for the week of 9/2/99
Regularly cleaning the aquarium glass keeps the tank neat and attractive.
Inside – Commercial pad-type scrubbers are abrasive enough to remove algae and other growths, but not enough to scratch the glass. The new, plastic blade scrapers are even more effective, but dull fairly quickly. Single edge razor blades are even more effective, but care must be taken not to scratch the glass or slice into a seal. Each style works best if held directly in the hand, but long-handled or magnetic models are available for those who wish to remain dry.
Outside – A squeegee works very well if there is no concern about a little water on the floor, but a soft cloth or paper towel with plain water works, too. Ammonia based glass cleaning chemicals can be carefully used on the outside of the tank, but they should be sprayed on the cloth rather than the tank itself, to avoid contaminating the aquarium. Plain newspaper, lightly moistened with plain water, gives amazingly streak-free results.
Great care should be taken to avoid scratching the glass. This is most often done by using too abrasive a cleaner, or by getting aquarium gravel trapped in the cleaning device and dragging it across the glass.
Acrylic (Plexiglas) aquariums require extra special care, as they are easily scratched by common glass-cleaning devices or chemically damaged by glass-cleaning chemicals. Use only products specially labelled as safe for acrylic.
“Tip of the week” appeared regularly in 1999 and 2000.