Whether you are keeping the little Neon tetras or a couple of the colorful and lively guppies, one surefire way to give them a happy, healthy, and wonderful life is by maintaining their environment clean.
Uneaten food, fish droppings, plant debris, and other forms of dirt can accumulate and with time form gunk at the bottom of the aquarium. With time, this sludge may affect the quality of water and begin to cause discomfort to the aquarium inhabitants. After all, no one enjoys living in a dirty environment.
As an aquarist, you need to find a reliable way of cleaning your fish tank. The method you choose needs to be effective and one that won’t disrupt the peace of the small finned beings. That’s where an aquarium gravel cleaner comes in handy.
An aquarium gravel cleaner provides a simple but reliable way of extracting any debris from the bottom of the fish tank. It’s an essential accessory for keeping the enclosed aquatic environment clean and healthy for the inhabitants.
Now, the aquarium cleaner you choose goes a long way to define your user experience. We have suggested the market’s finest aquarium gravel cleaners. Find your next aquarium maintenance tool from our top-notch review.
- 【3 in 1 Function】: ① Dirt Suction. Gravel Vacuum for Aquarium equipped with a duckbill suction inlet accessory, and it is easy to suck the feces away. ② Sand Washing. Aquarium siphon with 3D Filter Basket Net, protect your love fish and small gravel from suck out of the aquarium. ③ Water Changing. Built-in dual airbags, atmospheric cavity, good resilience, effortless operation.
11 Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaners
#1 SunGrow Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Kit
Although traditional water changing methods create a healthy and clean aquarium environment, they are time-consuming, messy, stressful, and may cause a lot of disturbance to the small aquatic pets.
This cleaner kit provides a smart, easy, and mess-free way of changing your aquarium water when maintenance time rolls around. The kit is meticulously designed for exceptional user experience right from the start to the end.
Each component of this kit is of premium BPA-free plastic. Therefore, expect to get a long-lasting performance from this option. Also, the plastic construction is BPA-free. That makes it safe for not only the aquarium inhabitants but also for the fishkeeper as well.
Although all the components are durably-constructed, they are lightweight. This design not only makes it easy to move the kit when necessary but also gives you an easy time when utilizing it for extended periods.
The netted nozzle head lets you extract debris and other unwanted materials when keeping the little finned buddies in the tank. The easy-squeeze pump means that almost any member of the family can use it.
- The plastic is BPA-free.
- The netted design of the nozzle head is nice.
- The kit is lightweight but durable.
- The tube feels flimsy although it’s durable.
#2 U-BCOO Aquarium Gravel Cleaner
This kit contains everything you need to maintain a healthy aquatic environment for your finned pets. All the parts are of high-quality plastic, so you can buy knowing that you are getting a real value for your hard-earned money.
The durable plastic used to make all the components of the kit doesn’t contain any harmful elements like BPA. Thus, this option is friendly to the environment, to your health, and that of your fish as well.
The nozzle net helps you siphon out dirty water, waste, and other unwanted materials from the fish tank when keeping all your adorable pets in the tank. Hence, unlike the standard options, there are no chances of hurting aquarium life when using this gravel cleaner.
The kit is also straightforward for anyone to use. Just insert the nozzle and the hose in your fish tank, squeeze and release the pump bulb about 5-7 times, and presto! You will see the water beginning to flow out through the nozzle.
The user-friendly design is another great selling point of this system. In other words, the package includes two suction cups to make cleaning easier and more convenient than ever. The two cups hold the suction tube exactly where you want it to free your hands up.
- It is beautiful and flexible.
- It works perfectly.
- The filter head keeps the fish in the tank.
- A bigger pump bulb would reduce the number of times you have to squeeze it.
#3 TERA PUMP Genuine Aquarium Pond Fish Tank Cleaner
For the aquarists looking for a cleaner that will work well for both sand and gravel, they may not get a better option. The maintenance system delivers great performance, and that’s why it has become one of the most popular cleaners out there.
The longer nozzle has a filter that prevents larger particles of gravels from entering the tubing. The filter also serves well to prevent your aquatic pets from getting into the nozzle, thus eliminating chances of injuries.
Additionally, you will note that the longer nozzle that gets into the tank has a reliable suction cup. This important feature provides a reliable way of keeping the suction tube in place for smooth flow without disrupting the little buddies.
The large suction tube provides an extended reach. The longer design of the tube makes it an ideal option for those looking for a cleaner system that can work well for larger aquariums, let’s say with the capacity of 10 gallons or more.
Additionally, this washer boasts an impressive water flow rate of about 1.5 Gallons Per Minute (GPM). Other additional features include an easy clip for clipping to container and a water flow regulator for controlling the flow of water.
- It cleans both sand and gravel.
- It is good for larger aquariums.
- The flow rate of 1.5 GPM saves time.
- A longer hose after the pump would be good.
#4 Boxtech Fish Tank Water Change
When left for a long time, food leftovers and waste can cause ammonia spikes, which may affect the health of your fish. That’s why you need to schedule maintenance sessions to keep the water clean and healthy for the inhabitants.
This maintenance tool is a multi-functional unit. In other words, you can use it as a sand cleaner and water changer. It comes with an extra nozzle for use in extracting excrements and food residue.
The tube is of high-quality PVC. Therefore, it is corrosion resistant and will deliver long-lasting performance. And although it’s very sturdy, this pipe will still let the user bend it when in use to meet the user needs. The extra-long design makes it easy to reach any spot without wetting your hands.
The product is easy to use. After you do the necessary installation, simply pinch the pump bulb 3-5 times to trigger the flow. The anti-backflow valve design ensures a smooth flow of water to make maintenance work easy and quick.
The matching suction clamp means that you can attach the tube to the glass of the aquarium for easier operations. Finally, we like that this cleaner will work well for different fish tank sizes.
- The tubing is hard and durable.
- The instructions are very nice.
- The bulb triggers the siphon easily.
- The tube isn’t wide enough for large tanks.
#5 Luigi Aquarium/Fish Tank Siphon and Gravel Cleaner
Whether you are keeping fish alone or a variety of aquarium animals like turtles, snails, frogs, shrimps, and the like, one way to keep them lively and happy is by ensuring that you give them a clean environment.
This top-rated cleaner has an attachment that reliably removes food and waste from the bottom of your aquarium in no time. By getting rid of these elements, it leaves your water pets with fresh and toxin-free environment to explore and have fun.
The attachment embraces a netted design. Therefore, no matter the size of the animals you are petting in the fish tank, you can use this cleaner with the peace of mind that it won’t suck them up or cause them any harm.
Although this cleaner is simple, it adopts a robust design to support regular use. The high-quality construction of all the components gives it unsurpassed versatility since you can use it for just about any liquid or oil.
This amazing product from Luigi also boasts an impressive drainage rate of a gallon per minute. This effectiveness of the product compares to that of high-end products, however coming at the fraction of their prices.
- It is very versatile.
- The price is great.
- the drainage rate is good.
- The high GPM rating isn’t the greatest for the small tanks.
#6 Laifoo Aquarium Siphon Vacuum Cleaner
Get rid of uneaten food, fish feces, and other unwanted elements from your fish tank using this premium vacuum cleaner. The maintenance system is convenient to use and doesn’t need any special skill to get the most out of it. Just have it set and pinch the siphon ball severally to activate the flow.
The cleaner comes with a durably-constructed PC pipe. The hose is clear to let you see how good and fast it works at siphoning debris and other forms of dirt. Also, the pipe measures 7 feet long, that is, 2.1 meters- long enough to suit use for most tanks.
However, if you find the seven-foot version to be quite long for your tank, this vacuum cleaner is also available in a shorter five-foot version. No matter the size you pick, expect a non-kink performance of the hose. The cleaner will therefore keep your maintenance work running smoothly.
The hose clip provides a convenient way of sticking the tuning to the fish tank. This ensures that the hose remains in one position to avoid disturbing the fish and other inhabitants when using it.
The box contains a 7-foot PC hose, gravel tube, siphon ball, hose clip, and a user manual. With all these components, this maintenance system should be up and ready for work a few minutes after arrival.
- It’s available in two sizes.
- The box contains an instruction manual.
- The material of the bulb is decent.
- The positioning of the bulb is not the best.
#7 LL Products Gravel Vacuum for Aquarium
Although waste build-up in the tank can affect the well-being of your fish, the materials you use to siphon out the waste may also impact the health of your aquatic pets. Some cleaners contain toxic substances that may have negative consequences on the lifespan of the fish.
With that in mind, all the components of this gravel vacuum do not contain toxic chemicals like the BPA. That’s why we see it as one of the safest fish tank maintenance systems for you and your aquatic pets.
The one-way flow control prevents flow back for smooth siphoning. Also, unlike some options that won’t allow you to adjust the flow of water, this system has a shut-off valve. This part provides a way to reduce the pace of flow or stop it once you are done with the cleaning.
Like some of the previous top options on the list, this cleaner has a filter. This important feature ensures that rocks, gravel, and fish don’t get sucked up when siphoning. Therefore, it will leave behind everything made to stay in the tank as it gets rid of everything else.
The system is perfect for all tank sizes except the small ones. The length and the thickness of the hose work well for medium to extra-large tanks. The minnow net provides an easy way of transferring your fish to another tank if need be.
- The cleaner is safe for use.
- The minnow net is a plus.
- The hose is easy to keep clean.
- It’s not an excellent option for small aquariums.
#8 Python 24 PC PRO CLEAN – EXTRA LARGE
As the name suggests, this cleaner works ideally for extra-large tanks. Therefore, if you have a large unit with a capacity of 55 gallons or more, this cleaner is one of the options you can consider giving a shot.
The high-quality washer effectively removes fish droppings, food leftovers, and other forms of waste during your routine water changes to create for them a suitable environment for them to thrive.
A product that handles the heaviest of jobs needs the best construction. And yes, this premium fish tank washer has high-quality tubing for long-lasting performance. The durable construction won’t peel or crack with time like some of the options in the market.
Although the hose is very durable, it’s still flexible. This design makes it easy to control to the exact spot you are targeting when also allowing you to bend it as much as you find necessary during your water changing sessions.
While it works incredibly well, there are a few things that can be improved. For example, it doesn’t have a pump bulb which means you will have to start the flow using the mouth. Nevertheless, since it doesn’t cost much, you can still buy the bulb separately if you need it.
- It’s perfect for large tanks.
- The price is great.
- The tubing is of high-quality.
- You will need to order the bulb separately.
#9 VIVOSUN Aquarium Gravel Cleaner
If you have been into agriculture and hydroponics in particular, chances are that Vivosun isn’t a vocabulary to you. Now, far from hydroponics paraphernalia, Vivosun has been excelling in the manufacture of aquarium cleaners, and this model is a case in point.
This cleaner utilizes premium construction to stand the test of time. The material of the plastic is also non-toxic. In other words, this tool doesn’t contain BPA and other harmful chemicals that may affect the life of your pet.
Unlike the vinyl hoses that bend and kink easily preventing the flow of water, the construction of this product’s tubing is kink-free. Hence, it’s one of the models you can count on to make your routine maintenance aa breeze.
The operation bulb means that you don’t need to use your mouth to activate the flow of water. Also, the siphon ball is made with premium-quality materials for reliability. The large size means you only need a few pumps to get the unit running.
The product has two nozzles. The shorter one works well for draining purposes whereas the other comes in handy when you need to extract waste from the tank. The flow control lets you control the discharge rate and amount.
- The siphon ball is large.
- The tubing is kink-free.
- It comes with two nozzles.
- The hose is quite short.
#10 EHEIM Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner
If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with hoses, buckets, and manual pumps, you can consider buying this gravel cleaner. It’s an automated unit, so expect it to make your maintenance projects a whole lot easier.
You can use it to do a complete cleaning of your fish tank or for spot cleaning. Therefore, other than just taking care of build-up before it’s too late, this gravel cleaner will extend the intervals of water changes. Maintaining your fish tank is now less messy and less demanding as well!
The cleaner has a super-fine mesh cartridge. This feature means that it will extract even the smallest particulates of waste, leaving your aquarium clean and healthy for your pets just as you have always wanted it.
The battery-operated unit is fully submersible up to three feet. The maintenance tool comes with four AA cells, meaning that it’s ready for use right off the bat. The O-ring keeps water out of the battery for optimal underwater performance.
However, since it’s automatic, be ready to pay a little higher for the unit than for a standard gravel cleaner. Nevertheless, with the simplicity and convenience it brings to the maintenance work, we find it worth every penny you pay for it.
- It is an automatic cleaner.
- It’s fully submersible.
- It operates quietly.
- It’s a little pricey.
#11 Friendly Fish Co. – Aquarium Cleaning Tools & Fish Tank Starter Kit
This cleaner is a complete kit. I mean, the box has everything you need to keep the water of your aquarium looking clear without disrupting the gravel at the bottom and the inhabitants of the tank.
It’s a 3-in-1 system. Therefore, it will come with a vacuum gravel cleaner just like any other option, but with additional two other tools to make your aquarium maintenance work easy and more convenient.
The gravel vacuum cleaner is of high-quality construction for maximum durability. The length of the tubing is nice and wide enough for quicker drainage of the water tank. The ergonomic pump bulb provides an easy and convenient way of triggering the flow.
The second product of the set is a cleaner magnet. The stainless steel/plastic blade lets you scrap the algae off the surface of your tank to keep it in tip-top condition. The component works exceptionally well for fresh and salt waters for reliability.
Also, we like the idea of including an ultra-fine fishnet in the package. With this component, you will find it easy to get rid of pesky debris from your fish tank. The size is also convenient and works very well for small and large fish tanks alike.
- It is a 3-in-1 design.
- The quality is impressive.
- All the components work very well.
- The vacuum is quite small for larger tanks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you clean fish tank gravel?
Yes. Waste and debris can build up at the bottom of the tank thus affecting the quality of the water. Cleaning your fish tank gravel keeps the water clean and healthy. And that’s why you need a gravel cleaner in the first place.
What is better in a fish tank, sand, or gravel?
It all depends on what you want and the type of fish you are keeping in the tank. Gravel comes in a variety of colors. These varieties make it easy to customize your fish tank. Also, unlike sand, gravel allows water to pass through, making amoeba and mold build-up very unlikely. However, if you are keeping the type of fish that likes to burrow in the sand, gravel won’t be the best idea.
How often should you vacuum aquarium gravel?
There is no specific time when you should clean your fish tank. If you feed your fish more than they need, expect lots of leftovers and fish feces as well. That means you will need to clean the tank more frequently than if you were giving them just the right amount. In other words, just keep a keen eye on your fish and the substrates. In most cases, cleaning once per week would do. However, that’s not the ideal interval for all fish tanks.
What fish cleans the bottom of the tank?
Although it’s necessary to keep the bottom of the tank clean, at times allowing for nature to take care of itself can reduce the interval at which you do the cleaning. Inhabitants like goby fish, Crayfish, Cory catfish, aquarium snails, and cherry shrimp are natural aquarium bottom cleaners.
Does vacuuming gravel remove beneficial bacteria?
As you get rid of waste and other unwanted materials, it’s easy to wonder whether the process removes essential elements like beneficial bacteria. So, does vacuuming gravel extract this bacteria?
Well, according to experts, this bacteria is ultra-fine and resides deep down the tank and not on the gravel at the top. While some powerful cleaners may suck it up, it’s only a low percentage that will be siphoned with other waste.
Unlike terrestrial pets that have plenty of space to explore, aquatic pets are in a more of a confined environment.
Hence, you need to monitor them closely to ensure that they are comfortable, happy, and healthy.
That’s why every fishkeeper needs to invest in a decent fish tank cleaner. Get the right cleaning accessory from our top-notch list of aquarium gravel cleaners.