Instructables
Clean the filthy glass on the inside of your fish tank or bowl without getting your hands dirty.
 
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Step 1: Materials

you need:
1) 1.5L bottle top
2) polystyrene
3) 2 x strong magnets ( i got my 2 out of a hardrive from an old computer)
4) some felt
5) Hot glue

Step 2: Cut polystyrene to size

Push the bottle top onto your piece of polystyrene. Cut out this circle using a craft knife. Then squeeze the polystyrene so it will easily fit into the bottle top but when its covered in felt it will hold firmly.

Step 3: Insert magnet

Use the hot glue gun to melt the shape of the magnet into the polystyrene. Put a small dot of hotglue onto the polystyrene and push the magnet into it

Step 4: Cover polystyrene circle with felt

Cut out a piece of felt just large enough so that it will cover the polystyrene like in the photo. Lay the magnet side of the polystyrene onto the cut out felt and pull up the felt and glue it to the polystyrene using hot glue. (if you use dense polystyrene it wont melt much when in contact with hot glue)

Step 5: Push covered polystyrene into bottle top

Push it in like shown in the picture.

Step 6: Make the part that will go inside the fish tank

Cut out two identical circles of felt that are large enough to cover the second magnet. Lay one circle in front of you and the magnet on top. Put a line of hot glue around the magnet (but not touching) and place the second piece of felt on top and push them together. FINISHED

Step 7: What to do with it

Drop the magnet (the one inside the two felt pieces) down along the wall of your dirty fish tank using the magnet within the bottle top to guide it. Now you can clean the inside of your fish tank without getting your hands dirty. Leave it hanging on the back of the tank until you need to use it again. You may want to wash or replace the felt on the inside of the tank as it will get dirty.

WARNING: Do not use any toxic materials for building this project or your beloved fish may die
mason01904 years ago
for the magnets take two tiny peices of plastic wrap, and make a magnet sammich :P then melt the pieces together with a lighter. voila! an airtight watertight magnet case to plop in!
chuckr446 years ago
I had the same idea, but on another website but someone commented that neodymium magnets (probably what is in the hard drive) are probably toxic to aquatic inverts (like shrimp) so it would not be a good idea. Also I've heard it's not a good idea to put any metal in an aquarium. Covering the metal magnets in felt does not provide a solid barrier to metal ions. So, what exactly are these hard drive magnets coated in? Chrome?
puffin_juice (author)  chuckr446 years ago
Dunno, how bout you just dip them in pool paint, or some sort of liquid plastic/silicon so the metal doesn't come in contact with the water
Good idea, but that hasn't been tested on aquatic inverts either. I thought of dipping them in Plastidip but that is probably poisonous also, even after it's dry.
just wrap them in some plastic wrap and take the tip of a hot glue gun or soldering iron to fuse the plastic ends together. Waterproof, and no need of finicky paints.
There is a commercially available 'latex' that is brush on. It is inert, so won't harm your fish or add anything to the water. I have used it and had no problems.
You could  cover that magnet the aquatic silicone stuff that you can get at pet stores. It is used for sealing glass tanks so I'm sure its safe for the fish.
lemonie7 years ago
Alternatively get some aquatic snails, or fish that like sucking algae.
enodas lemonie5 years ago
in my tank all I have is a pleco and 3 large snails.... and a DiRtY tank =) they dont help
For smaller aquariums, sucking-algae fish could be a problem. All the good ones are too big for a 10~20 gal aquarium that is already home to a lot of fish. Chinese Algae Eaters are the only small enough ones available around my area, but they stop eating it after a while. Anyways, on-topic.. this seems like a fun project. :)
you should try and get a bristlenose catfish, kinda cute and they should take care of any algae, if you only have a small tank, they dont need that much space. :)
snails are cool at first but they reproduce quickly and in large numbers and before you know it you have hundreds of tiny snails all over the place. they get annoying and are hard as hell to get rid of. on the topic of this instructable, i once purchased a commercial device like it and it worked well. i think if you replaced the felt on the inside magnet with the material from the scrubbing portion of a sponge it would work a little better. good job though.
looks like an orange cupcake... DANG, I made myself hungry! AGAIN!!!!!
casey321b6 years ago
how bout attack i wooden stick and scrub from above... lol that rhymes
attach a string to the two parts so that the magnet doesn't fall to the bottom of the tank if you pull the other one away and you dont have to reach in and grab it :D
never mind it floats lol
astrosapien7 years ago
Wow, that is pretty ingenious. i gotta try that, i hate cleaning my fish's bowl because I hate getting my hands dirty.
Sgt.Waffles7 years ago
This is a good idea. Just like what you can buy in the stores, but the fun is in making it!
zachninme7 years ago
Hmmm... very nice. I think kids would like to play with it :D
puffin_juice (author) 8 years ago
I like the idea about making it fish shaped. It would it give a better reason for being there and like you said the kids would love it too. Unfortunately the problem with the stones cant be avoided you just shouldnt get the wet part too close to the stones.
radiorental8 years ago
very nice, one issue we had with this was the wet part would pick up stones from the bottom and then scratch the glass. I dont think there's much you can do to avoid this. One suggestion, if you have kids you could get them interested by making the wet part fish shaped, then they could play and clean! Now, I'm staring out through dirty windows that I can clean because of seized storm windows.... hmmmmm