Nathan Hill checks out this new battery-powered algae remover from Eheim.
Eheim has thrown me with this battery-powered, hand-held, extendable algae scraper. I’m not sure that anyone on the trade had asked for one of these, but, well, we’ve got one now!
The premise is simple enough. A largish, rubber coated motor unit — the kind of thing you might associate with an electric toothbrush — connects to a removable blade segment. This jiggles the blade about a bit, which helps to remove stubborn algae.
Given that I accidentally turned it on with the blade pressed into my palm, I’m grateful it wasn’t too ferocious a movement.
This seems a great idea for marine tanks where coralline algae might be an issue — except for the blade being made of metal. However, in freshwater aquariums which may have stubborn green and black spots on the glass, this could be just the solution.
Curved edges will be the nemesis of this device, but owners of classic cube tanks will find use for it. I would express caution, though, as blades can eat up silicone edges — vibrating blades more so.
There’s an extending option, with a plastic attachment that gives you 40cm/ 16” of reach. Connection is easy enough, as is removal after use.
There’s also an LED built in to help highlight any algae spots proving particularly stubborn as you wipe. Credit where credit is due, this does the job nicely.
Eheim’s powerClean is battery powered and the chamber that holds these is waterproofed with a sealing ring, although I’d still be inclined to always check for leaks after using it.
Although I’ve not had a chance to run this cleaner over an old acrylic tank, I’d be wary of doing so. Blades and acrylic have always clashed in my world.
I want to like it, but I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be expensive, and ultimately it takes ages for stubborn algae to build up. However, I’m also the kind of fishkeeper who won’t let his tanks get that bad in the first place.
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