How to Clean Cloudy Aquarium Glass [Full Guide]

No matter if you’re just starting your adventure as a fish keeper or you’re a veteran, seeing a cloudy aquarium glass will surely ruin your mood.

But I’m here to help you get it back up – and your aquarium in top shape – by sharing this quick yet effective guide on how to clean your tank’s cloudy glass.

Before we start cleaning, there’s one important thing we have to discuss. And this is…

Why is your tank’s glass cloudy?

cloudy Betta tank

Whenever the glass gets hazy, it’s a sign of a problem with the setup. Usually, it’s just algae growth that can be easily dealt with, but it can also be some sort of a mineral deposit (especially if you’re using harder water) or even a bacterial bloom.

Sometimes, it’s a combo of these three. But even if it sounds like a yucky cocktail, it’s still something that can be easily fixed and we’ll learn how.

Before we jump straight into cleaning the glass, don’t forget that I’ve covered other similar problems, like fixing the white film on top of your tank’s water or how to get rid of those annoying white spots on the tank’s glass.

Now that we’ve got all these out of the way, let’s see how to clean the cloudy aquarium glass!

First, Grab Your Gear!

To start the clean-up mission, you’ll need:

  • Razor blade or plastic scraper
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Bucket of warm water

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning the Cloudy Glass

Now that we have the tools that we need, it’s time to get the sparkling clean aquarium glass that we like so much.

I usually do this type of glass cleaning while keeping the fish in. I believe that I cause more stress if I remove them just to clean the glass with a sponge (since that is what we’re basically doing).

cleaning an aquarium

I also recommend doing this right before doing a partial water change. This way, all the goop that you remove will go away with the old water and hopefully the new water will improve the overall quality of the aquarium.

With these in mind, here is what to do:

  1. Dip your soft cloth or sponge in the warm water. Squeeze out the excess.
  2. Gently wipe the inside of the aquarium glass. This will remove loose algae or other debris.
  3. If you have stubborn algae or mineral deposits, use the razor blade or ideally the plastic scraper to remove these.
  4. Be gentle to avoid scratching the glass! This is extremely important, so only use glass-friendly equipment.
  5. Finally, when you’re happy with the result, perform the water change and admire your aquarium!

Keeping It Crystal Clear

Now that you’ve got that shiny, clear glass, let’s talk about how to keep it that way for as long as possible.

As we’ve discussed, the most likely cause for the foggy glass is algae or bacterial bloom, while mineral deposits could also play a small part.

The key here is to regularly check your water parameters. Unbalanced water can lead to bacterial blooms or excessive algae growth that will mess up your glass.

This is usually happening in poorly balanced tanks, but also newer setups. As your aquarium gets more established, the water balance will usually no longer be a problem.

Second, keep your lighting in check. Too much light is like a VIP pass for algae.

Third, make sure to clean your filter regularly or change it with a new one if it’s no longer capable of doing a good job.

And fourth, make sure to use that sponge to clean the glass each time before performing a partial water change. No matter what you do, eventually there will be some sort of algae build-up. Better clean it before it becomes a problem.

Additionally, consider adding a cleanup crew. Snails, shrimps, and certain fish species love munching on algae although in most cases they won’t be enough and some scrubbing will still be required.

You can read my previous article on the best algae eaters in aquariums here.

Wrap Up

There you have it, my fish-loving friends! A squeaky clean aquarium glass that even your fussiest finned friend would be really proud of.

As you see, removing that cloudy look is easy and relatively quick. And if you have additional tips on how to do it, don’t hesitate to let us all know by commenting below.

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