Best Glass Cleaner For Saltwater Aquariums

If you are new to the world of maintaining saltwater aquariums, or if you are fed up with your current glass cleaner, you have come to the right place. Cleaning the glass of a saltwater aquarium can be a tricky task without the correct tools. Many new owners tend to lean towards the traditional magnetic glass cleaner normally reserved for tropical freshwater tanks. However, not only do these not work, they can also have dire consequences, by inadvertently scratching the glass of your new aquarium! In this article we give you a run down of the best glass cleaners for saltwater aquariums that will suit every budget.

best glass cleaners for saltwater aquariums

Help! I scratched my saltwater aquarium glass!

Unfortunately, using the incorrect magnetic glass cleaner can be a very bad decision for saltwater aquarium owners. Cleaners such as Mag-Float might be a fantastic tool for freshwater tanks, but in a marine tank they are inefficient and a scratch waiting to happen. Most saltwater setups include sand and some of the algae we experience tends to predominantly grow at the sand line. If you do use a Mag-float to clean this area of the tank there is every possibility that you will inadvertently pick up sand along the way. This sand, trapped between the magnet and the glass, will create magnificent scratches before you notice what you have done.

Unfortunately, once you have a scratch, there is no going back, no adequate repair, no reverse button. A scratch is there to stay.

Recommended cleaners for saltwater aquariums

Below we are going to look at the best rated aquarium scrapers on the market and a few of the budget brands too. It is worth considering spending as much as you can afford on your glass cleaner. Not only will you be using it on a regular basis, so you will want it to work well, but you also want it to clean the glass as efficiently as possible. After all, your clean glass is a window into that bit of the ocean you have created.

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The TWO top rated saltwater aquarium glass cleaners

There is no disputing the top position for the best glass cleaners for saltwater aquariums. One is made in the US and the other in Germany, but both are very good at their job, and both are highly rated. Having said that, neither are perfect. If choosing one or the other, it comes down to what you perceive to be the better of the two.   

The FL!PPER Cleaner

FL!PPER Flipper Cleaner Float - 2-in-1 Floating Magnetic Aquarium Glass Cleaner - Fish Tank Cleaner - Scrubber & Scraper Aquarium Cleaning Tools – Floating Fish Tank Cleaner, Standard
  • SCRUB, SCRAPE, FLIP &FLOAT: Clean fresh or salt water tanks with the patented dual sided magnetic aquarium glass cleaner that flips from scrubber to scraper without you reaching into the tank.
  • MAJOR TIME SAVER: The 2-In-1 Magnetic Aquarium Fish Tank Cleaner halves the time for daily cleaning. Ideal aquarium accessories for use on glass tanks up to 12mm (1/2") thickness / 30-150 gallons
  • These aquarium cleaning tools clean even the most stubborn Coraline. The Flipper fish tank cleaner is made with rare earth magnets for incredible cleaning strength.

The FL!PPER Float Cleaner is one of the best glass cleaners for saltwater aquariums. The top seller in the US, it comes in three sizes suitable for any saltwater tank size.
FL!PPER has become one of the top established brands because it does what marine hobbyists needs a glass cleaner to do.

Simply put: the FL!PPER has two sides. One side is a scraper, and the other side is a scrubber. The preferred side for saltwater tanks is the scraper side. When using the scraper side, the magnetic body is raised from the glass by the blade and two supports on the back end.

Flipper Scraper

This makes the FL!PPER safe to use at the sand level for the majority of sand sizes, and prevents sand from being caught between the the magnet and the glass. If you flip the FL!PPER over, you then have the convenience (or inconvenience?) of the scrubber side. This side should never come into contact with the sand, or in fact get anything caught between it and the glass. There is NO gap between the scrubber and glass.

The FL!PPER cleaner also floats! So while manoeuvring it across the glass, or changing from side pane to front pane and loosing magnetic connection, instead of having to retrieve it from the aquarium sand bed, it will float up to the surface where you can grab it. 

Have a look at FL!PPERs website here


  • Glass Only Tanks
  • Up to 1/4″ glass
  • Up to 25 Gallons


  • Glass or acrylic tanks
  • 3/8″ – 1/2″ glass
  • 30 to 150 Gallons


  • Glass or acrylic tanks
  • 5/8″ – 1″ glass
  • 150+ Gallons

The Tunze Care Magnet

Although not as well known in the US, the Tunze Care Magnet is right up there with the FL!PPER, and is possibly the most popular brand across UK and Europe.

Tunze 0222.015 Care Magnet Long Pack of 1
  • item_display_weight; 0.33 kg

The Tunze Care Magnet is arguably one of the best glass cleaners for salt water aquariums. In fact I’m willing to stick my neck out and say that it is probably the safest to use to avoid scratched glass. I say this because it does not have a scrubber side that you may mistakenly use, and because I have owned one for almost seven years on two separate tanks with no scratch in sight.

Check out my separate article here.

Tunze Care Magnet

Unlike the FL!PPER, Tunze Care Magnet has a blade on each end. These blades are the only part of the cleaner that make contact with the glass and make it safe to use at sand level.

On the standard size cleaner, one blade is longer than the other to allow large scale cleaning, while the smaller blade exerts more pressure over a smaller area for harder to clean algae.

Both blades are made of rigid plastic, but a stainless steel blade is provided too.

In my own experience, I have found the stainless steel blade to be superb. I always make sure I have spares available should I need to change them over. The Tunze Care Magnet is available in five sizes, three of the most popular are covered below.


  • Glass Tanks Only
  • 1/4″ – 3/8″ glass
  • Up to 25 Gallons


  • Glass Tanks Only
  • 3/8″ – 2/3″glass
  • Up to 150 Gallons


  • Glass Tanks Only
  • 3/4″ – 1″ glass
  • 150+ Gallons

The Tunze Care Magnet does not float, but never fear, the Care Booster is included with the long and the strong (always check before ordering). It is also available separately. This is an attachment that affixes to the magnet, ensuring that it floats to the surface should you loose connection. 

Recommended long handled scraper

For those hard to reach areas of the aquarium, the FL!PPER Platinum Aquarium Hand Scraper is superb. It includes a FL!PPER plastic blade, but the scraper has been made to accommodate credit card style cards too!

FL!PPER Flipper Platinum Scraper and Fish Tank Cleaner with Serrated Blade for Glass and Acrylic | Hand Algae Remover for Aquariums Professional Fish Tank Accessories | 28” Rigid Shaft
  • PRO GRADE CLEANING: Platinum aquarium glass cleaners are available in 4 sizes. Each of our fish tank algae scrapers ensure efficient algae cleaning across a range of fish and turtle tanks. Choose from our 10”, 12” Nano, 18” or 28” professional grade aquarium cleaning tools for saltwater and freshwater aquarists.
  • NON-SCRATCH BLADE: The Platinum fish tank cleaner is supplied with 1 official Flipper aquarium glass scraper blade with a serrated edge that won’t scratch your glass or acrylic fish tank.
  • NO REPLACEMENT BLADES REQUIRED: Flipper Platinum's unique design is the only aquarium scraper that uses any old credit card, hotel room key, etc that can be inserted in any direction for multiple levels of flexibility, making it the most versatile aquarium cleaner available.

Recommended budget cleaners for saltwater aquariums

Unfortunately there are no budget purpose made glass cleaners for saltwater aquariums, but that doesn’t mean you are left without a cheaper choice. In my aquarium cleaning arsenal I would never go without my utility blades and scraper.

As good as both the FL!PPER and the Tunze Care Magnet are, neither are capable of removing stubborn coralline algae. They can remove the beginnings of coralline, but if like me you leave it for a little too long, it is time to brake out the scraper and get your hands wet! 


The simple message in this article is that there are only two ‘best glass cleaners for saltwater aquariums’, and although they may be pricey, they certainly do the job admirably.

Hi, my name is Craig.
I am the owner of The Salty Side.
Firstly, thank you for visiting us. If you have found this article to be informative, and you now have a better understanding of the topic, then my job is done.

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Best Glass Cleaners For Saltwater Aquariums
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