Vinegar is So Last Year: Hydor’s Magi Klean

Sometimes it takes a stroke of bad luck to turn you on to something good.

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Comments for this article (48)

  • Bob says:

    Hello, I realize you’re just making a product look better then what people normally use but come on. You hardly scrubbed the koralia that was in the vinegar, theo ne in the magi klean was scrubbed more. I’m not saying the video was bad but it was the fairness of how you carried out the experiment.

  • Derrick says:

    How much water do you use with magi clean?

  • derrick…1/2 gallon

  • Mark H. says:

    Mark, good job.
    Where can we buy this and how much$?

  • Mark…thanks! You can get it here for $9.99 for a 3 pack

  • Julie says:

    Thanks Mark, I know I will not be using vinegar to clean my power heads if it messes up the coating on the magnets.

  • Julie…that’s exactly what happened to me. I use vinegar for things like the body of my protein skimmer but not pumps

  • Cam Turner says:

    Bob, perhaps you watched them backwards? Looks to me like the Vinegar pump got 1m40s of scrubbing and the Magi-Klean took under a minute. I wish I could get this stuff easily in Canada but all the retailers just look at me funny and I’m not paying shipping form the US… Perhaps a trip to the US in person is in order ;)?

  • M Harris says:

    Bob, I wanted to ask, did you watch the video. From 3:51 to 5:04, he used a scrub brush on the pup that was in vinegar compared to the very little scrubbing he had to do with the magi clean stuff. The point he is trying to show you is after a 24 hr soak, he hardly had to do anything to clean the pump. Mark is all about better results with little work, as most of us are.

    Derrick, its 1/2 gallon of water per package of magi clean…

  • M Harris says:

    Cam: Look on ebay, there are sellers there that will ship to Canada and for only around 3 bucks. So might be a better place for you to get it.

  • Julie says:

    I know from the video Mark scrubbed more on the vinegar soaked power head than the magi clean soaked one. It looked as if it was turned to mush and it did not take much if any effort at all to get the magi clean soaked power head. Believe me I had much rather sit back and enjoy looking at my tank than scrubbing on power heads half the day.

  • Jarrad says:

    Isle 5, Isle 5… could I please get a price check on “Magi-Clean”, that’s right, “Magi-Clean”

  • John says:

    Hi Mark,

    First, let me say, I love your videos. I bought your “Setting up a Saltwater Tank” series of videos. They’re incredibly helpful, and you clearly put a lot of work into them. I think it’s awesome that you’re able to make money from them while helping the community at the same time.

    However, when I watch videos like this one, where you’re promoting a product, I find myself thinking “Is this an honest review of a product you discovered on your own, or am I watching a commercial?”.

    You seem like someone who wouldn’t hawk something you yourself wouldn’t use, and I have -no- problem with you getting paid to promote them. It just that videos like this really seem to blur the line between “check out this awesome product I’ve been using” and “check out this awesome product I’m using and getting paid to promote”.

    My suggestion would be to make it clear whenever you’ve got a financial deal with a company whose products you’re reviewing, along with the “here’s where to buy” link. That little bit of transparency might save you from people who might question your objectivity.

  • M Harris says:

    about 10 bucks for a 3 pack box.

  • When I talked to the guys from Hydor while at MACNA, they didn’t try to sell the Magi-Klean as being better at cleaning than vinegar. Instead, they were attempting to sell it on the fact that it isn’t as harsh on our aquarium equipment as vinegar.

    Whether Mark scrubbed a little harder when using Magi-Klean or vinegar is pointless to argue. I have done a review of the product on my own site and the fact is the product works as described and doesn’t ruin power cables or rubber gaskets.

  • Brandon…After vinegar fried some of my impeller equipment, I gave up on vinegar and switched to Magi-Klean. I won’t go back now. Its not worth ruining gear.

  • Rick says:

    Thanks for the info and review on this product, seems to do the job very well. Great to have an option for cleaning the stubborn build up and algae on pumps.

  • Reggie says:

    It might be cheaper to stock it in bulk. I use Stain Solver:

  • JC says:

    Balls….vinegar works fine, why would you soak for 24 hours anyway…thats a way lazy way to clean cup of vinegar a few hours in warm water “running” and you don’t even see algae on the pumps just the stuff that has come the pumps floating in water…9.99 for a 3 pack or 3 bucks for a gallon of vinegar that does the same…hmmm

  • JC says:

    I agree with John….and I did buy your 92 pack of pdf files for setting up…you have sold out…you have GREAT knowledge and xp in tanks this just sucks man…hasta

  • alex says:

    Hmmm i used to really enjoy these vid’s back before sponsorship and product placement was so important to you

  • Pat says:

    If Marks getting paid or what ever. Does it matter. Nobody forcing you to buy it. He’s at least showing you a product and showing you how it works. And its nice to see how it worked and you can decide if you do or not want to buy that product. Thanks Mark for showing us this product.

  • Edward says:

    I had a Koralia pump get much louder after a vinegar soak where I got busy and forgot it for a whole day myself, glad to know there’s a safe alternative. Sure vinegar is cheap but hey I am not going to risk damage to an expensive pump. Heck I’d happily spend the 9 bucks to ensure my Vortech isn’t ruined. One question I have for you is I noticed you don’t let your pumps run while they’re in the solution. Is there a reason for not letting them run and do you recommend leaving them off?

  • Edward…that’s exactly what happened to me. My pumps were ruined by soaking it in vinegar. While I had soaked gear in vinegar for years all the $$ savings by using vinegar was erased as soon as my pumps were ruined.

    Sometimes I do run my pumps while soaking sometimes I don’t. In this case I didn’t. If you can run the pumps, go for it. The circulating solution will help the cleaner do its job

  • Chris Kennedy says:

    now i think about it after cleaning my powerheads in vinegar i did have three of them stop working.can you use the Magi Klean more than on time like vinegar?

  • J-P says:

    How does this compare to Oxi-Clean?

  • Will Houser says:

    First comment I have ever made on Mark’s blog and yes I own several of his guides but really felt the need to chime in here. So i clean my powerheads (2 of them) every few months in vinegar. I soak them for an hour, give them a light scrub, soak them for another hour, scrub, repeat until clean. Last year I had one soaking in a cleaning bath and had an urgent work emergency… it sat in the “vinegar solution” for about 18 hrs before I got back to it. When i plugged it in all i can say was LOUD. That Tunze (just out of warranty by 6 weeks BTW) got moved to my saltwater mixing tub and later died. The matching Tunze I have was purchased at the same time and is still quiet and working great as a comparison. I am all for a product that is not going to run the risk of killing them as quickly. I am pretty sure THAT was the point Mark was trying to make. Some of you guys jumped all over this video about a product that will cost you maybe 15 bucks a year? Not sure how much you spent on your powerheads but if they lasted 6 months or a year longer then this product is worth it to me.
    Give Mark a break already – wait till one of your powerheads bites it and then you will think twice about the vinegar soak.

    Also, I personally do not mind a guy making a buck or two when he is showing you a product that does a better job that is safer on your expensive equipment. He also keeps sending out my Friday morning quick tips, helps others all the time, and really gives back to this hobby.

    Keep up the awesome work Mark!

  • Mark H. says:

    AMEN Will. 🙂
    Keep up the good work Mark, we all can use your quick tips regardless of how long we have been in the hobby.

  • Deb says:

    I am a newbi ! I have purchased a used tank, which needs cleaning.should I just use vinegar or would it be good to use this product. – – it’s just the tank for now.

  • avasquez01 says:

    I’m setting up and new Tank (150gallons see my link on, I was going to use Vinegar and run it as a pre-wash soak for a day or so on the Tank and pipe work including the Skimmer… Would Hydor’s Magi Klean work better?

  • avasquez…I’m ok with vinegar on the tank and plastic equipment (like the body of the skimmer), but I won’t use vinegar around pumps again. So use magiklean on your skimmer pump and vinegar elsewhere.

  • Deb…vinegar on just the tank is fine. Just no vinegar near pumps.

  • bob y says:

    i have freshwater tanks that i also use pumps in so i will switch out between my salt and fresh and the fresh water will clean it up but just takes longer

  • keith says:

    its funny all the ney sayers that chime in
    i wish i had access to this when i started my tk in the 90’s I didn’t want to pay the store guy felt like i was gettin ripped
    this is free wow and still complainers sad sad sad
    thanks Mark this aint easy

  • stel1os72 says:

    Good job Will! And, thanks for basically posting how most of us feel.

    We use this forum as a tool to HELP us make more informed decisions. This is a blog people. We are NOT cult followers, and Mark is not our leader! Also, remember that not everybody out there is a seasoned 10 yr veteran, who’s gone through all the trials and tribulations of the hobby. I’m sure Mark is hoping most of the “tank dabblers”, as well as the know-it-alls, get all the options that are available out there.

    And Jarrad, if this Magi-Klean helps rid me of my gear’s full-on fallopian fungus, I’m all for it!…LOL!

  • Brian Davis says:

    Right on Will! Respectfully said! I’m with you buddy! I’m very pleased that Mark shares his knowledge with us in such fun creative educational ways. What a blast it is to learn new things!

    Mark! your approach and continual thrive to introduce us to more options for our hobby choices is remarkable! I know I don’t just speak for myself when I say I really admire that you present so many quality evidence based studies and suggestions for the practices that we can consider to use in are hobby. It’s awesome to have choices to employ from your efforts! Likewise, it’s just really great to learn so much here, and from others who apply their input here as well. I’ve said it before, these are some really great conversations and discussions of your work. We can take it or leave it! Anyway, it is what it is, and I appreciate it!

    Thanks Mark, I have not been aware of potential damage my pumps could endure from this and I appreciate having a choice available now to consider how I’ll clean my equipment in the future! Rock on man!



  • DeeFromBrooklyn says:

    Nice Mark, I’m glad to found out about the pump issue with Vinegar. I have four of those pumps and wondered why I had problems with two of them after just a few months. Sometime you’re better off with the coraline. Lol Now if I can get the pumps to stop starting in reverse… Have you ever had that problem with wavemakers?

  • Epicurus says:

    I never soaked my pumps. I only used vinnegar for max one hour. For some reason i don’t have any coraline algea in my sump while my display tank is filled with it.

    I guess its mostly long exposure that will kill pumps. So caution is a good think using vinnegar.

  • Sean says:

    I bought a 55 U.S. gallon fish tank last sunday and i would like to make a saltwater fish tank. I have been doing research of what kind of fish I would like and what they need. So I went to my towns fish store. I know the owner very well and he told me what I need. So I set up my fish tank cleaned the sand and put my salt in the fish tank. the first day it was very cloudy. I thought that it was just because it was a new tank. but it never went away after like 4 days so I went back to the pet store and they said that i didn’t clean the sand enough and that I needed to put in primer and clarifier. So now I guess i have wasted your time for you reading that really long summary on what I did I guess I can ask my question now. when I put the primer and clarifier made my tank worse and when I say worse I mean it made it brown. So please message me back

  • great advice , thanks Mark ,I enjoy most all of you video’s . Again were do you get these gerat looking cartoon T-shirts , KOOL

  • Na says:

    Just like the ecotech Cg which is so amazing, till you try to glue rocks underwater…. pffft.

  • Marc-AndrĂ© ClĂ©ment says:

    I understand why some people did not like this video. It did bother me a bit as well.
    We have all know for a while that mr saltwater gets to push some products.
    Of course he does. He is not mother teresa… he has to make a living. Everybody agrees with that.
    The only difference with this one is that it was VERY obvious. Arguing that Magi clean is safer is one thing. I mean, it’s probably true, but how the heck do you show that on video?
    Arguing that is more effective however (that it needs less brushing)… I mean, come on. Plug the pump while it’s soaking in vinegar solution and you won’t have to brush at all…

    Anyway, mr saltwater, I think we all agree that it is totally normal for you to get some income for all the knowledge, tips and tricks you share with us all, so it would probably better, for future videos like this one, that you start your video with “hey people, here’s a product i’ve been asked to push, so let’s put it to test”

  • Law says:

    if vinegar ruins magnets and make pumps loud. take the pumps apart and soak only the parts that needs to be clean. which generally is the casing on the pumps. the impeller usually dont get that dirty and a gentle scrub will get most of the gunk off.

    you dont have to pay 10 bucks for 3 packets and still wont get a damaged pump.

  • Paul says:

    Hey Mark,
    Love your tips.
    Magi-Klean is made with sulfuric acid, impellers have an aluminum shaft. These two when put to will cause a reaction on the aluminum. Was this observed when the pumps where soaking? Did you inspect the shafts to see if there was any problems with them.

    thank you,

  • Matt says:

    Vinegar in a packet…heheh.

    I think a better question is what kind of pump did you have problems with? I’ve been cleaning my pumps in vinegar for literally decades without running into this issue. (Dilute the vinegar a little if you’re still worried…takes a little longer but still works well.)

    Pumps that I know do not have this problem (i.e. I have at least one that’s been cleaned multiple times): Tunze, Korallia, MaxiJet, Pengiun, QuietOne, Eheim

    BTW, out of laziness I have left pumps running in vinegar overnight, it has never taken overnight to clean a pump in vinegar. More frequent cleaning would probably help.

  • Andy says:

    Hi Bob: Have you tried it?

    If you leave the equipment in the solution for several hours or even all day, it the equipment hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, all you have to do is wipe the crud off the unit. The point is you can leave the unit in Magi Klean overnight – if necessary – without damaging the unit over time that might happen with vinegar over time.

  • mike gosselin says:

    I use vinegar and rodi water but I don’t leave my pumps sit in it over night I turn on my pumps in the bucket for at least 2 hrs if not more depends on how dirty they are and then I clean them with a toothbrush inside and outside the pumps and when iam done with them they look like brandnew and run and sound normal.

  • Brian Drab says:

    I don’t believe they make this anymore. It’s out of stock everywhere.

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