The Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaner

Best image of aquarium gravel cleaners
Photo: Laifoo 5ft Aquarium Siphon Vacuum Cleaner for Fish Tank Cleaning Gravel & Sand
UPDATED JUNE 14, 2024

To help you find the perfect aquarium gravel cleaner, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable aquarium gravel cleaners. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.

Our Picks

Aqueon Siphon Vacuum Cleaner image
Makes routine water changes easier!
Natural Rapport Cleaner image
Introduces healthy, natural bacteria that biologically eliminate excess fish ...
UPETTOOLS Cleaner image
✔【Upgraded 6 in1 Multifunction Aquarium Gravel Cleaner】The upgraded aquarium ...
Our Choice
Aqueon Siphon Vacuum Cleaner image
Makes routine water changes easier!
Natural Rapport Cleaner image
Introduces healthy, natural bacteria that biologically eliminate excess fish ...
Low Price
UPETTOOLS Cleaner image
✔【Upgraded 6 in1 Multifunction Aquarium Gravel Cleaner】The upgraded aquarium ...

8 More Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Alternatives

Filtration Function Process – The gravel vacuum for aquarium filters the garbage presen...

Fully Assembled Aquarium Cleaner - This fish tank cleaner comes pre-assembled and is ha...

Hassle-Free Hand Pumping Operation - The aquarium gravel vacuum is highly efficient in ...

FUNCTION --- Easy to control, convenient to siphon fish faeces, impurities, turbid wate...

5 Feet HOSE --- Made from clear & elastic plastic. Makes it more durable and anti-kinki...

GRAVEL TUBE --- Sinkable, with a detachable filter screen inside. Will not disturb fish...

HAND-HELD DESING: Lightweight & convenient, well-formed shape & compact structure,with ...

PREVENT BLOCKING: Aquarium gravel cleaner can change water to keep water cleaner, with ...

EASY TO USE:Press the air button switch of the aquarium siphon cleaner to pump water , ...

【3 in 1 Function】: ① Dirt Suction. Gravel Vacuum for Aquarium equipped with a duckbill ...

【Working Principle】: hygger's unique patented design --- equipped with a handle type ma...

【Easy to Use】: Push the siphon switch of the aquarium siphon vacuum cleaner several tim...

【Multifuncation Aquarium Gravel Cleaner】The main function is ①automatic changer water ②...

【Complete Accessories, High Quality】①360° Brush Head,can clean the dirt on the wall of ...

【Extendable Handle Suitable For All Fish Tanks】The tube can be extended from 16.9 inche...

Plug-in, powered cleaning no batteries required featuring 2 speed settings with pause f...

Spotlight LED makes cleaning a breeze in dark corners and hard-to-see areas with extend...

Includes Dual Density Filter Pad that easily traps large and small waste particles, rep...

Mufti-functional cleaning kit: Aquarium gravel vacuum cleaner kit is a mufti-functional...

New safety design: new manual press design, no electricity required and silent while wo...

Easy to install: This newly upgraded aquarium vacuum is easier to use than traditional ...

Buying Guide

Aquarium fish are fascinating pets that provide years of amusement.
Keeping an aquarium clean not only makes it more attractive, but it keeps the chemical levels balanced, consistent and safe. Some fish require very specific pH levels. When waste, uneaten food and plant debris are allowed to decompose on the bottom of the tank, the pH balance is disrupted. Ammonia and nitrate are released in concentrations that are toxic to fish. Beneficial bacteria in the water help to keep levels in check, but they can’t keep up when the tank is excessively dirty.
A well-functioning filtration system is not enough. Your fish have a much better chance of thriving if you periodically vacuum the gravel and freshen the water.

Back in the day, cleaning aquarium gravel entailed emptying the tank, soaking or scrubbing the gravel and replacing the water. No one advises using that method anymore.

For one thing, helpful bacteria in the water are disposed of. Cleaning gravel with bleach or soap kills good bacteria as well.

Secondly, completely draining the tank requires transferring the fish to a holding receptacle, and that’s usually stressful to them. The shock of swimming into water of a different temperature could be fatal.

For these reasons, leave the fish in the tank. Change out only 25 to 30 percent of the water, and pour the wastewater into your house plants. What’s harmful to fish is good for plants.

Here’s a guide to the two most basic types of gravel cleaners. Knowing how they work will give you a better idea of which is best for your aquatic friends.

Manual Gravel Cleaner

This basic tool is inexpensive, effective and easy to use once you get the hang of it. It’s a clear, sturdy tube with an opening at the top for inserting a drainage hose. It acts as a siphon. The trickiest part of using it is getting the flow started. There are people who succeed by sucking on the end of the drainage hose, but that’s a bad idea. You’re sure to get a mouthful of tank water, and it’s not especially healthy for humans.

You’ll need a bucket large enough for the water that you’re draining off. A siphon won’t work without gravity, so position the drainage bucket on the floor or at least somewhere lower than the tank. Bear in mind that the straighter the hose hangs, the faster the tank will drain. To avoid having a wet mess on your hands, make sure that the end of the hose is well inside the bucket rather than dangling loose.

With the drainage hose draped over the side of the tank, gently submerge the vacuum tube horizontally. Rock it slightly until most of the bubbles disappear. Keep it completely submerged, but reposition it with the open end down. Lightly pump it up and down a few times. The water should start to flow.
If you’re too forceful, the debris resting on the substrate will be disturbed and float around the tank. The fish will be alarmed. Gentleness is key.

Now you’re ready to start vacuuming. Rather than scrape the surface of the gravel or use scooping motions, keep the tube perpendicular and simply press it into the substrate. Repeatedly lift and press as though you were using a cookie cutter. Scraping the gravel agitates the debris and makes it harder to suck up. Cover small areas at a time.

Manually operated cleaners require a little more work than electric ones, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Electric Gravel Cleaner

This handy gadget makes you wonder why anyone would choose a manual model. We’ll get to that.

Electric gravel vacuums eliminate the need for hoses, buckets or siphons. You simply submerge them vertically, flip a switch and start sucking up debris. Some two-in-one models have attached tubing and a filter for partial water changes. Those are nice for killing two birds with one stone. Many products on the market run on batteries.

What’s not to like? Automatic models are understandably more expensive. A sturdy manually operated product could last for years, but a fancy electric one with various gadgets might require hard-to-find replacements parts. The more bells and whistles there are, the more likely it is that something will break down. Not only that, but some electric vacuums vibrate forcefully and make a lot of noise. Fish go into a panic.

A lot of folks would rather just roll up their sleeves and spend some quiet time with their pets.

Extras

These items make cleaning more convenient and are worth looking into:

- Manual squeeze pumps for ease of starting the siphon
- Faucet adapters for replacing drained water
- Gravel cleaner tubes and drainage hoses of different sizes for multiple aquariums
- Extension hoses
- Bucket clips for keeping drainage hoses in place
- Attachments for vacuuming in hard-to-reach places

Top Picks

The priciest gravel cleaners aren’t necessarily the best. A product that looks good in the description may have engineering issues or be constructed of shoddy materials. Likewise, some low-priced, no-frills models get the job done and are highly rated by consumers.

The best way to ensure that you’re getting a quality product is to read as many verified-purchaser reviews as possible. Look for reviews written by buyers who have used the product for a while.

Here are some consistent best-sellers:

- 25-Foot Python No-Spill, Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System

All Python products sell briskly and get very positive reviews. Priced at $40 to $45, this cleaner is a little more expensive than most. However, Python throws in a lot of useful extras, so you may save money in the long run.

The No-Spill model both drains and refills the tank water. It comes with a 10-inch gravel tube, hose, hose connector, faucet pump and brass faucet adapter. If you have more than one tank, you can purchase Python gravel tubes in several different lengths for use with this system. The 100-foot system sells for around $100.

- Kedsum Aquarium Gravel Vacuum and Water Filter
Python is an outstanding brand, but there are other fish in the sea.

This Kedsum design is simple and unique. Priced at around $20, it's highly affordable. One nice feature is the adjustable water-flow control. If you start to daydream but notice just in time that your bucket’s about to spill over, simply turn the knob. This is a handy tool for a smallish tank.

EHEIM Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner and Sludge Extractor
The name could be more appealing, but this product gets high marks.

It runs on batteries and is fully submergible up to 3 feet. Its light weight makes it suitable for both thorough cleanings and touch-ups. The suction power was designed to create minimal disturbance. A mesh filter collects dirt and easily detaches for dumping. Customers love the notched design of the tube opening. You can't beat it for getting into nooks and crannies.

Top Rated Aquarium Gravel Cleaners

If you're looking into finding the best rated aquarium gravel cleaner, you should probable check out the Ssriver Cleaner. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.

Ssriver Cleaner

The Lowest Price We Could Find

Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $9.58 (last checked this morning), we do not list any other aquarium gravel cleaner cheaper than the Aqueon Siphon Vacuum Cleaner. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.

Aqueon Siphon Vacuum Cleaner

The Aquarium Gravel Cleaner With the Most Reviews

With at least 740 reviews and counting, the Aqueon Siphon Vacuum Cleaner might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.

High Quality Aquarium Gravel Cleaners

It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Mildhug Fish Tank Cleaner currently sells for $69.99.

Mildhug Fish Tank Cleaner

The Aquarium Gravel Cleaner With the Most Clicks

If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the Aqueon Siphon Vacuum Cleaner. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite Aquarium Gravel Cleaner from the list above.

Our Bestseller

If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling aquarium gravel cleaner: The Laifoo 5ft Siphon Vacuum Cleaner is the hottest bestseller in this category right now.

Laifoo 5ft Siphon Vacuum Cleaner

Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Reviews

There are no reviews on aquarium gravel cleaners, yet.
Be the first to write a review, or check for additional reviews in the Further Reading section below.

Further Reading on Aquarium Gravel Cleaners

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about reviews, pros & cons and similar products.
Aquarium Gravel and Substrate vs Bare-Bottom tanks: ...
With a bare-bottom tank, a gravel vacuum isn't needed; you can just use tubing to vacuum up any waste sitting on the bottom of the tank and  ...
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Pros and cons on sand vs. gravel?? | Fish Lore Aquar...
Or just in general what are the pros and cons of having sand from gravel? Ps. This site You turn off the filter when you clean sand or you'll have a big problem .Pros/cons Of Substrate Free Tank? | Fish Lore Aquarium Fish 22 Apr 201... ...
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How to Clean Fish Tank Gravel Without a Vacuum | Cut...
So you want to clean the gravel in your fish tank, but you don't have a vacuum to remove the buildup that has settled around the little stones. The end result will be clean gravel, a clean tank and happy fish. Dip a cup or other sma... ...
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The Gravel Vacuum - Why Is It Important? - Aquarium ...
When a fish goes to the bathroom, part of its waste winds up in the sand bed, polluting the water. In the picture above, the darker cloud in the vacuum tube is  ...
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18 Aquarium Gravel Cleaners: Vacuum Pumps, Water Cha...
Fluval FX 4/6 Gravel Cleaner Replacement Bag. filter bags for the FX gravel Tetra Tec GC 30 Gravel cleaner. Gravel cleaner for 30 cm Aquarium height. 7.39 €  ...
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Aquarium Gravel Cleaner – Natural Rapport
Description. This formulation contains a synergistic blend of beneficial bacteria, chosen for their unique ability to perform at optimum levels in both freshwater  Videos5:40homemade siphon hose for fish tank CleaningORNAMENTAL FISH... ...
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Research

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