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How To Deal With Copepods On Aquarium Glass Quickly!

One of the most common questions that we see asked time and time again from aquarium keepers of all levels of experience is about how they should be dealing with copepods on their aquarium glass.

It seems like a never-ending battle to keep your aquarium glass clean and free from copepods as you can scrape off all the copepods on one day and then the very next day there will be a new group of copepods there.

This can become annoying for most people very quickly as it really is a never-ending battle and completely riding your aquarium tank of copepods is more difficult than most people initially think so that is usually out of the question.

As we see so many people reaching out and asking about dealing with copepods on glass each month, we wanted to publish our own article going over our thoughts on it as well as if there is even a reason to bother getting rid of the copepods.

We have noticed a few slightly different questions about having copepods on your aquariums glass so we plan to answer them all in this single article.

We have added our table of contents below to try and ensure that our readers are able to quickly and easily navigate the article in the shortest possible time frame while still getting all the information that they need.

What Do Copepods Look Like On Glass?

Copepods are a group of tiny crustaceans that have slightly different appearances to each other depending on the exact species of copepod in your aquarium.

Most of the time they will look like tiny white spiders or insects on your aquarium glass. Females carrying eggs are usually easier to spot as the eggs make them larger and easier to see.

Depending on the age and type of copepod you have in your aquarium you may be able to easily identify them due to them being larger than other species.

Young copepods or smaller copepod species can be so difficult to see that they may look like your water is cloudy when you look through your aquarium glass when in fact, it is just a large number of tiny crustaceans eating the algae off your glass.

Most aquariums will have multiple types of copepod in them so you will often see a range of slightly different looking crustaceans on your glass. This can be a pain though as they really can cloud the view up and make the water look dirty when it’s not.

“Copepod” by pitschuni is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Do Copepods Eat Algae Off Glass?

Copepods eat a surprisingly high amount of the algae film that forms on your aquariums glass so some aquarium keepers will just leave the copepods to eat the algae as it can reduce the overall maintenance load on you.

If you are looking to turn your aquarium into more of a show tank then copepods eating the algae will ruin the view so some people will take steps to remove them.

You usually have to make a trade off between trying to get rid of the copepods and letting them eat the algae in your tank though.

Most people will find that it is easier to just leave them in their tank to eat the film algae on their aquarium glass than it is to try and clean the film algae off their glass.

This is due to the thin film algae that copepods eat being notoriously difficult to remove once it has managed to get a foothold on the glass. Even some of the more popular algae eater fish and shrimp won’t eat it due to being on a verticle surface rather than a horizontal surface too.

How To Deal With Copepods On Aquarium Glass!

Some people will scrape their aquarium glass each morning to remove the copepod build up eating the algae on there to keep their glass as clear as possible.

This tends to be too much time and effort for most people though so the more popular option to deal with copepods is to just add a fish to your aquarium that will eat copepods.

There are a large number of different fish that eat copepods but the most popular option has to be clownfish. They tend to actively hunt copepods and will eat a huge number of them each day and can force their population into negative growth quickly.

Clownfish actually enjoy copepods so much that we included them in our article going over the best foods for clownfish.

Due to clownfish already being a very popular fish, most people choose to take that option as they are a great counter to copepods. You will often see your clownfish sucking the copepods off your aquarium glass for you.

Just keep in mind that some species of clownfish are aggressive and will fish each other if you overstock them.

Should You Bother Keeping Copepods Off Your Aquarium Glass?

Many aquarium keepers just leave their copepod population in their tank as it is. Although it can be a little unsightly to see so many copepods on your aquarium glass, they are actively eating algae that can actually cloud your glass up even more.

This is why you have to look at the advantages and disadvantages of taking steps to remove the copepods from your tank.

It usually takes far too much time and effort to manually scrape them off your glass each morning and adding fish to specifically eat the copepods is not a good option for everyone.

We have seen some people recommend that you try various chemical solutions to get rid of all the copepods in your tank at once but we would NEVER recommend that you try that.

These chemicals can harm your fish, snails, shrimp, and plants too and the risk is far too high for the majority of people.


That brings our article going over dealing with having copepods on glass in your aquarium to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you but in reality, simply leaving your copepods in the tank is usually a much better option for most people. Adding a clownfish can be a good option for some people but for the most part, manually scraping them off your aquarium glass each morning is just out of the question.