We can have a seawater aquarium which is well designed, well stocked and fully mature. All the corals and/or fish are doing well. There isn’t any problem algae as water quality is very high. Yet there is one job that seemingly needs to be done in any aquarium, and that is to clean the [tag-tec]aquarium glass[/tag-tec] so it is clear of the algae that appears on it.
If cover glasses are in use cleaning these is easy. Use the kitchen tap, ensure they are clean, and dry off if desired before replacing. However, the glass we are mainly concerned with here are the viewing glasses, in other words the sides of the aquarium.
Some aquarists try to keep all the vertical aquarium glass clean. This is fair enough, as many paint the outside of the back, and maybe the side panel(s) as well, blue or green or whatever colour is felt appropriate for the job.
There are only three tools required, the first is an algae magnet, the second a razor cleaner, and the third a hard bristle toothbrush. The [tag-ice]algae magnet[/tag-ice] comes in two halves each having a flat side. One has a rough material on the flat face and the other a smooth material. The rough material removes the algae. When purchasing the tool, ensure that it is large enough for the aquarium (large aquarium, large magnet) and that the magnet is strong enough for the thickness of the aquarium glass. The razor cleaner is simply a razor that is enclosed inside a protective cover, and this is attached to a long handle. The toothbrush is, how can I describe it, yes, a toothbrush. Hard bristles make it more effective.
When cleaning the glass start with the front. Insert the algae magnet so the cleaner half is inside and the outer one secures it. Then simply run back and forth removing the algae. After horizontal cleaning has been completed, vertical strokes can be helpful. Then clean the sides in the same way. Simplicity! Do not leave the algae magnet in the aquarium, it is best to remove it. Any particularly stubborn algae can be removed with the razor scraper. Any corner that is particularly difficult to get at, use the toothbrush.
The back (and side(s)) can be more difficult as the algae magnet cannot always be used because of any backing material that has been painted etc. The razor scraper has to be used here, backed up by the toothbrush. It will take longer, partly because it is more awkward to get to. Very often, the growth of corals will eventually prohibit back (and side) cleaning. In this eventuality let nature take its course. The glass will hopefully become covered in various coloured algae and will look very effective indeed.
There is a caution that should be given. When using the razor scraper be careful that the razor does not cut the aquarium sealant. Though the razor is protected, some obviously has to protrude. It is not a great danger but caution should be used.