The Best Aquarium Vacuum Cleaners to Clear Out Your Tanks Quickly

best aquarium vacuum cleaner

There are the best aquarium vacuum cleaners sold on the market nowadays that serve a very vital role in terms of ensuring that the fish tank substrate is kept well. Needless to say, providing a safe and healthy habitat for your finned friends and aquatic plants can significantly help prolong their life. That said, if you hope to keep the aquarium properly cleaned and maintained, then it is not right if you solely settle for any model that does not come with premium quality.

Start cleaning your fish tank today by investing in a functional vacuum cleaner that could help ensure consistent water chemistry inside the aquarium. It is nice to know that this cleaning device can considerably aid in getting rid of huge amounts of nitrate and ammonia that could potentially be building up in the fish tank. With the right tool, removing these hazardous elements is made less stressful and it won’t require much time to finish the work anymore.

Several factors will play a role in determining your perfect aquarium cleaner. At first, these various moving parts seem a tad overwhelming. But there’s no need to worry; I’ll walk through each to make this process more manageable. I’ll start with a small overview of the ones that I feel are most important:

  • Tank Size: Your chosen vacuum cleaner has to match up with the capacity of the tank. You won’t want to buy an extra large option for something as small as a 5-gallon tank or 10-gallon tank. So it becomes vital to ensure whatever model you purchase can handle your tank’s size without issue.
  • Brand: The aquarium vacuum cleaner marketplace isn’t lacking in manufacturers. But don’t assume everyone is making quality products. It’s essential to look into their reputation to confirm that you’re buying from a reputable brand, such as Fluval or Top Fin.
  • Vacuum Cleaner Type: Most aquarium vacuum cleaners are divided into electric and manual categories. Electric options offer better performance but cost much more than manual choices. So each buyer must weigh whether performance or affordability is more vital to their needs.

By investing in the right vacuum cleaner brand, you can finally say goodbye to the conventional approach of cleaning the fish tank. It does not have to messy and laborious at all. The top-tier part is that these come in handy, designed with exceptional features and functions that make aquarium cleaning and maintenance a breeze.

Best Overall


Python Aquarium Maintenance System

✅ Come in larger sizes
✅ Can work with any type of adapter
✅ Effective gravel cleaner and water changer at the same time


Premium Choice

Hygger Aquarium Power Cleaner

✅ Multi-purpose vacuum cleaner
✅ Simple to adjust length
✅ Well-designed grip and handle


Editor’s Choice


TERA PUMP Aquarium Cleaner

✅ Designed with 2 nozzles
✅ Equipped with a distinctive pump
✅ Does not lift tiny pebbles inside the aquarium


Top-Tier Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner Reviews 2023

1. Python Aquarium Maintenance System


This fish tank gravel cleaner is worth the price even though it is expensive. It is second to none when it comes to being an efficient water changer. This is probably the reason why its popularity cannot be beaten. Aside from this, it also functions as a reliable vacuum gravel cleaner that can completely eliminate any residue along with dirty water.

Additionally, it is smooth sailing to set up and, as a matter of fact, this is compatible with most faucets and you can use just any type of adapter you have. If it’s necessary, you could even extend its 25 feet hose further.

Since this is one of the very famous and top-selling brands, it comes with a pricey selling cost that’s not suitable for those who are on a budget. Besides, its cleaning process is a bit challenging to handle and you may need more time and skill to practice it.

  • Works as an effective gravel cleaner and water changer at the same time
  • Specifically ideal for fish tanks that come in larger sizes
  • Highly recognized for being one of the top-sellers vacuum cleaner
  • Known for its flexibility so it could work with any type of adapter
  • Hose length can be further extended
  • May take a while to master the intricate cleaning process
  • Not recommended for anyone with limited budget
Over and above, this product is unmatched. Given its credible reputation, it is pointless if you still choose another option. The top-rated thing about this tool is that even if you have a larger fish tank to clean and maintain, you can complete the task without much sweat and the job can be accomplished in a shorter period of time. It may be costly and may be slightly tough to master the cleaning process when you use it for the first time, but once you get used to it, you’ll witness for yourself how useful and practical this cleaning device is.

2. Hygger Aquarium Power Gravel Cleaner

The Hygger Aquarium Power Gravel Cleaner stands out with its multi-purpose capabilities. In fact, this fish tank suction cleaner offers three functions to ensure top-level convenience. I’ve had no problem using this fish tank rock cleaner for water changes, dirt suction, and sand washing.

Another vital attribute this product offers is its adjustable length, which is made possible by Hygger, including two extension tubes with each purchase. Due to this, the entire adjustment process becomes a simple matter of connecting these tubes to the cleaner.

It’s also why this product is usable in every fish tank without issues. For instance, I’d only attach one tube if I need to use it for small fish tank aquariums. However, this setup won’t work for a large 35-gallon tank, where the second tube is required.

Furthermore, I found myself loving this vacuum’s comfortable design. Both the vacuum’s handle and grip are well-designed for user comfort. It makes the entire cleaning process a lot less stressful, especially compared to my last aquarium siphon vacuum—Imagitarium Aquatic Gravel Vacuum.

Buyers will should be cautious of this product’s strong suction power as it’s prone to pulling up even large stones and becoming clogged as a result.

  • Multi-purpose vacuum cleaner with 3-in-1 design
  • Effective in all three functions (water changes, dirt suction, and sand washing)
  • Simple to adjust length with two provided extension tubes
  • Usable in every fish tank without issues
  • Comfortable design with well-designed grip and handle
  • Strong suction power can cause clogging issues with large gravel

Once I got used to it, this fish tank siphon vacuum became a godsend. It made cleaning my tank much easier and quicker than using any alternatives.

3. TERA PUMP Aquarium Cleaner


Are you dreaming of investing in the best aquarium vacuum cleaner? This brand won’t leave you disappointed since it comes with an affordable price tag yet the quality is not compromised. It does a great job at making fish tank cleaning tasks a less-hassle project to handle and it is designed with an extraordinary pump that could surprisingly clear away dirt and sand inside the tank.

Moreover, this kit comes with 2 different nozzles that are meant for various cleaning purposes. The short one is used for draining the aquarium; on the other hand, the long one is for removing any residues, fine gravel and leftovers inside the tank.

However, this cleaning tool has downsides for you to keep an eye on, and these include the fact that it comes with unsatisfying suction power and it does not have a clamp that could drain the water directly into a container.

  • Designed with 2 nozzles: long nozzle for cleaning and short nozzle for drainage
  • Capable of completing the cleaning task instantly
  • Equipped with a distinctive pump that easily eliminates dirt and sand
  • Harmless to aquatic plants and various fish species
  • Does not lift tiny pebbles inside the aquarium
  • Comes with unreliable suction power
  • Not equipped with clamp to drain water directly

By and large, if you aim for a fish tank vacuum cleaner that could promise the easiest and most particular cleaning experience, then TERA PUMP is the best match for your preference. This is also safe to use so it won’t cause any danger to your aquarium occupants. You’ll love this setup because it won’t only let you thoroughly clean the aquarium but you can also change the water easily.

If you wish to provide a clean and safe habitat for your treasured aquarium pets, then this brand won’t disappoint you. Its only weak sides are the unreliable suction power and lack of clamp. But, these don’t make it a weak option to consider.

4. EHEIM Quick Automatic Gravel Cleaner


There are a lot of reasons to love this fish tank vacuum. It is capable of extending the intervals between water replacements and is fairly easy to utilize and operate. Unlike other vacuum cleaners out there, this does not need a hose or a bucket.

In addition, this is operated by a battery so it is safe and convenient to use. It isn’t necessary to do the cleaning with your water replacement. And, the suction power is not too strong and not too weak- thus, it can provide just the right amount.

EHEIM Gravel Cleaner is operated by 4 AA batteries and can be utilized for up to a total of 4 hours per charge. This tool is known for its ease of use which means you don’t need to undergo a complex assembly process. And, it is also supported by a 2-year guarantee.

Please be guided that this vacuum cleaner is not suitable for use when replacing water and its impeller seems to have the tendency to congest. These are just a few of the flaws that you may encounter if you purchase this device.

  • Operated by a battery
  • Does not require the use of hoses or buckets
  • Highly recommended for quick spot maintenance or exhaustive fish tank cleaning
  • Equipped with sufficient amount of suction power
  • Can be submerged by up to 3 feet
  • Impeller has the tendency to congest
  • Not suitable for water replacements

In summary, this vacuum cleaner is the top-tier bang for the money. It’s slightly costly but it works as an efficient gravel cleaner and can be used for both freshwater and saltwater tanks. This is the right choice if you are keeping a large aquarium. If you choose this tool, cleaning your fish tank no longer has to be troublesome.

You only need to deal with the impeller that is prone to congestion; however, this is a certified wise investment that you can consider to keep the aquarium safe for your finned friends and aquarium plants.

5. SSRIVER Aquarium Gravel Cleaner


Wise consumers always go for fish tank vacuum cleaners that are functional in so many ways. This model is a good catch because it is adept at changing the water and keeping the aquarium water clear and fresh. And, since it is equipped with a filter basket in the tube, it could ward off gravel blocking. This works reliably in instantly separating and eliminating residues from the tank.

By the same token, you’ll be attracted to its handy and convenient design. It is compact and seems well-formed. It is plain sailing to set up and operate and while it is ideal for smaller tanks, it could also serve other tanks of different sizes because its hose is long enough.

To start its operation, you only have to press the air-pressing button for it to begin pumping the water out. You can adjust the water flow easily too. As you can see, this is really perfect for cleaning the fish tank properly without much work to do. The selling price tag seems to be pocket-friendly as well, so it could fit any budget.

If you’re going to inspect it closely, it seems the plastic material is made of poor quality; therefore, try to use this device with extra caution. Also, there is a tendency for the water to get going too fast so pay attention to this when operating the tool.

  • Comes with easy-to-use and convenient design
  • Capable of replacing the water and keep the aquarium water clean and fresh
  • Designed with reliable water flow adjuster
  • Already includes the necessary accessories
  • Can fit fish tanks that come in different sizes
  • Low quality plastic material
  • Tendency for water to get going quite fast
Ultimately, cleaning gravel in the small aquarium may not be a fun-filled task to manage. However, this does not need to be considered a serious problem if you have the right cleaning device to help you. With SSRIVER Aquarium Gravel Cleaner, keeping and maintaining clean and fresh fish tank water is easier and can be done in minutes. This is absolutely a useful tool for you to get!

6. SunGrow Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Kit


If you prefer a manual pump that is powerful enough to provide total control over suction levels, then this is the closest match. Gone were the days when cleaning and maintaining a fish tank was a pain in the neck. This offers a painless assembly method and operation and you can have it ready in a very short period of time.

This can also suit anyone’s budget since its price tag is friendly to everyone. Even if you have a very hectic schedule, there is no need to worry about routine aquarium maintenance because this tool will help you accomplish the job without the need to consume more time. Cleaning and keeping the fish tank is no longer painstaking.

Since this gravel cleaner works manually, it calls for several pumps first before you can get the suction started. And, you need to put up with its shorter cleaning hose length. These are a few of the negative points that you need to be insightful of before getting this tool.

  • Equipped with a manual pump that ensures full control over suction levels
  • Especially designed to help keep clean and fresh habitat for aquarium pets
  • Can be instantly installed and ready to operate in minutes
  • One of the most reasonably priced vacuum solutions to consider
  • Capable of making routine maintenance a child’s play to execute
  • Requires a number pumps to get the suction started
  • Comes with shorter cleaning hose length

On the button, this may also be a good gravel vacuum for small tanks. It is incomparable when it comes to its ease and convenience of use, being BPA free and instant assembly procedure. And, the manner it cleans the tank is also awesome. It is equipped with a nozzle net that is specifically meant to avert alleviating anything that you prefer to remain inside the aquarium.

Hence, it is not surprising that it is highly recognized for being one of the most effective yet very budget-friendly vacuum solutions for most aquarium keepers. The only minus points are its short length cleaning hose and the need to execute several pumps before it can finally operate- well, this is to be expected since it works in manual mode.

7. Fluval 11077 ProVac Aquarium Gravel Vacuum

The Fluval 11077 ProVac Aquarium Gravel Vacuum is extremely straightforward.

Its plug-in design offers a simple using process while its ergonomic grip ensures a comfortable one. It perfectly balances what I want in an aquarium vacuum pump or cleaner.

It then combines these qualities with top performance. After all, it has a powerful suction that users can adjust with two provided speed settings.

Another excellent feature is this product’s spotlight LED. From there, cleaning these spots becomes less frustrating and more effective.

I’m also a massive fan of this vacuum cleaner’s quick-release cartridge. It ensures the emptying process doesn’t require complicated steps. Sadly, I can’t say the same with most other vacuum cleaners in this marketplace.

Meanwhile, this vacuum cleaner for turtle tank enclosures and fish aquariums does an excellent job of preventing clogging issues. It stops these incidents with an ingenious gravel guard, which keeps larger pieces from getting stuck.

I do wish Fluval put more thought into the power button’s placement, though. There was no on/off button on the device—you can only turn it on or off by unplugging or plugging it into a power source. I’d also make this product less bulky if I had any input in crafting it.

  • Straightforward plug-in design and comfortable grip for effortless use
  • Top-tier performance with powerful suction and speed settings
  • Easy to clean low light areas with spotlight LED
  • Simple to empty with a quick-release cartridge
  • Ultra-convenient gravel guard stops clogging issues
  • No on/off button
  • Bulky construction

This vacuum cleaner more than managed to meet my needs with its cleaning capacity. I swear my fish tank has never been more well-maintained.

8. Aqueon Vacuum Aquarium Gravel Cleaner


Are you searching for the most trusted aquarium vacuum for sand that is quite budget-friendly? Then, this Aqueon cleaning device won’t leave you dismayed. It is not a waste of money to consider for it comes with exceptional features that could provide long-term benefits not only to you but to your fish tank inhabitants too.

It comes with a built-in clip intended to be attached when draining the hose to the inside of the container. This is highly recommended for fish tanks that contain 15 by up to 35 gallons of water.

This vacuum cleaner is ideal for instant water tank replacement. It is the perfect option if you prefer effortlessly separating particulates from gravel, and it can make aquarium cleaning a less-annoying job to complete in no time. It is equipped with a self-priming feature that can be utilized in an up and down movement in order to allow water flow to start.

Be that as it may, two of the negative points that you need to uncover about this device are its too-powerful suction that requires you to remove the fish out of the tank temporarily and the pumping technique of this device may require more time for you to get accustomed to it.

  • Does a sterling job at eliminating all forms of residues and dirt
  • No trouble to set up and utilize
  • Comes in a reasonably priced selling cost
  • Practical use for water replacements
  • Designed with a built-in clip
  • Slightly difficult pumping technique
  • Suction is too strong
In a nutshell, while the pumping technique of this device is a bit tough to master and the suction is too strong that requires you to remove the fish out of the aquarium when cleaning, this is still a good vacuum cleaner to purchase. It helps you execute the cleaning task and water replacement in a smooth way, it is a piece of cake to install and operate, and best of all, it is one of the most affordable options available today.

9. Upettools Aquarium Gravel Cleaner


If you are planning to purchase a reliable and powerful electric aquarium gravel cleaner, then this one’s for you! This does a number of functions such as absorbing waste, sucking the droppings, cleaning the gravel, sand washing and water replacing. It is also furnished with a dynamic suction power that is adequate enough to replace water, suck fish manure and residues out of the fish tank immediately.

Moreover, it is an efficient cleaning tool mainly because it is designed with a vigorous water pump motor that is capable of supplying paramount flow. You only need to plug it in and activate the switch to start its operation.

While this vacuum cleaner comes with many stunning features, it could also be a little complex to use and operate. And, it would have been better if the instructions were discussed in detail using English language to make it easier for everyone to understand.

  • Capable of providing very powerful and multiple cleaning functions
  • Equipped with dynamic water pump motor that could supply supreme flow
  • Helps make the aquarium cleaning process done in minutes with its fast-action feature
  • Guarantees 24/7 technical support for clients
  • Can be utilized as power head to come up with more water movement
  • Can be tricky to use and operate
  • Instructions aren’t translated in English

Right to it, this gravel cleaner is a top-notch option that you can’t miss. It operates in a quiet and potent mode. You can clean the fish tank gravel and utilize the device’s 3 distinct forms of heads. This is very convenient to utilize and removing the fish droppings and other particulates in the aquarium is no longer an irksome task to manage. Cleaning the bottom section of the tank is struggle-free and this tool comes with a number of different uses for you to benefit from.

It is true that it comes with impressive features but the instructions that come with it are not translated into English and maybe this is one of the reasons why it could be a little tortuous to use and operate at times.

10. LL Products Gravel Vacuum for Aquarium


This is particularly useful for fish tanks that are medium to large in size. It has an available extension that could be added when necessary. Its siphon water replacer comes with a starter stopper valve, hand pump, filter attachment as well as a long hose. To make it start the cleaning process, place the solid tube in the aquarium and squeeze the bulb to form a siphon. Then, put the other end of the tubing in the container.

More than that, this aquarium cleaning device comes with a BPA-free kit that contains a minnow net which is specifically intended to enable your finned friends be easily moved as you execute the cleaning process. Many fish tank owners prefer this brand because it comes with an avant-garde water-transferring siphons feature. And, it is even supported by a warranty, meaning you can return it and get a refund.

Two of the shortcomings that can be observed in this cleaning device are its slightly tricky hand pump and the tendency for it to be susceptible to some leakage issues once you start using it more frequently for a longer period of time.

  • Certified BPA free
  • Equipped with easy-to-adjust flow pump
  • Works more effectively for medium to larger sized fish tanks
  • Hose is quite easy to clean
  • Can guarantee multiple of practical uses
  • Hand pump is slightly tricky
  • May be prone to leakage issues in the long run
Considering all the vital and unique features that this gravel vacuum cleaner has, it is a sure value for your money! While it obviously has a couple of defects, the many benefits it could provide to fish tank keepers are so overwhelming to ignore. With its multiple practical uses, cleaning and maintaining an aquarium is only a no-brainer task to handle these days. It absolutely does an A1 job at siphoning the water out of the fish tank very instantly.

11. NICREW Automatic Gravel Cleaner


If you do not want to end up regretting your purchase, then this electric fish tank gravel cleaner can help you satisfy your needs and style. You’ll love its appealing features and its capability to clean everything without gobbling the gravel. It is amazing to see it operate in a way that it picks up gravel and efficiently gobbles the debris and particulates and instantly drops the gravel back to the tank’s underneath section.

In addition to this, the filter is removable and can be easily washed out after use. Unlike other models, it can do the cleaning job in no time and it can effectively clear away the filth that builds up in the aquarium. You can even contribute to planet conservation since this tool is environment-friendly.

This cleaning device is designed with an unpleasant filter design that makes it slightly difficult when taking the filter out and re-inserting it. And, you need to keep an eye when using it because it is very prone to clogging.

  • Aids lessen harmful toxins accumulation in the fish tank
  • Highly practical for comprehensive fish tank cleaning and maintenance
  • Certified environment-friendly
  • Can guarantee lots of suction power
  • Capable of instantly alleviating debris from the substrate’s topmost layer
  • Has the possibility to clog instantly
  • Comes with impractical filter design

To conclude, this is a wonderful cleaning device to clean and maintain a fish tank properly. It’s easy to clean, easy to operate and compact at an affordable price. You no longer have to deal with troubling cleaning and siphoning residues inside the tank. It’s a great purchase to consider because it works precisely as intended.

Meanwhile, please take note that this vacuum cleaner comes with an unfavorable filter design that makes taking it out and re-inserting it a not so fun thing to do. And, it has the tendency to get clogged instantly; thus, you need to watch out when using it.

Outdated Products

Zacro Fish Tank Gravel Cleaner (Outdated)


Ease of assembly and operation, good suction ability, affordability and practicality of use are what make this gravel cleaner for aquariums a great deal to buy. Once purchased, it comes with a bonus of a water pipe clip that is designed to fix the hose. It is easy to clean and can be removed easily as well.

Furthermore, it is nice to have a cleaning device that can shield your most cherished finned buddies while changing the tank water. To put simply, unlike other models out there, this won’t in any way frighten your fish whenever you do the cleaning.

And, to start operating it, you only have to squeeze the big suction balloon gently for the water to gobble. This also ensures a nice water flow control and can assist in thoroughly cleaning the fish tank with much ease.

This cleaning device is not all perfect of course; once opened, it comes with a chemical plastic smell but luckily this vanishes after some time. And, the hose is comparably short to other brands.

  • Can ensure straightforward operation and removable
  • Equipped with premium quality faucet design
  • Comes with a clip that aid inhibit hose from falling out of the tank
  • Can provide protection for aquatic pets while changing water
  • Enable adjustable flow of water
  • Hose is fairly short
  • Comes with a chemical plastic smell
At length, Zacro gravel cleaner is worth a try. In point of fact, as compared to other models, this does not give you a hard time using and operating it. You can easily remove and clean it after use too. You can effortlessly adjust the water flow as it is furnished with a top-drawer faucet design. And, most importantly, you’ll surely be delighted with its capability to provide much-needed protection for your fish tank pets whenever you need to do the cleaning and water replacement. You only need to handle its chemical plastic smell and relatively short hose.

LONDAFISH Electric Fish Tank Vacuum Cleaner (Outdated)


While it may be true that fish tank owners do not prefer electric gravel cleaner much, this device is deemed necessary when vacuuming rough gravel and sand. You cannot deny the fact that it does a wonderful job of taking care of these particles. LONDAFISH Electric Fish Tank Vacuum Cleaner can be the perfect solution for you if you seriously want to suck up all forms of residues and dirt in your aquarium.

This product is designed with a tough suction power capability which is why it is capable of working equitably quickly. It can trap bigger fragments and this is made feasible by its filter or netting located at the tube’s front section. Likewise, you can get it at a very affordable cost.

Still and all, this gravel cleaner may only be highly recommended for smaller tanks. Additionally, its filter sock could only trap bigger specks. These are the defects that you may come across if you buy this tool.

  • Does not require priming or pumping
  • Practical to be used for rough sand and gravel
  • Can guarantee vigorous suction power
  • Works effectively for vacuuming and siphoning
  • Equipped with a long hose for farther reach
  • May only work exceptionally for smaller tanks
  • Filter sock merely captures bigger specks

Sure as can be, you can get the real worth of your hard-earned bucks if you consider buying this gravel cleaner. You can manage to vacuum and siphoning jobs more effortlessly and there is no need to deal with tedious priming and pumping before the device can get started.

Be reminded though that this tool does a fabulous job mainly for smaller aquariums and the filter sock it is equipped with could only trap larger particulates. Anyhow, this does not make it a weak choice to choose because its other superb features overshadow these flaws.

Jeeco Aquarium Vacuum Gravel Cleaner (Outdated)

Jeeco Aquarium Vacuum Gravel Cleaner

It could for sure be distressing to hunt for the most suitable aquarium gravel cleaner, but this won’t be the case if you invest in Jeeco vacuum cleaner. It is capable of providing assistance in replacing water, getting rid of algae, sand washing, raking sand as well as in absorbing droppings.

What is more, you won’t need to submerse your hands in fish tank water, it can guarantee less water disruption, and there is no need to worry about spilling water. It is equipped with a plastic scraper that won’t cause any scratches in your aquarium.

Nonetheless, this vacuum cleaner is not highly advised for fish tanks that come in larger sizes. And, with several or frequent uses, this device has the tendency to rust. So, it is suggested to keep it clean and dry after use to prevent it from rusting too excessively.

  • Can handle five different aquarium cleaning functions
  • Equipped with top-quality water flow and air-pressing controller
  • Include a filter basket net for much added fish protection
  • Comes with a flexible hose that aids impede water from splashing
  • No sweat to set up and operate
  • May only be ideal for shorter or smaller tanks
  • Seems more prone to rust

All in all, this is the most trusted pick if you prefer a multifunctional fish tank vacuum cleaner. This device is quite easy to assemble, operate and use. Cleaning time is made easier and only requires a short time to complete the job. It comes with great features and accessories that make aquarium cleaning a less challenging task to deal with and it also provides much needed protection for your aquarium pets.

But, since it’s not made with stainless steel, it is prone to rust. So, before storing it, make sure that you clean and dry it thoroughly. It is not highly ideal for tanks that come in bigger sizes, so choose other models if you’re keeping a large fish tank.

What To Look For When Buying An Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner


Some of the most valuable aspects for you to look into before making the final decision when shopping for a fish tank vacuum cleaner include:

Aquarium inhabitants. Think through the type and size of fish species and aquatic plants dwelling in your fish tank. To avoid unfortunate incidents, see to it that the nozzle comes with a tiny enough diameter in order for it not to endanger the life of your finned friends. You can go for those models that are equipped with some safety features.

Fish tank size. It is a must to ensure that the size of your fish tank suitably fits the kind of aquarium cleaner you purchase. Consider buying a smaller cleaner if you keep a smaller fish tank. There are some cleaners that could siphon the water out immediately than needed for tanks with smaller sizes, and this could bring about some problems for your aquarium’s occupants.

The kind of fish tank gravel cleaner you like. Aquarium gravel cleaners come in various forms. There are manual and electronic ones. Carefully consider which one could best match your requirements and preference. Of course, they can provide different features and functions for you to select from.

Your substrate size. If your fish tank has no gravel but is filled with sand, then a gravel cleaner may not be necessary. On the contrary, if you have gravel that is bigger than sand, then gravel cleaner is a must-have.

The buying factors discussed above are just a few of the things that you need to look into before you make the final purchase. Be reminded that although budget is always the first thing that we typically consider prior to shopping, we still do not settle for affordability if quality can’t be delivered.

Other Important Factors To Consider


What is a vacuum cleaner for aquarium? How does it work?

In substance, the aquarium vacuum cleaner is a tool specifically utilized to clean residues, filth and other particulates from the substrate. In the same way, its sole purpose is to eliminate the dirt from the tank water when it is time to replace the water.

In general, these tools are built with a high-quality plastic syphon that is fastened to a lengthy line of tubing. Once they are correctly installed, they start working by sucking up all types of debris and waste inside the fish tank. These are highly regarded as practical tools to invest in to ensure a clean and fresh environment for your aquatic pets.

What are the different types of aquarium vacuum cleaners?

There are two kinds of aquarium vacuum cleaners and these are:

  • Electric Gravel Cleaner

This type is great at alleviating the need for siphons, containers and hoses. All you need to do is to immerse them in a vertical position, then turn on the switch and the device will begin sucking up the filth and other particles.

Besides, there are 2-in-1 versions that commonly come with a filter and fastened tubing that is especially intended for limited water replacements. There are those that are operated by batteries too.

However, these versions are more costly as compared to manual versions. And, generally they have difficult-to-find replacement parts. Many of them also generate audible sounds while operating or come with vibrations that may disturb or scare your aquatic pets.

  • Manual Gravel Cleaner

This type of cleaner serves as an efficient siphon. It is generally affordable and not complex to utilize once you get accustomed to it. It is characterized by a durable and clear tube that comes with an opening at the above portion and this aims to be inserted in a drainage hose.

The use of this tool requires a container that’s big enough for the water to be drained. It is crucial to position the drainage container in a place that is lower than the tank; for instance, you can position it on the floor. As you know, siphon won’t function if there is no gravity.

To ensure a faster draining process, the hose must be hung in a straight mode. Consider putting the end of the hose inside the container so you don’t need to be drenched. You need to be careful when using a cleaner like this in a manual approach. They require more work as compared to electronic ones.

Why do you need aquarium gravel cleaner? (Benefits)

Getting rid of unconsumed fish food, residue and dirt accumulation from the fish tank is a crucial component of cleaning and maintaining an aquarium. As you might already know, it is a must to keep the tank water safe and healthy for your aquatic pets to thrive. Thus, if you hope to get the most out of your water replacements, it is critical for you to get a superior quality gravel vacuum cleaner.

In essence, the primary perk of investing in a good and reliable fish tank vacuum cleaner is that you can provide a safe and clean habitat for your fish and aquarium plants. Not only that, an effective cleaning device could aid in prolonging the lifespan of your most valued finned friends and clean tank water could also give you a fascinating sight to behold whenever you feel stressed.

Also, by eliminating these wastes, you can extend the time between water replacements. Alternatively, it is possible to utilize the water replacer as a vacuum and this could also decrease the energy and time required to replace the tank water.

With the right aquarium vacuum cleaner, cleaning and maintaining the aquarium no longer need to be a very dreadful task for you to deal with particularly if you have a busy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you vacuum a tank with fish in it?

Anyone who’s accounted for their fish’s size when purchasing their water vacuum shouldn’t have issues. You can then confidently vacuum within the tank without worrying about having fish get sucked up into the machine.

I only recommend vacuuming slowly around them to be extra cautious. It’s another precaution to ensure no issues would arise, especially if new elements are added to the tank.

You’ll also want to remove aquarium decorations from your vacuum or cleaning pump. It’ll make cleaning more effective as waste often resides under them. I can’t believe how much algae appears every time I move these decorations. Lastly, use your water siphon vacuum on and around rock formations.

If you follow these rules, the vacuuming experience should go, sorry about the pun, swimmingly. I certainly haven’t had any issues in all the years using my mini gravel vacuum cleaner.

Is it better to vacuum fast or slow?

Vacuuming your tank slowly is a must when using these devices. Otherwise, it could cause your aquarium sand vacuum or rock cleaner to suck up an undesirable item. So it’s best to proceed with caution even when using top options.

I would try practicing with the vacuum and adjusting it beforehand. It’ll provide you with a feel for the device to ensure it can be used carefully. From there, controlling your aquarium rock cleaner will become easier.

How do you get rid of dead algae without a vacuum cleaner?

If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, the top-tier alternative is to use a handcloth or brush. These tools won’t have much difficulty getting rid of dead algae. But it’ll require more effort and take much longer than what a top-tier vacuum offers.

How do you make a homemade aquarium vacuum?

There are various ways to create a homemade aquarium vacuum. But the easiest one will only require the following materials:

  • A clean and empty water bottle—any will do; just make sure it still has its lid.
  • A 3-foot plastic tubing—you can find it at Home Depot, Petco, or even your local aquarium shop.
  • Sharp knife or drill bit (depending on your bottle’s lid).

Once you’ve collected these two items, it’s time to start getting into the DIY steps. Trust me; this process will become if you follow these steps to a tee:

  1. Cut around the label’s bottom. It’s also necessary to keep the lid off your bottle, as you’ll see in the next step.
  2. Mark the sizing of your tubing on the lid’s top. Once it’s marked, take out a sharp knife (a safer option would be a drill bit, if possible) and make a hole in the lid.
  3. The only thing left to do is screw the cap onto your bottle. To use it as a fish tank hose cleaner, dip the cut bottle inside the tank and suck on the tubing’s end until water starts flowing out automatically.

Several more complicated methods of making a homemade aquarium vacuum are all over YouTube. But my favorite would have to be this one. I had no problems following its great tutorial to create an excellent vacuum that can clean gravel for aquarium tanks with ease.

What are the most trusted aquarium vacuum cleaner brands?

It is true that there are numerous brands for you to select from when it comes to buying an aquarium vacuum cleaner, but the following are the most highly acclaimed ones:

  • Python
  • Aqueon
  • SunGrow
  • Zacro

How to choose the right size?

Different types of aquarium gravel vacuum cleaners come in various sizes and designs. Prior to buying one for you, consider the current size of the fish tank you are keeping, and make sure to know its measurements and the amount of gallon it contains. Once you are fully aware of the size of your aquarium, it is easier to get the right gravel vacuum cleaner that could fit your fish tank accordingly.

If it is your first time buying one, ask the manufacturer or the seller for advice and let them know about your fish tank information. They can help you pick the right size for you.

How to use an aquarium vacuum cleaner?

Here are the steps on how to use your aquarium vacuum cleaner:

  1. The syphon head and length of the hose must be tightly fastened to ward off the possibility of a water spill.
  2. Utilize a container or bucket or attach the hose to the sink for a more convenient and easier draining process.
  3. Position the vacuum’s head into the aquarium and let it be filled with water. Once filled, lift the device out of the water and drain into the container with the aid of the tubing. Put the head back underneath the water prior to becoming totally empty.
  4. Then, move the vacuum’s head through the gravel on the aquarium’s bottom section to gather any unconsumed food, dirt, droppings and residue. Clean other tank decors too.
  5. You may continue doing so till you have eliminated nearly 25% of the tank water. If the container is close to being full, lift the device out from the water and let it be totally emptied. Do this repeatedly if you need to so you can reach 25%.
  6. When you’re done, utilize fresh water to wash the device thoroughly. Then, store it in a safe and cool dry place so you can easily get it if necessary.

How to clean old aquarium gravel?

Pour clean water over the gravel in the strainer; be sure to shake it carefully. Then, wash off the gravel over the container instead over a drain as it would potentially let the gravel slip through the strainer. Pour water continuously over the gravel till the water runs clear.

To clean old fish tank gravel, several and thorough rinsing is specifically necessary. If residues and moss are deeply instilled, gently scrape or brush these and continue rinsing. As much as possible, avoid using chemicals to clean them.

You will know that the old gravel is ready to be utilized once the water runs clear. Afterward, you can safely put the gravel in a clean container or directly put them in your aquarium.

How often do I vacuum the gravel?

Vacuuming the aquarium gravel does not need to be done frequently especially if you have newly set up a fish tank. You may do the vacuuming if you see that the gravel is already showing indications of accumulated filth. Vacuuming may be done every two weeks or if really needed. You can also do these when doing water replacements.

If you wish to cut down the frequency of vacuuming, make sure that you feed the fish properly and avoid droppings, and maintain clean water inside the tank.

How to care & store?

Once you’re done using the fish tank vacuum cleaner, see to it to use clean fresh water to wash it off thoroughly. Rinse the end of the head and the rest of the tube carefully. Then, dry it and store it in a cool dry area so you can easily get a hold of it until the next time you need to utilize it.

Where to buy?

Aquarium vacuum cleaners are available in various fish and pet stores. You can also shop for them online and check out Amazon, eBay, Walmart and other highly trusted online shopping sites.

What is the warranty?

Different aquarium vacuum cleaner brands come with different warranty offers. You can check out from their manufacturer. They are generally supported by warranties that offer replacement parts or full refunds.


All aspects tossed around, it is your sole duty to sustain a safe and clean environment for your aquarium pets when keeping a fish tank. Indeed, one of the most sure-fire ways how you can provide the best possible environment for your aquarium dwellers is by cleaning the substrates on a regular basis. And, the most excellent means to do so is to use the best aquarium vacuum cleaner.

By happy chance, with the exhaustive product reviews and practical buying guides featured in this article, there is no way for you to make mistakes in picking the right brand that will best satisfy your needs and preference. Essentially, now that you are fully aware of the importance of owning a fish tank vacuum cleaner, it is highly advised not to hesitate to buy the most gilt-edge brand that can better work for your aquarium. Go for the one that provides the best value for the price and quality!