There’s nothing quite like sitting back and enjoying your reef after you’ve given the glass a good clean. Once the debris settles the appearance of the system moves to a whole new level, with the removal of film algae revealing enhanced colours and detail not just on the small scale, but overall too. Removing the fine dusting that builds up over a few days is pretty easy with a standard magnet cleaner, but when it comes to removing growths of coralline algae, which typically grow near to the gravel line or along tank joints, these cleaners struggle in our experience.
You can use a long handled scraper with a razor on the end but typically we’ve found these to be too short to reach the gravel line in most systems, and near the top, the handle usually bangs into our lighting at some point! Using an old credit card is equally as awkward, and necessitates getting your hand in the tank which can stress your livestock and interfere with the tank chemically. All-in-all, removing that coralline can soon turn into a chore and you’ll probably find that it ends up winning in some areas, proving a minor niggle every time you look at the tank.
Luckily, the Fl!ppercleaner offers an innovative solution for both kinds of algae. On the one side, it has a nice soft pad that is ideal for gently removing film algae, and on the flipside, it has an attachment that can take either corrosion resistant 316 steel or ABS blades (making it suitable for both glass and acrylic tanks). This scraper deals with stubborn coralline deposits with ease. Really, this is by far the most effective cleaner we’ve tried to date (and we’ve tried lots!). It also has a really low profile compared to several of the standard scrubbers, so if you have rockwork or corals that come close to the glass in places, chances are you’ll still be able to clean that area with the Flipper. We also like the buoyancy level of this device, indeed this is critical to the ‘flip’ that you do to swap which side of the device you are using (instructions in the packaging and demo video clearly demonstrate how you do this).
Basically, if it comes detached while you are cleaning it won’t float away or sink like a stone and you’ll be able to get it back secured easily. Having said that, the chances of it coming off the glass are pretty remote as the rare earth magnets inside are very strong. We even tried it on 20mm thick glass (much more than the recommended max of 12mm) and it still worked perfectly.
At less than £30 we think this highly useful and innovative little tool is really good value, and compares well to the other units out there. It even comes with single steel and ABS blades to get you going immediately. Take a look at the website and note that in the UK both the device and replacement blades are distributed by SimplyAquaria Ltd.