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RoboSnail Review


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I recently received a robosnail for my 210 and have been itching to set it up. I hate dirty glass and dislike cleaning it. I'm lazy. This is the newer one that can handle thicker glass.

I'll post pics eventually but wanted to get my impressions out there while they are fresh.


Not horrible. The dry side drive unit has sensor to tell it where it is on the tank supposedly. As far as I can tell the sensors are actually just little pressure switches on the outer edges that tell it when it has run into something. This means that if your canopy is such that there is a space between the glass and the canopy the pressure switch may not trigger and the robosnail will think that it needs to keep going up, despite the fact that it has hit the canopy and can't go any further. Added some filler strips of wood between the canopy and the glass and it works fine now.

Programing is relatively easy (once I figured out the switch thing) and I will say that once you tell it how far down to go on the glass it gets it. I have mine stop about 3 inches above the sand substrate to avoid the possibility of some grit getting into the scrubber and scratching the glass. Means I'll have to manually clean that area but hey I can deal with that.

It runs once a day based on when it was powered up. That means that if you plug it in at 6am it runs at 6am. That's mildly annoying. I wish it would allow me to set the time instead of having to wait and plug it in. (for instance if I want it to run at 3am I have to get up and plug it in and program etc. I don't want that but still).

The other issue I have is that it only runs once a day. Why? Why can't I tell it how many times a day I want it to run? I realize that if it runs every single day once should be sufficient but what if it isn't? The upshot is you can trigger it manually as many times a day as you want. Nice for showing off to guests etc.

Cleaning Ability.

hmmm. how to address this. I had a weeks worth of algae growth when I plugged this thing in so I could clearly see it doing its job. And it does. It goes up and down and cleans the glass. The problem I'm having is that it misses spots. Specifically lines. My tank has stripes of clean and dirty glass. I think the problem is the amount of growth I have. If the tank had been clean to start with it wouldn't be an issue as it appears to pass over nearly 100% of the glass, it just doesn't have a super effective cleaning surface for built up crud. That means it only cleans where the magnet is strongest/cleaning pad is thickest causing missed areas. I will manually clean the tank and then monitor. If the same areas that are not being cleaned now begin growing algae but the clean areas remain clean we have a problem.


Size: This thing is huge. And ugly. it hulks in the upper right corner with a constantly glowing light the size of a stamp on its back just drawing attention to itself. It needs to be smaller and less obtrusive.

Noise: it is loud. I can here its little wheels and gears from another room. It is only once a day but still.

Fish: The fish don't really care. They move away from it but don't seem overly concerned. Some of them follow from a distance and snap at the bits of algae it scrapes off which is funny. I don't have a clean up crew to speak of at this point. I'm mildly concerned that a small snail could become lodged in the scraper and damage my glass but I'm pretty sure it would knock a bigger snail off the glass easily and move on.

All in all I think I like it but time will tell. Longevity and cleaning ability are the biggest concerns. The size/ugly factor is fading as I get used to it and let's be honest I'll put up with the visual disconnect if it keeps the glass clean.

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There doesn't seem to be any adjustment and even less help online. It's like these things don't exist. I would have figured there would be hacks and help aplenty online but nope. I'll video it and post.

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