It’s great to watch fish swim and swirl inside an aquarium, but that visual is even nicer when you have plants, gravel and decorations inside of your tank. Like the idea of adding more visual appeal to your fresh or saltwater aquarium? Make sure you have these five aquarium maintenance tools to keep your tank, fish and everything else inside your aquarium looking its best.

1. Tongs

Use tongs to introduce new plants to your aquarium and fish out foreign objects that might find their way inside the tank. Depending on your preferences and the plants in your salt or freshwater aquarium, you might want to opt for a stainless steel pair of tongs for their ability to handle bigger objects. Be sure to keep an eye out for tongs with cutting attachments while you’re shopping in case you need to do some slicing in the future while performing aquarium maintenance.

2. Water Changers

Sometimes referred to as siphons, water changers help keep your tank clean and your fish as well as your plants healthy. You’ll likely have plenty of water changer options to choose from, so make sure you keep your style of aquarium and personal tastes in mind while browsing. One word of advice is that you not select a grated siphon mouth if you have a fry or ornamental shrimp tank because fry and shrimp can find their way up the mouth. Check to see how complex the water changer’s operation is before using it for aquarium maintenance.

3. Scissors

Use scissors to take care of dead branches and leaves dangling from your aquarium plants. Much like tongs, aquarium scissors come in several different lengths to better suit your specific needs. It’s important to note here that you should refrain from using your scissors for anything but cutting dead plant leaves, mainly because you can easily dull the blades and damage your plants in the future by cutting them too close. No matter which scissors you get, make sure they’re as sharp as can be to make aquarium maintenance easier.

4. Gloves

Protect fish and plants from any harmful material that might be on your hands or arms by donning gloves before reaching into the tank. What’s more is wearing gloves goes a long way in protecting yourself from detrimental substances in the tank that can find their way into your system through open cuts or sores you might have on your hands or arms, or any you might sustain during aquarium maintenance. To be extra cautious, make sure the gloves you select are free of allergens.

5. Algae Scrapers

You have the option of using special chemicals to take care of algae in your tank, but if you aren’t experienced with taking proper care of aquariums, you can easily add too much of the chemical to the tank. Make things easier on yourself and your aquarium by using algae scrapers, which you might find faster than algae-scrubbing chemicals. Depending on how much algae is floating around and clinging to your aquarium, you might need to use a siphon to complete your aquarium maintenance.

As you might have guessed, there are several different types of scrapers. One variety to note is algae scrapers made with a magnet and felt to better rid your tank of bothersome algae.

There you have five must-haves when it comes to properly maintaining your aquarium. Know that these aren’t all the tools you’ll need to take the best care of your aquarium and fish, but they are among the most essential. Rather than buying entire aquarium kits, it might make more financial sense for you to purchase your tools piecemeal. In any case, be sure to ask about specials, discounts and coupons for the most important aquarium care tools.