This item was first seen at one of the many ‘company products’ booths at the 2012 DFW MACNA! When first seen, said to myself “WOW, an aquarium Weed Eater!” After seeing it demonstrated, came away quite impressed with its capability, clever design and that its far more than a single tool for removing unwanted algae or trimming desired algae, as it can also be used for trimming corals that may be growing too close to each other (soft or hard), possibly removing aiptasia pest anemones, and a gravel cleaner in several different ways, all without getting your hands wet. And possibly the best aspect about the tool is that any collected debris is prevented from entering the aquarium water.
As to some of its other features, its not only lightweight, but with its adjustable rod length can easily be used in aquariums from depths of 6 inches (15 cm) to 36 inches (91 cm). It’s powered by a 9-Volt battery (not supplied) that can keep operating steady for about one hour or by a supplied wall adapter if battery operation is not desired. As to its trimming capabilities, its stainless steel drill bit is ‘direction’ adjustable, which makes it especially useful for various angle operations sometimes needed to reach certain objects or trim corals in crowded locations. It also comes with various filtering attachments/aids to accomplish its other functions.
As to the sample product reviewed, its first use was for trimming some of the growth of two stony corals that were simply getting too close to each other so as to prevent a ‘slime’ war! The tool simply made the whole process very simple, as neither specimen had to be moved or my arm become wet to ‘break’ branches off using a clipper.
If there any negatives associated with this product, the clarity of its written instructions would be one of them, as are its too small diagrams. This can easily be overcome by visiting their website where an assembly video can be seen, which I used to help with its assembly. Also, the supplied several feet of clear ‘folded’ plastic tubing for its siphoning capability was somewhat difficult to straightened out. The maker suggests heating it with a hair dryer to remove the folded/creased areas to return it to its original form.
To decide if this tool belongs in your aquarium equipment locker, highly recommend visiting their website at www.algaemower.com (you can connect directly by clicking on their banner on the ‘Links” page) and viewing the many informative videos available there that demonstrate its various capabilities, including one that shows the tool removing coralline algae from the sides of a glass aquarium, and also its assembly.
Again, a clever design and a useful tool, something many aquarists may not want to be without!