Here’s a fact:
Cleaning your aquarium regularly is essential to the health of fish.
Using an aquarium vacuum makes the task easier, but with so many on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best one.
Use this guide of the best aquarium vacuums to help narrow your choices.
10 Best Aquarium Vacuums
1. EHEIM Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner And Sludge Extractor
The EHEIM Quick Vac Pro is a great vacuum for aquariums. It is cordless and has a four hour run time on battery power. It features a super-fine mesh cartridge that can easily detach and easily is cleaned. This vacuum is versatile and can be used in any aquarium that has a minimum depth of 1 foot (12 inches). It features a suction jet and is suitable for any type of aquarium water. Using the EHEIM Quick Vac is so simple that your aquarium can be clean in minutes without too much effort.
- The vacuum has a full two-year warranty.
- The cordless operation makes it extra safe to use in water.
- It doesn’t need buckets or hoses so it’s easier to use than syphon vacuums.
- It isn’t good for smaller aquariums or fish bowls.
- It can’t be used with fine sand or gravel.
2. Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System
This simple solution to cleaning an aquarium features a 25-foot hose that can universally adapt to any faucet. The hose can come in multiple lengths to accommodate different distances between faucets and aquariums. It features a 10-inch gravel tube and the system can drain as well as fill the aquarium. The equipment comes ready to use and doesn’t require buckets or siphons.
- The system is very easy to use and can be a hassle-free experience when used correctly.
- Longer gravel tubes are available up to 72 inches.
- It is a no-spill system, eliminating the possibility of having to clean up large messes.
- The product is made in the U.S.A.
- The pump system isn’t good for smaller aquariums or fish bowls.
- It may be a bit difficult to connect to the faucet and work with the cold-water pumping.
- The warranty information isn’t readily available.
3. Laifoo Aquarium Vacuum Gravel Cleaner
If you are looking for a good siphon system, consider this Laifoo gravel cleaner. This aquarium gravel vacuum features two functions in one. It will drain and clean your aquarium, and after switching the connector it will fill the aquarium. The tube is 25 feet long and doesn’t bother fish or tank decor. It comes with a tube strap that helps to keep your tube neatly wrapped up when not in use.
- The cleaning system is easy to use and doesn’t require a lot of hassle.
- The strap makes storing the tube easy and keeps it neatly coiled in place.
- The 2-in-1 system makes it easy to refill the aquarium, eliminating the need for buckets.
- The faucet adapter is not universal so you must make sure that it works for your faucet.
- With only a three-month time frame, the warranty is very short.
- The tube is only available in one length.
4. Dora’s Corner Store Vacuum Gravel Cleaner
This vacuum gravel system is an easy to use siphon system that is BPA-free and made in the U.S.A. from high-quality material. It is a basic vacuum gravel system–with only three pieces to work within the system, it effectively does what you need it to. It is suitable for 15 gallons to 30-gallon aquariums, is self-priming, and features a flexible 56″ hose and 10″ tube. It does not harm fish or disturb aquarium decor.
- It is easy and simple to use so it won’t take a lot of hassle to clean your aquarium.
- It is made in the U.S.A.
- The tube is also available in 16″.
- It is a very basic siphon vacuum system that may not work as well as other types of vacuums.
- The warranty details are not very clear.
- The aquarium sizes that it is suited for is very limited (15-30 gallons).
5. Marina Easy Clean Gravel Cleaner
This is a basic, simple siphon vacuum gravel cleaner that comes in multiple sizes to accommodate any size aquarium, even a fish bowl. It features a non-kink hose to make using it hassle-free. Use the Marina Easy Clean gravel cleaner to siphon water into a bucket and keep your tank and gravel clean. The hose comes in an oval shape so that it can fit better into corners.
- It is good for all size aquariums from small bowls to very large ones because it comes in different sizes.
- It is a very reasonable price for the function.
- It can be difficult to get the siphoning process going and may require the user to watch instructional videos to figure out how to work it.
- The warranty details are not very clear.
- You have to use a bucket with it so there is potential for creating a mess.
6. TOM Aquarium Mr. Cleaner Battery Operated Gravel Siphon
This is a 3-in 1 tool that cleans gravel, cleans algae, and removes water. This automatic gravel cleaner is battery powered and cordless making it safe and easy to use in an aquarium. A Nylon bag captures the dirt and debris siphoned from the gravel and a hose is used to siphon water into a bucket. You also have the option of using the cleaner without the hose and the water will simply drop out of the side opening back into the aquarium. The Mr. Cleaner gravel siphon is a great choice that makes your task, quick, easy, and effective. It is one of the best gravel vacuum for sand.
- It is battery powered and cordless so this makes it easy to use.
- The gravel cleaner is adjustable from 8 to 16 inches so it can accommodate different sized aquariums.
- It has a one year warranty.
- Using a nylon bag means an extra step in the cleaning process since the bag has to be cleaned also.
If you don’t hold the device at the right angle, it may not work as well.
Holding the device too close to the edge of the aquarium without using the siphoning hose may result in water spilling on the floor.
7. Fluval Gravel Vac Multi-Substrate Cleaner
This siphon gravel vacuum is one of the easiest to operate. The vacuum only requires a few pumps to get going and the vacuum features a thumb-operated speed-regulating button so you can clean at a pace that is comfortable for you. It features a gravel guard so that the vacuum doesn’t clog and can be used in any type of aquarium water with a depth of up to 24 inches. It can be used for all substates.
- The easy siphon start makes it easier to use than most siphon vacuums.
- The speed regulator button makes it comfortable to use at a speed that you can handle.
- The gravel vacuum is versatile because it can be used for any substate and any type of aquarium water.
- It can’t be used in larger aquariums.
- The manufacturer only offers a 30-day return policy.
8. TERA PUMP Aquarium Gravel Cleaner
This is a simple but effective aquarium gravel vacuum. It works by siphoning and can be used with sand or gravel. The hand pump makes it easy to get started with the siphoning and the vacuum cleans while replacing the water due to a patented pump filter. It is safe for aquarium life and is BPA-free. The Tera Pump Aquarium Gravel Cleaner can be used in different types of aquarium water and multiple aquarium sizes.
- It is much easier than other siphoning vacuums to get the process going.
- It is made of high-quality EVA, PVC, and polyethylene material and is BPA-free.
- It can be used in many different sizes of aquariums.
- The manufacturer accepts returns but isn’t clear on a warranty.
- The hose can sometimes move out of the bucket causing messes that need to be cleaned up.
9. Aqueon Aquarium Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner
If you are looking for a simple gravel cleaner that does the one task you need it to do pretty well, the Aqueon Aquarium Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner is a great choice. This gravel cleaner is great for quickly cleaning gravel or changing water. It features a 10-inch bulb that easily begins the siphoning process. It is self-priming which makes the process even easier.
- For the price, it works very well to clean debris from aquariums.
- The flexible hose comes with a clip to attach it to a drain bucket.
- It is extremely lightweight and easy to use.
- The hose is only six feet long so the drain bucket must be placed very close to the aquarium.
- The vacuum is made of lower-quality material and may not last as long as others.
- The warranty information is not clear.
10. Lee’s 6-Inch Slim Jr. Ultra Gravel Vacuum Cleaner
This is a small but effective gravel vacuum cleaner. It features a 72-inch long hose made of vinyl as well as a self-start cap. This is a very basic aquarium vacuum but it works well for what it was designed for. The small size makes it great for smaller aquariums and fish bowls. It’s also a great size for kids who may be learning to take care of their first fish aquarium or bowl.
- It is extremely budget friendly and can fit into any budget.
- It is easy to use and great for kids.
- It is only good for small aquariums or fish bowls.
- It is made from low-quality materials and may not last as long as other vacuums. The parts may not work as well as other vacuums for the same reason.
- The warranty information is not clear.
Does the size of the gravel vacuum matter?
It depends. Some are too small to use in deep aquariums. The most important size is the size of the suction tube and the size of the hose.
Can I use a gravel vacuum if I have fine sand in the bottom of my aquarium?
Yes. You must make sure that the gravel vacuum you choose specifically says it is designed for fine substrates.
How will I know if the gravel vacuum works well?
You should notice that the water in the aquarium is significantly less cloudy than it was before you started vacuuming. You may also notice considerably less debris in the aquarium.
Does gravel vacuums come with warranties?
Most have some type of warranty or at least a return policy. This will vary by manufacturer. Contact the manufacturer for more details.
Do I need to remove my fish before I use a gravel vacuum?
Most of the time you will not need to remove your fish. Most gravel vacuums are safe to use with fish in the aquarium.
Which is better? An automatic or siphon vacuum?
While automatic gravel vacuums are generally easier to use, this doesn’t necessarily make them better. It will depend on whether or not the gravel vacuum has the qualities that meet your specific needs.
Do I even need a gravel vacuum?
For the health and safety of the fish in your aquarium, it is very important to keep the aquarium clean. While technically you could just take the fish out and clean the aquarium, this can be tedious to do each time and transferring your fish constantly can degrade their health. Using a gravel vacuum can make this task easier and safer.
Is a gravel vacuum better if it’s more expensive?
Price doesn’t always equal quality. Some gravel vacuums may be priced higher because they have more features.
Are gravel vacuums suited to use for aquariums with all types of fish?
Yes. The fish type doesn’t matter when choosing a gravel vacuum because most gravels are safe for all fish.
Will a gravel vacuum harm the plant life in my aquarium?
No. Most gravel vacuums are safe for plant life in aquariums just like they are safe for fish life in aquariums.
Should I choose a gravel vacuum that was made in the United States?
While this can help boost the economy in the United States, purchasing a U.S. made gravel vacuum is a personal choice. It doesn’t always mean that the gravel vacuum is better than one that was made overseas.
What should I do if the hose isn’t long enough on my gravel vacuum?
Some manufacturers offer longer hoses or extenders. If not, you may be able to find attachments and hose material at a local home improvement store.
Are gravel vacuums noisy like floor vacuums?
No, they aren’t. The battery-powered gravel vacuums may make some noise but it won’t be anything close to a traditional vacuum cleaner.
What should I do if my gravel vacuum isn’t cleaning my aquarium?
Your gravel vacuum may be faulty or it could possibly just be the wrong vacuum for your needs. Check with the seller and/or manufacturer for their return policy.
Can I use more than one gravel vacuum at the time?
Most gravel vacuums work well enough so that you only need one, but there is no rule that says you can’t use more than one. This isn’t recommended for smaller aquariums or fish bowls.
Will the temperature of my aquarium water affect the operation of a gravel vacuum?
No, it won’t. Gravel vacuums work in any temperature of aquarium water.
Where can I find information on how to make a gravel cleaner for an aquarium?
Click on this video to find out how to make one.
Where can I buy a gravel vacuum?
They are sold in most pet stores. You can also find them on major online retailer websites such as Amazon or Ebay.
How often should I use an aquarium vacuum?
This varies according to fish type, aquarium size, the type of fish food you use, etc. In general, whenever your tank looks like it has a lot of debris in the gravel you can use a gravel vacuum to clean it.
If I use a gravel vacuum, do I need to buy new filters?
Using a gravel vacuum can certainly extend the life of a filter, but this doesn’t mean that you will never need new filters. Gravel vacuums can be used as a supplement to cleaning, not as the only source.