Tips to Keep Your Aquarium Glass Clean – EP 3: Saltwater Aquarium Maintenance

Tips to Keep Your Aquarium Glass Clean – EP 3: Saltwater Aquarium Maintenance


Today on BRStv we are going to go over some
tips on keeping your glass clean so the tank always looks sharp. Hi I’m Ryan host of BRStv where each week
we cover new topic related to reefing. This week we are going to share how we keep the
glass free of algae starting with your typical green algae. Before we get into the actual methods of keeping
the glass clean we should focus on reducing the need to clean it in the first place. If
you have to clean the glass every few days it is almost certainly caused by elevated
nutrient levels. I know we all like dumping food in the tank and the fish honestly always
look hungry for some reason but we really need to limit the amount of food added to
the tank or you’ll need to be ready to up your water change schedule which basically
no one wants to do. In fact if you know this to be the case you
should consider doing a series of four or five 30% changes to get the levels down combined
with a more reasonable combination of food and water changes from that point on. Keep
in mind cutting the amount you feed in half could result in half the water changes as
well. Ok for some of you feeding less or doing more
water changes just isn’t an option, there are a few other options. Starting with arguably
the easiest one GFO. GFO is a media designed to remove phosphate from the aquarium. Phosphate
is a critical component of algae growth so maintaining ultra low levels will reduce algae
growth everywhere in the tank including on the glass. In fact it works so well that it can often
give you the perception that the tank is pristine when in fact the nitrates are off the charts.
So keeping that in mind GFO is easily the most popular solution for algae control and
we recommend it all the time. Only recommendation is to test for nitrates occasionally. If they
are getting out of hand you will have to change your feeding or water change habits. There are more complete solutions like organic
carbon dosing methods such as vodka dosing or biopellets which use bacteria to remove
from phosphate and nitrate, these options I’d say are for fairly advanced reefers. More popular these days is the ZEOvit method
which uses ZEOlite media to adsorb much of the ammonia from broken down food before it
even has a chance to break down into nitrate. The residual nitrate and phosphate are consumed
via bacteria. Because of this you can typically go a really long time between cleaning the
glass in most tanks running zeovit. Ok so the glass is dirty what are we going
to do about it. There are tools like this scraper from JBJ, while inexpensive they are
not my favorite solutions because the long handle makes it somewhat hard to get everywhere in the tank.

43 thoughts on “Tips to Keep Your Aquarium Glass Clean – EP 3: Saltwater Aquarium Maintenance

  1. Great video! However, I think an often overlooked aspect of cleaning your aquarium's glass is the ability to clean close to the sand! Typical magnet scrapers can make it hard to see how close the inner portion of the cleaner is to the sand. I have a Magnavore cleaner and the inner scraper is about .5" wider than the outer handle portion allowing me to see exactly how close the scraper is to the sand. This allows me to get very very close to the sandbed without worrying about picking up particles of sand and scratching the tank. Hope this helps someone, just sharing through experience scratching my old tanks 🙂

  2. Hope all of you at BRS had a most Blessed and Merry Christmas . . . and going along with the fairness and revealing honesty of your videos to the public — may your New Year be filled with good health, prosperity and continued success.

  3. G'day yes the best scraper I have used, I started with the mag flip with acrylic blades for glass worked well for the fist clean but the blades don't last long for glass  then I seen the flipper with stainless-steel  blades it works the beast at the sand bed when you just go up and down it will get the algae off with out disturbing the sand bed much, than when you go long way a cross the sand bed then it lifts the sand and now I can get into places where rocks are close to the glass and cleaned the algae off it is the best I have found the stainless-steel blade of the flipper will fit the mag-flip so now I have two good glass cleaners now would like to see them make one to do my 19mm ( 1" ) glass tank thanks and happy new year

  4. Ok BRS I'm throwing down the gauntlet here since you are some great problem solvers. How do you fix scratches in glass from accidental damage while cleaning. Go.

  5. I scratched the bejesus out of my 6 month old Biocube because I left the cleaner inside and tube worms began to form in the bristles of the mag cleaner.  Douh!

  6. Best Tip Ever: don't use sand beds – all reef tanks should be ideally crushed coral – having sand beds trap more particulate matter and algae – you create more work for yourself

  7. I use ORIGINAL Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges to efficiently clean and remove even calciferous algae from aquarium glass. Non-toxic they're completely safe to use in both freshwater and saltwater environments. shred. ORIGINAL Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are durable and rectangular, making corner and crevice cleaning effortless, with never a scratch. You may cut or use the whole sponge. Waste matter will cling to it instead of mixing into the water, so I recommend discarding after one use.  Don't be scared. It will not harm your precious fish. Just make sure the box reads "ORIGINAL" Magic Eraser. 

  8. I am thinking of getting a nano reef with a black back, separating tank and filter on the back of the tank, but all of those black backs are acrylic and I don't like to see algae on them (green nor coroline) ….How to keep it clean without scratching?

  9. Explain to me why I have big problems with brown algea (diatoms) each and every time I clean my out my filter sponges, some one tell me were I'm going wrong.
    The problem occurs in my cold goldfish tank but not my tropical tank.

  10. So I've been having to clean my glass about every 2-3 days now. And it looks like a brown diatom kinda algae which is also growing on the sand and rocks a bit. I test phosphates with the Hanna checker ulr and it reads anywhere from 0-4 ppb…in other words, really low. What is going on that I'm missing?

  11. I'm new to saltwater – I have a 125 gal. tank. Is it ok to scrape the algae off the whole tank? I have a fish only tank for the time being. There is plenty of algae on my rocks. The back of the tank is covered with black paper – so when you look at the tank you can see all the algae and it makes the tank look dirty. Thanks very much.

  12. One of the best ways to control alge on glass is to prevent light from reaching it .Cutting the light time works but a better bet is to direct the light away from the front glass somehow. It's much easier if the light is several inches above the water, but by installing a piece of black plexiglass or other opaque,waterproof material ( 6 inches by the width of the tank)so that it shades the rear wall and front wall of the tank ,very little alge will grow. Also positioning the light several inches above the tank (positioned toward the front of the tank aimed back) directing the light to the back will shade the front galss and also allow the reflective sides of your fish (especially damsels)catch horizontal light and to shine with color.(try a flashlight on your fish to see it's effect)

  13. i had a salt water tank years ago, did fairly well, then one day all the fish started dying, of course back then i was a novice, this go around if you really want to keep your salt water tank going strong, and looking beautiful, it does require a lot of researching, the end result,,,,, is amazing

  14. How do you clean the back side of your tank, I have Red Sea 350 reefer and I don't want to grow coraline on the back, ty

  15. can fish die from being underfed? or will they just not be as active if their being fed less than usual? im considering cutting on my feeding. For some reason, after i came back today from not being home all weekend, my glass was covered in brown and green algea.

  16. after scratching my glass with a dirty magnetic clearer. I always brush both wet and dry sides with a nylon brush from the dollar store. Brush before, after and while cleaning.

  17. I have a 1/2" acrylic 180. I have never found anything remotely as good as "Mr Clean Magic Eraser". There are no chemicals on these and are safe for fish and inverts. Sure, you have to put your arm in the tank, but it removes everything with far less effort than any magnetic scraper, and I've tried most of them.

  18. What do u recommend for cleaning a curved surface like a biocube where the glass surface is super small and the curves are hard to reach?

  19. people complain about you're booming voice… idk, i sorta prefer it. keeps me awake and paying attention after 5+ hours of professors with monotonous lecture voices

  20. Sometimes I think a tank can be to clean… all my fry are doing really well and they eat the fine algae on the glass.. I also have heavily planted tanks and this helps… I get that it doesn't look as apealing to some people but pristine tanks (glass) isn't always a good thing in my experience…

  21. Hi Ryan, I see in the market that there's also available synthetic GMO claiming that it has more power for absorbing phosphates than regular GMO. How much of truth is that??

  22. Would the bladed scraper not scratch the glass? I hate the magnetic ones as the sand that traps has scratched glass on my tanks in the past… I just got a new reef tank so im looking for tips to avoid scratching my glass as my new tank is prestine

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