Top Five Beginner Algae Scrapers

Updated 2024

In the world of saltwater aquarium algae scrapers, you’ve got two main types: magnetic and hand-held.

In this gear guide, I’m gonna keep it simple and recommend just four, ’cause these are the ones I’ve personally used and totally dig.

So, here’s the deal – I highly suggest getting both a magnetic cleaner and a hand-held cleaner. The magnetic one is gonna be your ultimate algae-busting powerhouse. You’ll be using it all the time, and the best part is, you won’t even have to dip your hand in the tank.

Now, the hand-held scraper comes in handy for those tricky spots – you know, the hard-to-reach areas, edges, sandbed lines, and rear filtration chambers.

For most film algae, the felt side of the scraper does the job. But every now and then, you’ll encounter some stubborn hard algae that needs a bit more oomph. That’s when you switch to the stainless steel or hard acrylic side for some serious scraping action.

Oh, one important tip – if your tank is made of glass, then the stainless steel scraper is your go-to hero. But hey, if you’re rocking an acrylic tank, don’t even think about using the stainless steel one, ’cause it’ll scratch up that plastic. Go for the acrylic scraper instead.

Now, I’m recommending four options, but honestly, just go ahead and get #2 and #1 from this guide. Those are my top picks, and I wouldn’t bother with anything else! They’ve got you covered for all your algae scraping needs. Happy cleaning! 🌊🧼

4. Mag-Float Floating Magnetic Algae Scraper

Alright, so I actually own the smaller version of this Mag-Float. To be honest, I got it just to give it a shot and see how it performs. So, does it work? Well, yeah, it does the job, but not nearly as well as the Flipper.

Now, here’s the thing – you can save some cash by going for this one. But here’s what I’ve noticed – it takes a whole lot more scrubbing to get the glass clean compared to the Flipper. The Mag-Float has this velcro-like scraper, which means it’s only designed for dealing with the soft film algae.

If you’re hoping to tackle any hard algae, be ready to spend a whole hour at it! It’s just not gonna cut it for the tougher stuff.

But hey, it’s not all bad. This magnetic algae scraper does serve as a good backup option to keep on hand or leave in the water of a quarantine tank. That’s exactly what I do with mine! It has its uses, you know?

3. Flipper Platinum Aquarium Hand Scraper

I’m a big fan of this hand-held algae scraper because guess what? You can simply use a credit card or even a library card! How cool is that?

The Flipper Platinum offers three sizes to choose from, and each one comes with an official scraper blade that works like a charm on both glass and acrylic tanks.

Now, one thing to note is that it’s not stainless steel, so if you’ve got a glass aquarium, you might need to replace the scraper a bit more frequently. But hey, here’s the good news – it fits a standard credit card, so replacing it is practically free!

The reason I’ve put this at #3 on my list is because I really like having the option of using a stainless steel head. Plus, you can also get an adjustable length scraper if that’s your thing.

All in all, this is still a fantastic product, so if it meets your needs, don’t hesitate to grab one! It’s a handy tool to have in your aquarium maintenance arsenal. Happy cleaning! 🌊🛠️

2. Continuum Aquatics AquaBlade Algae Scraper

Continuum Aquatics Hand Held Algae Scraper

My favorite scraper used to be the Kent Marine, but they don’t seem to sell that anymore.  So that has sent me on a quest to find a replacement.

Sure, I do like all things Flipper, as you will see from my #1 coming up next, but when it comes to handheld, this continuum beats it out by a smidge.  Nothing fancy here, just a high quality scraper that comes in various lengths.  

You just have to make sure you buy the right one… Either stainless steel for glass tanks or plastic for acrylic tanks.  Why in the name of the reefing God’s they didn’t just include both tips in one kit is beyond me.  It seems a really cheap way to save a few pennies and upset hobbyists… But that’s just me!

1. Flipper 2-in-1 Magnetic Algae Scraper

Seriously, folks, listen up – Buy this, and let me say it one more time – BUY THIS!

Sure, it might be over twice the price of the Mag-Float, but trust me, it’s a whopping 10 times better (at least, in my humble opinion!).

The Flipper offers three sizes, but for most saltwater hobbyists, the standard size is the way to go. It’s perfect for glass thickness ranging from 1/4″ to 1/2″. Just double-check and make sure you get the right size for your tank.

Now, let me tell you why the Flipper is my number one, hands-down choice:

  1. It’s got a strong magnet – seriously strong!
  2. You get both a stainless steel and an acrylic blade – talk about versatility!
  3. And get this – you can easily switch between the soft felt side and the scraper just by flipping the magnet inside the tank. How cool is that?

Okay, I’ll admit, it takes a few tries to get the hang of it, but trust me, this scraper is a massive time saver. I use the Flipper a whopping 95% of the time for my cleaning needs. Sure, you’ll need to replace the soft felt side and the scraper every now and then, but that only happens every couple of years.

If you’re thinking of buying just one algae scraper, look no further – this is it! I promise you won’t be disappointed (well, okay, maybe you will be, but honestly, I doubt it!). This baby is a game-changer for aquarium maintenance. Happy cleaning! 🌊🧹

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