosses and lichens grow and thrive on nutrients and light. And the plants to need light and nitrogen for the growth.

Planting suitable vegetation will eradicate the algae habitat as plants will gobble the nutrients. So by eliminating the resources the algae species thrive on, the plants contribute to keeping the aquarium glasses clean and healthy.

Preventive Measures to stop Algae Build-up

The more informed you are about anything, the more benefited and safe you will keep. You can efficiently get all the algae propagation stopped provided that you know every cause why and how moss germinates.

The prime culprits for algae germination are phosphate and nitrogen in your tank.  

And the potential sources of phosphate and nitrogen are unpurified tap water, saltwater mix package carrying the two culprits – phosphate and nitrogen, an excess of and left-over fish food in the tank, and a disproportionate amount of fish in the tank.  

You should better know how many fishes are normal for the aquarium size you possess.

If the water source for your aquarium is your tap, you should ensure purification before supplying water to the tank. Secondly, before buying any package, you should be careful enough to opt only for the phosphate and nutrient-free products.

Thirdly, make sure no food is left un-eaten in the tank that can be a nutrient source for the spumes to grow up fast. So, provide only the food your fishes can intake only.

Finally, know the perfect ratio of the numbers of fishes and the size of the aquarium. Too much of fishes will make the water dirty with their excretes that will lead to propagating algae over the side glasses.

Further Precautions

After observing all the said measures to eliminate algae from the tank glasses, if you still notice moss germination on the side glasses, you should be more sensitive in certain cases. The water itself often cause algae growth.

Therefore, you should replace tank water with fresh water from outside at a regular interval. But too much of water spilling would be harmful to the life cycle of the fishes as it may drastically affect the daily course of their life.

Moreover, tank water is the breeding ground of the beneficial bacteria that keep the tank habitat suitable for the creatures. A maximum of 10-30% of the total water will suffice to serve the said purpose. 

You also can opt for a self-cleaning fish tank that comes equipped with a moderate pump to replace the dirty water with the fresher alternative.

It will not the least disturb the normal course of the fish life as it is too gentle to bother the fish.

So you need not shift the fish temporarily to replace water with a pump of that kind. You can do it by letting the fishes swimming as they are used to.

You also can buy an automatic cleaner that will self-clean your tank glasses. This cleaning device will go on cleaning efficiently backed by a rechargeable battery and a removable scrubbing sponge.

It will not cost more than $200. You only have to take the pain of setting on the other glass once the current one is scrubbed as it cannot turn corners.


To get rid of algae build up on your fish tank glasses, you have to keep regular communication with the nearby pet store. They can inform you the moment an upgraded aquarium cleaner or aquarium spray appears.

You can rest assured that the glass cleaning products are made safe both for your hand and for the fishes.  

If you want to ensure a greener and eye-catching look for your aquarium, it is the gasses you have to keep clean, and this task is not that tough now after reading such an informed and well-researched article on the topic.

Team Chooserly

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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