We wouldn’t say we’re fanatical about keeping our tanks clean and about the tools to keep them that way but it’s pretty close. That’s why we were pleasantly surprised when our latest order of good classic Acropora corals from Battle Corals came with the famous Battle Brush we’ve heard so much about.
While the Battle Brush might seem like a little more than a specially shaped toothbrush, this two-sided cleaning tool has very stiff bristles that make short work of any kind of unwanted growth in the aquarium. Whether it’s algae, detritus, biofilm, or in our case sponge is the scourge of our reef mesoscosms, the Battle Brush is the kind of aquarium cleaning tool we wish we’d had for all of our lives.
Besides cleaning stiff sponges and tidying up the bases of frags, our tanks run pretty lean and clean these days so we thought we wouldn’t get the chance to really put the Battle Brush through its paces. It only took a few days for the BB to shine because while transferring some of our precious, beloved Red Sea Squamosina clams they needed some substantial scrubbing of the shell to remove some degree of Valonia, feather dusters and the odd Aiptasia here and there.
The problem with cleaning the shells of Tridacna squamosina is that they have very long, closely spaced scutes that make a large squamosa look like it has a smooth shell. We’ve tried using either toothbrushed or pipe cleaners to get in between these scutes but the pipe cleaners are not stiff enough while even the children’s toothbrush is just a little too thick but the Battle Brush is just right. Between the main brushing head and the very skinny secondary brush the BB was the ideal tool to scrub our rare giant clam shells.
We’re certain you could probably find a cleaning tool like the Battle Brush with enough searching but Battle Corals doesn’t sell it separately, it’s only included in their orders of live frags. It might seem a little silly to write up an entire piece on such a small simple cleaning accessory but when you have the right tool for the job, you know how much difference it can make to your aquarium maintenance experience, and the much better the job will turn out.