Types Of Tools For Aquascaping A Planted Aquarium

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There are so many aquascaping tools in the market that are intended for building and maintaining planted aquariums. With the help of these tools, it is possible for even a beginner to make a beautiful aquarium layout as his/her own style. In this article, I will introduce you some popular tools for planted tanks as well as help you to understand how to properly use them.

Types Of Planted Aquarium Tools

Straight Scissors

Rust Resistant - Editor's Choice
  • Designed for easier Reach
  • High quality Steel
  • Very Sharp
Multifunctional Scissors - Premium Quality
  • satisfaction Guarantee
  • Very Good Quality set
  • Well made aquarium Tools

This tool is ideal when you want to trim a group of aquarium plants in shapes. It is an indispensable tool for trimming in a confined space. The straight shape makes it very convenient to use in the upper regions of your planted aquarium.

This tool is also ideal for the finishing touches after setup or maintenance, when it is down to individual leaves. With its slender form and narrow opening, you can accurately trim even small-leaved plants while keeping the minimum disturbance of adjoining stems or moss cushions.

Curved Scissors

Rust Resistant - High Quality
  • Good set
  • No sign of rust after a month of using
  • Scissors are sharp

This scissors have similar uses with the previous; however, the curved type is for better trimming near the bottom of a high planted tank. It is ideal for pruning creeping and low-growing plants in the foreground and stem plants in the background. It is also a valuable help when working in a confined space in any planted aquarium.

Wave Scissors

Low angle Trimming - High Quality
  • Design for Comfort
  • Definitely sturdy
  • Well Made an Scissors are sharp
Versatile Scissors - High Quality
  • Solid aquascaping scissors
  • Great for cutting plants
  • Sturdy as advertised

The characteristic shape of the wave scissors has developed in recent years due to the special requirement of carpet plant maintenance. They are usually used for trimming carpet plants to achieve a level carpet in the foreground.

Wave scissors are very useful in a layout involving complicated driftwood arrangements. In this case, the foreground plant should be evenly trimmed, leaving just a thin layer of its bottom part.

Straight Tweezers

Anti Slip Clips - Great Value
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Strong Enough for Fish Feeding

The straight tip of this tweezers makes it ideal for dense planting, especially foreground carpet and background stem plants. The tool firmly places stem plants in the substrate, and because it is pulled out of the substrate straight, it doesn’t uproot nearby shoots. The corrugated inner surface of the tip holds the plants firmly and safely but not damage it.

Spring Scissors

Protective Coating - Great Value
  • Spring Design
  • Amazing Quality
  • Reasonable Price

The straight tip of this tweezers makes it ideal for dense planting, especially foreground carpet and background stem plants. The tool firmly places stem plants in the substrate, and because it is pulled out of the substrate straight, it doesn’t uproot nearby shoots. The corrugated inner surface of the tip holds the plants firmly and safely but not damage it.

Spatula (Substrate Flattener)

Superior Stainless - Great Value
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Multifunctional
  • Useful and Simple

The spatula is an indispensable tool for aquascaping and maintenance. It helps shape the substrate in new setups and levels planting areas where plants have been uprooted for replanting or removal.

Algae Scraper (Razor)

Superior Stainless - Great Value

This tool is for removing algae from aquarium glass. Razor is a great help when cleaning algae on the edges near the substrate, where sand is present and you can’t clean with an algae magnet cleaner. The compact design of this tool also allows cleaning in inaccessible spots, where decoration or plants are in the way.

What Sizes Do I Need?


If you want to aquascape your planted tank without getting your hands wet, you should choose aquascaping tools that are longer than the height of water column of your aquarium. Remember to exclude the height of your aquarium substrate, which is usually around 2-3 inches based on your setup.

Following is a table that includes dimensions (Length x Width x Height) of different aquarium sizes from 2.5 to 180 gallons for you to quickly consult.

Tank sizes

Dimensions (L x W x H)


2.5 gallons


27 lbs

5 gallons

16″ x 8″ x 10″

62 lbs

10 gallons

20″ x 10″ x 12″

111 lbs

15 gallons

24″ x 12″ x 12″

170 lbs

15 gallons high

20″ x 10″ x 18″

170 lbs

20 gallons

24″ x 12″ x 16″

225 lbs

20 gallons long

30″ x 12″ x 12″

225 lbs

25 gallons

24″ x 12″ x 20″

282 lbs

29 gallons

30″ x 12″ x 18″

30 lbs

30 gallons

36″ x 12″ x 16″

348 lbs

40 gallons

36″ x 18″ x 16″

458 lbs

40 gallons long

48″ x 12″ x 16″

455 lbs

50 gallons

36″ x 18″ x 19″

600 lbs

55 gallons

48″ x 13″ x 21″

625 lbs

65 gallons

36″ x 18″ x 24″

772 lbs

75 gallons

48″ x 18″ x 21″

850 lbs

90 gallons

48″ x 18″ x 24″

1050 lbs

125 gallons

72″ x 18″ x 21″

1400 lbs

150 gallons

72″ x 18″ x 28″

1800 lbs

180 gallons

72″ x 24″ x 25″

2100 lbs

Important note! You can trim your plants after withdrawing the water when water changes. This makes a lower water column for easy handling with most aquascaping tools that are common around 10-12 inches in length.

Best Aquascaping Tool Kits For The Money

Premium Quality - Editor's Choice
  • Convenient to use
  • Look and feel premium
  • Beautiful and Quality tools
Stainless Steel Material - high quality
  • Ergonomic design 
  • A must have aquarium starter Kit
  • Very useful and simple to use
Superior Quality - Best Value

This is a fairly complete tool set for aquascaping, with wave scissors for easily trimming carpet plants. From left to right, they are curved tweezers, straight tweezers, straight scissors, curved scissors, wave scissors, a spatula, and a pouch for containing these tools.

Pro Tip

They are around 9-10+ inches in length. This tool set is ideal for use in nano to small planted aquariums from 2.5-20 gallons if you don’t want to get your hand wet when building or cleaning your planted tank. For larger tanks, withdraw a part of aquarium water for easy handling.

Pro Tip

This is a high-quality tool set for aquascaping. It includes tweezers (straight & curve), scissors (straight & curve), a spatula, and a pouch. It doesn’t come with wave scissors for the trimming of carpet plants. It is a just enough option for maintaining the popular type of low-tech starter aquariums with gravel substrate and without carpet plants. However, if you realize you need a plant carpet and wave scissors to maintain it later, just buy wave scissors in a previous section in this article.

This is a fairly economical option for the most basic requirements of aquarium plant trimming of a planted tank. It includes curved scissors, straight and curved tweezers, a spatula, and a pouch.uy.

Pro Tip

It doesn’t come with straight scissors, however, the curved scissors can do the jobs of straight ones. The set doesn’t include wave scissors for carpet plant trimming, too. If you use carpet plants that don’t require much trimming, this aquascaping tool set is the cheap and affordable option to b

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Top Editor's Choice on Aquascaping Tool Kit

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