The Flipper Magnetic Algae ScraperBy: Brandon Klaus
Yesterday we shared a contest going on at the 3reef forums in which two winners would receive a Flipper algae scraping magnet for showing before and after pictures of their coralline algae scraping efforts. Because the product is fairly new and not one we’ve covered before, we decided to go a head and dig a little deeper into what makes the Flipper unique. Before we get too far though, we wanted to discuss the striking similarities between the Flipper and the Mag-Flip, another algae scraper produced by a different company altogether. Yes, the two products are virtually the same. However, it’s not the newer Flipper product that copied the Mag-Flip.
Interestingly, the Mag-Flip was made using the same patent license that is owned by the Flipper brand. Obviously there was some agreement between the two companies, but unfortunately the Mag-Flip didn’t live up to the Flipper expectations and eventually the agreement was terminated. This allowed the patent to be used in-house on the Flipper product, and the company spent 18 months perfecting the design, adding stronger magnets and a stainless steel blade for better scraping abilities.
Now that that’s out of the way, lets talk about the business end of the Flipper. Obviously it’s a magnet based algae scraper, but it’s also much more than that. Besides having the standard issue pads that remove the softer growths, the magnet also has a very large razor blade that is perfect for removing harder stuff, like coralline algae. This should make the formerly daunting task of removing the purple encrusting algae a breeze, freeing up time to do other things…like fragging corals.
To fully utilize the Flipper, all a hobbyist has to do is follow the product’s name. Simply flip the magnets over and the hobbyist can either use the algae scrubbing pads or the cold steel blade. From there, just move the magnet back and forth like any other algae scraper and your aquarium will be cleaner than it ever had been. If the two magnets ever get disconnected, the wet side will sink instead of float. But instead of dropping to the bottom like a rock, the magnet sinks upright for easy retrieval. This actually makes the Flipper easier to retrieve than traditional magnets, since other magnets float all over the tank bumping into stuff.
In terms of the size aquariums the Flipper magnets are suitable for, the magnets can be used on fresh or saltwater aquariums up to 1/2″ (12mm) thick. The Flipper also doesn’t look to obtrusive either. For one it’s black and blends in with black backgrounds, so it can easily be hidden. The main body of the Flipper is also not noticeably larger than other aquarium cleaners on the market, though the razor blade attachment certainly adds to the length.
The retail price on these cleaners ain’t too shabby either. At only $20, it’s sure to be a strong competitor in the algae scraping world of aquarium keeping.