• Product Review - The Flipper Aquarium Glass Cleaner

    I wanted to do a review of a product that I have been using for about a year, so I feel that I have pretty good experience with it. It is The Flipper glass cleaner. http://www.flippercleaner.com/

    I saw this at MACNA 2012 in Dallas, and after watching a few demos of it in person, I had to have one. The booth at MACNA said it was selling really well, they had gone through all they brought, and promised to ship me one when they got home. Sure enough, I talked to the owner when I got back and he sent me one plus a replacement blade. There are many glass cleaner type scrapers on the market, but I felt this dual use one was unique enough for me to use it exclusively. There are a few nice features that I will share below. (please excuse the pictures if my Flipper looks dirty, I use it often, ha )

    The Flipper is a two in one type product, combining both a blade type scraper, as well as on the 'flip side' (hence the name Flipper), a scrub pad. In the past, during my pre-Flipper life, I used a Mag-Float, as most hobbyists probably do. The Flipper has two main advantages over the Mag-Float. 1) It is thinner and able to slide between rock/coral and glass more easily, and 2) the blade attachment for that tough 'baked-on' type green algae that the MAG-Float would not even put a dent it. The Flipper also can easily remove purple coralline growth on glass as well.

    Adding to the above features, I can also say that when the Flipper is set up in the 'razor-blade' mode, all that is touching the glass is the blade, and two small white plastic roller balls, like feet.
    Here is a picture of the white ball on the razor side:

    The razor blade (I call it razor blade, but it is not that sharp. Sharp enough to do the job, but shouldn't slice your finger open), is at a perfect angle that allows it to just have it scraping while the little white plastic ball feet glide along the glass. One other huge benefit is: You can scrape your glass with the blade side all the way down into your sand, without worrying about sand getting caught in between the Flipper and the glass, possibly scratching up your highly valuable aquarium. Something that you could never do with a Mag-Float, out of fear of sand getting caught in the fiber type mesh on the Mag-Float against the glass near the sand. With a nice big gap between the Flipper body and the glass while using the blade side, sand harmlessly falls away while scrubbing, making what was before a chore getting that nasty coralline and algae off your walls where the sand meets the glass at the bottom of the tank, a thing of the past. Clean away with no inhibitions, clean away I say!

    The 'flip' side is a similar setup as the Mag-Float, some fiber mesh that can scrub away the green glass algae. Again, the benefit here of the Flipper is a much thinner body that slides in and out of tight places. (that's what she said).
    I do feel the the Mag-Float has slight advantage on the fiber mesh side, as it seems to get off a little more green glass algae a tiny bit easier, but not enough to notice, nor make me want to keep my old Mag-Float. If there is a spot that your fiber side can't get off, flip it over, and use the blade if needed. Its that easy. Ever had coralline and green algae in corners that were hard to get to? Not with The Flipper. Also, another big benefit is that when you hit the top of bottom of your tanks rim/trim/frame, the Flipper has reach past it on the interior side. The Mag-Float limits you to where the trim/frame meets the glass, the Flipper will reach beyond to get to it.

    There are two ways to get the Flipper to change sides while within the aquarium. One is to pull the outer side away form the glass to break the magnet field, rotate 180* the side in your hand, and put it back to the glass. The Flipper should flip around and go to the other side. If you are having difficulty achieving this, there is another way, which to me, is the easier of the two ways. Slide the Flipper over to a corner. While it is against the corner, rotate 180* the side in your hand while still on the glass, then slide the side still in your hand, just a few inches around the corner. The Flipper will just flip back onto the opposite side. I have a Iphone video of this process:

    Here is The Flipper working in tight quarters, where the Mag-Float would have broken off branches on my birdsnest:

    This is The Flipper working near the sand bed, where it can clean without fear of getting sand in between, as the sand harmlessly falls away:

    In conclusion, The Flipper is a great product that I would not hesitate to buy again if I needed to. Replacement blades are available, and I have only had to replace mine once over the past year, even with regular use. The benefits are many over other glass cleaner/scrapers on the market, and I am proud to call this one my own.

    A couple of additional things from the Flipper website:
    • For Fresh or Saltwater Aquariums up to 1/2″ (12mm) in Thickness
    • Comes with 2 Blades - One stainless steel blade to be used on Glass tanks only AND an ABS blade for use on Acrylic tanks!
    • Wet Side Floats
    *The Flipper retails for approximately $40 with replacement blades costing around $8.*
    This article was originally published in blog: Product Review - The Flipper Aquarium Glass Cleaner started by OneReef