There is nothing worse than not being able to see your aquarium collection due to stained glass! Knowing how to make aquarium glass crystal clear can be of huge help, especially if you have lots of colorful animals.
Not just that, but having residue on your tank glass might, on rare occasions, even be harmful!
At the same time, it might be an indication of hard water, which is never a good thing!
Either way, you probably want to keep your tank glass as clean as possible, for more reasons than one.
Luckily, I’m here to help! I’ll explain how to make aquarium glass crystal clear in 3 common situations most tank keepers will find themselves in.
How Do I Make My Freshwater Tank Crystal Clear?
No matter how hard you try to stay away from hard water, having a residue on the tank glass is the inevitable issue for most aquarists. Things only get worse if you keep fish that prefer hard water conditions!
Luckily, there is a way how to make aquarium glass crystal clear no matter the type of dirt you have. All you need to know is a few tips and tricks!
Below are a few tested methods that can help you with the most common issues.
How Do You Clean White Residue from Aquarium Glass?
The white residue found on your aquarium glass is most likely limescale. Yes, the same limescale you might have on your bathroom sink!
In other words, this is hard water residue. It’s significantly worse if you keep fish that prefer hard water.
The easiest method to clean limescale is to use a razor or a scrapper. You can scrape the limescale away from the glass without too much hassle. Just be careful not to scratch the glass, as this will result in permanent stains.
Another method is to use rock salt and a foam sponge. Soak the sponge with water, then add some rock salt to it. This will work like sandpaper, but you aren’t risking any damage to the glass.
If you’d like to try to remove it without scraping it away, mix some undiluted vinegar and water and spray it onto the stained area. Let it stay for several minutes, then try wiping it with a damp cloth. If cloth isn’t enough, try some of the methods mentioned above once the limescale softens.
Another chemical method includes vinegar, cornstarch, and isopropyl alcohol. Spray pure vinegar onto the glass, wait for it to soften, then brush it for a little bit with an old toothbrush.
Add some alcohol and cornstarch to the residue remains, and wipe it with a damp cloth. This should remove what’s left of the residue.
How to Remove Cloudy Stain from Aquarium Glass?
There are several causes of cloudy aquarium glass. This includes:
- Residue build-up,
- Decaying animal and plant matter,
- Dirty filters,
- Green algae,
- Low dissolved oxygen levels.
In general, cleaning cloudy stains is the same as cleaning limescale, if not even easier. However, if you don’t get rid of the cause, the issue will keep on repeating.
Make sure the gravel and substrate are clean and free of any algae and biofilm. Also, make sure the filter is working properly.
In fact, most of the time you’ll notice that the cloudy glass is accompanied by a clogged or a broken filter. When the filter cannot work properly, the water will get mushy. This will make the glass dirty, as well.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should change the dirty water, as well. Otherwise, everything will just get dirty once again the moment you return the water and the fish to the tank.
Not to mention how a cloudy tank might lead to some diseases. You might even end up with a blue velvet shrimp turned black!
How to Remove Algae from Fish Tank Glass?
While algae are a great food source for many fish and shrimp species, too much algae can lead to buildups and film that will make your tank dirty.
Not just that, but algae might ruin the water quality as they’ll take up too much oxygen.
In general, algae will live in the substrate and in the water itself, so make sure to clean the gravel, as well. Of course, replace the water entirely.
As for cleaning the glass, you should be able to clean it with a sponge or a damp cloth without any issues. However, once again, if you don’t deal with the source, the algae will just come back.
A few things you can do include:
- Don’t overfeed your fish. Algae feed on food leftovers. If your fish cannot eat all the food in just a few hours, algae will thrive!
- Control the amount of light your tank is getting. Algae love direct sunlight!
- Clean your filters! Once again, this is the main cause behind many issues, including algae growth.
- Use UV sterilizers. These sterilizers are an excellent addition to a regular filter.
- Add animals that eat algae. Many snail and shrimp species love to eat biofilm and algae. While this won’t get rid of algae entirely, it can help keep algae under control. Not to mention how gorgeous they are. Just look at the blue velvet shrimp, for example!
A clean tank is a happy tank! Not only does the dirty glass keep you from watching your critters, it can also be an indication that something is terribly wrong.
From algae to limescale, a dirty tank glass is a big no-no! As such, you should know how to make aquarium glass crystal clear at all times, no matter the issue at hand.
Keep in mind that cleaning the glass is usually the easy part. What’s much more challenging is to keep the issue from repeating.
Make sure all the water parameters are good and don’t overfeed your fish. With just a bit of maintenance, your tank will look squeaky clean like on the day you first bought it!
You know that calming feeling of tranquility and thrill while looking at a gorgeous, perfectly functioning tank? That’s why I became an aquarist.
To make a very long story short, I’m Noah, and I’ve started this site aiming to share the most helpful advice on creating thriving habitats for fish and underwater animals.