7 Best Aquarium Vacuum Cleaners to Effectively Clean Your Aquarium

Can you compromise with the cleanliness of the environment in which your favorite creatures live? Definitely not! The fish and other aquatic creatures also expect their aquarium to be maintained clean. In a tidy environment, they may be prone to several diseases and may experience discomfort.

If you wish to maintain the cleanliness in your aquarium tank then you need to consider using the aquarium vacuum cleaner. Removing of debris like dirt, uneaten meal, fish waste, and other mess is done by such vacuum cleaners.

Additionally, they assist you to remove the huge quantities of ammonia and nitrate which may get accumulated in the tank. To know more about the best aquarium vacuum cleaners and its buying guide, continue reading below.

Top 7 Best Aquarium Vacuum Cleaners

Aqueon Medium Siphon Vacuum Aquarium Gravel Cleaner

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Do you know that aquarium cleaning is now simpler than ever? With the use of this aquarium gravel cleaner, you will be able to maintain the utmost cleanliness in your fish tank. Generally, this product is found perfect for instant water changes.

During its operation, it will efficiently detach debris from the gravel. One of the best features I admired about this cleaner is its self-priming. With the use of the up and down motion, this cleaner will facilitate water flow. When setting up this vacuum cleaner, I found out a clip. This clip is used for connecting the drain hose to the interior of a bucket.

We all know that maintenance is a crucial part of a decent aquarium keeping. The same is successfully done by this cleaner unit. When you regularly carry out water changes and pull out of debris from the tank, it will assist to maintain a balance in the aquarium environment. This unit will make the cleaning job simpler and will not take much time.

With an easy up and down motion through the intake tube, it will instantly prime the siphon to start water flow. When I used it, I was surprised to know how debris was pulled away with the flow of water. Also, it was neatly disposed of while the included gravel drips to the base of the aquarium.

One more aspect I liked about this decent quality vacuum cleaner is it comes with outstanding suction. This helps to increase the efficiency of vacuuming. With a simple forward and backward motion, this cleaner will begin draining the waste.

The only thing to take care of is if the suction gets interrupted once water level gets lowered by several inches, it becomes impossible to resume the suction using forward/backward motion. When I first faced this issue, I resolved it by buying an inline water valve. After that, I installed it at the center across the drain tube.

Finally, I was able to shut off the valve once the bucket is filled. In this way, suction will not be interrupted.

The included clip is actually a bonus because it retains the hose’s end inside the bucket. Also, I keep my finger over the hose’s end to control the suction and water drainage. Usually, I implement a start and stop action since my tiny gravel size begins to clog the unit.


  • Highly suitable for monthly cleans
  • Capable to remove all types of debris


  • Demands a bit more effort to get started than few other siphons
  • The water comes out very quickly

TERA PUMP Genuine Aquarium Gravel Sand Cleaner:

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The brand TERA PUMP is involved in fuel siphoning for many years and there are many innovations brought till now. This vacuum cleaner based pump works perfectly to eliminate all types of debris inside your aquarium tank. Inside its structure, there is a huge suction tube allowing for use in large-sized aquariums i.e. 10 gallons or higher. In the kit, you will find a discharge hose clip. You simply need to attach it to your tank.

One of the finest features I liked about this TERA PUMP cleaner is that it comes with two types of nozzles. The shorter nozzle is used for the purpose of drainage whereas the longer one is used for cleaning off the fish droppings, leftover food, and fine gravel.

The longer nozzle will do all these tasks while replacing the water. The most admirable aspect according to my opinion is it will not damage any aquarium creatures inside.

In this cleaner kit, I found the suction cub which will securely retain the suction tube in a fixed place. The same will allow this pump to be operated by a single hand. With the inclusion of the filter, the gigantic gravel will not enter the pump. So, the issues of blockage will be prevented.

Till now, I already tried several other fish tank pump cleaners but this one is one of the best ones. What I liked the most is I was able to adjust the suction power while the gravel cleaning process is going one. Furthermore, the tiny suction cup is great since it allows you connect the nozzle over the aquarium glass.

Anybody willing to keep their gravel and fish tank water clean, for them, this cleaner is the best option. It will work excellently on a wide range of substrates. For example, I have already used it on tiny gravel, sand, substrate, planted aquarium substrate, and bare bottom tanks. The results were excellent in all those cases.


  • Quick and effective cleaning
  • Capable to clean a fish tank in a few minutes


  • The suction power is missing

Python Pro-Clean Aquarium Gravel Washer and Siphon Kit

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What if I tell you that you can effectively clean your aquarium tank while performing water changes? You may be surprised to hear this but this siphon kit does exactly the same. This Python Pro-Clean kit successfully eliminates debris from the aquarium gravel in your tank.

The time will be saved because this will be done while you carry out typical water changes. There is the inclusion of high-quality, flexible tubing. This structure will not damage or chip.

You may wonder what the length of the tube is and what the length of the plastic part is. Well. The flexible tube comes with 6 feet of length; the hard tube comes with 12 inches of length and 1-inch diameter.

The tiny diameter is suitable for extremely fine gravel. Though I found diameter to be a bit small, actually, it is simpler to allow movement around the decorations. During this movement, the aquatic decorations will not get disturbed.

With the regular vacuuming your tank using this kit, it is certain that you will be able to clean out the majority of the fish waste. Also, you will be able to clean out the rotten detritus and leftover food. Actually, I purchase this tiny Python vacuum cleaner for performing vacuuming and water change process for my saltwater reef tank.

What I found is it worked excellently above my expectations. Its size is sufficiently small to go down inside the sand near the socks as well as tank’s sides. Till not, I have already used it several times and haven’t found any issues.

What I liked about this kit is it has a long sized siphon tube. This suggests that it is less probable to eddy up your substrate. Also, I admired the flexibility and softness of the tubing. It can be effortlessly fitted with a well-suited squeeze pump. Hence, you need not suck up the fish water or perform any annoying movements to let the valve begin its operation.

One thing to note is this cleaner is a bit slower than the majority of the other siphons. But it is actually good if you wish to take time for cleaning your tank. It is also great if you want to target particular areas prior to sucking out all the water.

The reason why it works wonderfully for vacuuming sand substrate is it is narrower and longer than typical sized cleaners. I found that the narrow tube does not just make it better for inside sand but it effectively allows sucking up of your nano fish or shrimplets.


  • Effectively cleans the waste created by the fish
  • Will quickly drain approx. 3 gallons within 5 minutes
  • Simple to use


  • Initially, it may seem difficult to use

Python Pro-Clean Gravel Washer and Siphon Kit for Aquarium:

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You may want to get rid of the conventional aquarium or fish tank maintenance routine, isn’t it? With this Python Pro-clean kit for aquarium, you will be able to save your time spent behind the tank maintenance. Actually, I found that the components included in this kit are time-saving and beneficial to effectively clean your aquarium tank.

The most useful feature I liked about this gravel washer kit is it will not disturb the decor and fish present inside when cleaning is going on. This makes sure this vacuum cleaner for your aquarium tank does not put stress on both fish and its owner. So, it becomes simple to successfully clean your aquarium on a regular basis.

When I perform water changes, I operated this kit and it simultaneously cleaned my tank.  The corresponding brand designed this cleaner to provide sufficient vacuuming power to drag the gravel to the base of the cup. Finally, it will separate it and combine it.

What I liked is that the accumulation of fish waste will come out while it combines the gravel. One more thing I got surprised by is its suction power is excellent. It is so powerful that it pulls up a huge amount of the small-sized sand, pebbles, and substrate.

This Python vacuum cleaner is made from decent quality materials. This indicates high durability. I have been using this kit for several months and I am quite pleased with it. During the operation, it will put out a lot of water but actually it is highly effective at excluding algae from the upper part of the gravel.

I highly admire the saving in the cleaning time. If I had known how quickly this kit works to clean my aquarium, I would have purchased it quite sooner. Approximately 5 gallons of water capacity was drained out in less than a minute. Therefore, it will not give you much time to clear out your gravel or sucking most of the matters floating around.


  • Effectively detaches and eliminates debris from your aquarium
  • Suitable for aquariums with a large-sized capacity


  • In the construction, some low-quality materials are used

Zacro Fish Tank Gravel Cleaner – Aquarium Cleaning Pump Kit

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There are some aquarium enthusiasts who wish to get an aquarium cleaner made up of superior quality materials. If this is the need, you can go for using this aquarium cleaning pump kit. The included vacuum cleaner boasts novel design and is prepared from the high quality materials.

There will be saving in your time and boost in your cleaning efficiency. You can rely on the reliability of this gravel cleaner because Zacro is dedicated to offering its customers with earnest service and superior quality products.

When using this Zacro fish tank cleaner, we need to take into account several considerations. The first one is the nozzle should be higher and you have to keep squeezing the bulb until the water continues to pump out. Also, make sure the direction of the drain should be downward.

One of the unique features of this Zacro vacuum cleaner is it has a huge airbag and adaptable water flow controller. This controller is used for changing the water and to clean gravel.

What I liked the most is this entire product is BPA-free.  The outstanding safety presented by this cleaner will protect your aquatic creatures from scare when replacing the water. One more thing I liked is it has a high-quality faucet design. This design is suitable to control the water flow and effectively clean your aquarium.

Being removable, it is quite simple to clean.  The kit comes with a fish tank water pipe clip in order to fix the hose.  To simplify the working operation, you need to press the big suction balloon softly in order to suck up the water.

I was amazed by the fact that this cleaner will perfectly fit in 20 to 40-gallon fish tank. Besides, it could protect your aquatic creatures from damage. I found the tube diameter to be 2 inches and this is perfect for use.

Till now, we had not faced any issues during the operation. It demands only little effort to let the things moving inside your fish tank and water coming out. We need to be careful that excess water is not removed if we have a small tank. However, it is handy as long as you go gradually and do it carefully.


  • Simple to use
  • Quite easy to assemble and use


  • Not much suitable for small tanks

Dora’s Corner Store 2×10-Inch Vacuum Water Siphon

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Do you intend to get rid of the difficult water changing process and difficult aquarium cleaning process? If yes then this vacuum water siphon is a suitable choice for you. Inside this product, you will find a 2″x10″ cylinder tube along with a 56-inch elastic drain hose.

The overall build quality is extremely durable and BPA-free. So, there will be no harm to your plants and fishes. What I liked the most is it is self-priming by the use of upward and downward motion to begin water flow.  I was surprised to know that I completed the assembly process by assembling just 3 parts.

I only assembled 10 inch tube, 56″ hose, and an exceptional backflow valve lid. During the operation, the siphon will effectively detach debris from gravel while simultaneously doing water changes.

Some of the key benefits include simple to start the water flow valve and the elastic tubing located at the appropriate length. This makes sure there will be no water spillage issues. There are some cheap quality fish tank cleaners that are fragile and may break easily. What I found is this one is made from decent quality materials and will last longer.

Whenever you want to get rid of the fish waste, simply shake it a bit and you will be able to drain the waste effectively. The most attractive aspect of this product as per my view is it proves to be a superb gift. It is a must-have product for fish keeping and gifting anyone during special occasions.


  • Process of water sucking is quickly
  • Effectively removes all type of waste


  • The hose is extremely short

STARROAD-TIM Fish Tank Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Kit

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You may wonder what makes this aquarium vacuum cleaner kit unique from the rest of the models? Well, it comes with a special lightweight design to simplify the working operation. The included pump works excellent for flowing water in the tank and also making sure everything does not get wet. When you start using it, you will gradually feel that it is a must-have cleaner kit for your aquarium.

One of the greatest features is it has superior suction allowing you to effectively clean the gravel. The contained hose would suck up the gravel; however, the water and food would drain out. Whenever the hose begins to fill with gravel, actually, you only need to press the bulb quickly. As a result, it would gust it back out.

When I used it, I was benefitted with its simple operation –simply squeeze the bulb to obtain a decent suction. The moment it gets through the hose and across the pump and begins draining out the other hose, simply allow it to drain out. All included clips are wonderful because I was able to hook them over my fish tank and over the bucket.

Finally, I simply allow it to drain.  This proved beneficial because other pumps that are devoid of clips always flip out and drip water over the ground. I liked the hands-free operation. We were able to install it easily because of its compact size and two water inlet tubes. The compatibility with the fish tank of different sizes is one of the most beneficial aspects as per my opinion. I noticed that there is a flow adjuster that makes it simple to install and use.

Another functionality I noticed is it will prevent blocking. This filter cleaner could substitute the water and maintain the freshness of water. The presence of filter basket inside the tube prevents blocking by gravel. This will successfully detach debris from your fish tank.

I admired the fact that this kit comes with many accessories. It comes with a valve, air-pressing button, glass scraper, water flow clamps, water flow clamps, inlet pipe, outlet pipe, filter basket, and anti-backflow valve design.


  • Maintains cleanliness in a fish tank for a long duration
  • Comes with spare parts
  • Capable to fit together easily


  • If the water to be drained is equal, higher or below what you are suctioning from then this cleaner will drains slowly.

How To Select An Aquarium Vacuum Cleaners

Can you pick any product without knowing the essential factors to consider? So, we have to consider some essential aspects before purchasing an aquarium vacuum cleaner. They are described in this below buying guide:

The Size Of The Fish Tank

What to do if the size of your fish tank does not perfectly fits the type of aquarium cleaner you buy? In such cases, you may need to replace the fish tank which will cause waste of time, money and effort. We need to confirm that you purchase an aquarium vacuum cleaner has sufficient length of tubing.

Therefore, we will be able to easily get to the bottom of the tank and still do not get wet. What will happen if the size is incorrect? It will let us face inconvenience during the setup and use.

We can consider purchasing a smaller cleaner if we are willing to keep a small-sized fish tank. I found certain cleaners that could instantly siphon the water out than required for tanks with tinier sizes. Actually, this may create some concerns for your aquarium creatures.

Firstly, we focus on checking the present size of our fish tank. Properly knowing its measurements and the number of gallons it contains will simplify our buying process. After we are fully aware of the size of your aquarium, it becomes simple to obtain the correct gravel vacuum cleaner.

Now there will be no issues regarding the compatibility with your fish tank. Are we the first time buyer of an aquarium vacuum cleaner? If yes then we need to inquire the seller or manufacturer for advice. Also, let them know about the specifications on our fish tank information. It is certain that they will assist us choose the correct size.

The Substrate Size

We may wonder what the cases are when we don’t need gravel cleaner. This happens if our fish tank does not contain gravel but it is filled with sand. But when we have gravel whose size is larger than sand, then the aquarium vacuum cleaner becomes mandatory for us. The choice will largely depend on the size of the substrate.

Aquarium Inhabitants

Ask yourself have you considered the type of fish species and the size before purchasing an aquarium vacuum cleaner?

Many of us will say no! In addition to these, we need to consider the plants dwelling inside our tank. In order to prevent inopportune incidents, we can check that the included nozzle has sufficiently small diameters. This will make sure the creatures inside our tank feel comfortable. We can opt for such models that possess certain safety features.

The Flow Rate

We all know that a high flow rate is suitable for ample suction and quick water siphoning. But for the purpose of vacuuming sand, we can consider picking a model that allows us to decrease suction slightly. Therefore, we need not suck up the sand excessively.

Removal of Debris

What makes the floor of the aquarium and the inside gravel tidy? The answer is the plant debris, fish waste products, and leftover food items. The regular removal of such stuff from our aquarium will ultimately benefit us with a fresh marine environment condition.

We need not empty our aquarium to clean it because a decent quality vacuum cleaner will carry out the entire task in less time. But if we neglect to clean the gravel then it would raise the level of pollution and toxins inside the aquarium.

Furthermore, the excess concentration of ammonia and nitrite inside the water will change then water chemistry. As a result, this will provide a bad effect on the health of the aquatic creatures inside.

Suction Methods

When we look at the market, we find that every aquarium vacuum cleaner comes with a different suction method. Some of the models are equipped with a pump while some models are electronically operated.

It is also found that some of the models use gravity and some demand you to suck on the tube in order to generate suction. After all, it is up to us to find out the best method that works for your aquarium fish tank, isn’t it true?

Frequency of Vacuuming

When we have a newly set up, to obtain the best results, we consider vacuuming the substrate of often. The frequency of vacuuming increases if we find that the gravel is depicting signs of accumulated grime. What is the best frequency to perform vacuuming?

Every two weeks or when the need arises. This can also be done while making water replacements. Those people willing to reduce the frequency of vacuuming should make sure they feed the fish properly. Also, they need to make sure the droppings are avoided and clean water is maintained inside the tank.

Care and Storage

Not just operation but how to store and clean your aquarium vacuum cleaner is essential to consider. How can we take a proper care?

Clean fresh water and thoroughly wash it off. Make sure we rinse the end of the head as well as the remaining part of the tube. Subsequently, dry it and store it inside the cool dry area. Therefore, we can effortlessly get a hold of it till next time you use it.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How an Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner Differs in Power And Capacity?

Even if an aquarium vacuum cleaner possesses high power, it is not necessary that it boasts higher suction capacity. But the cleaner unit’s amperage decides its ability. Moreover, the performance significantly relies on the design, airflow, manufacturer, and filtration system.

What Is The Frequency to Clean The Gravel?

Since every aquarium possesses its unique characteristics, there is no specific frequency. If your tank is smaller, you need to do it more frequently than with a larger tank. A medium-sized tank with an average capacity of 20 gallons will require vacuuming once a month.

Why One Must Invest In a Good Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner?

For almost all fish tanks, an aquarium vacuum is regarded as absolute necessary equipment. It assists to keep your gravel clean and also maintains the health of the inside water. The ammonia and other toxins present in your water will be released over time.

What Is The Typical Setup Procedure for An Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner?

Firstly, position the head of the vacuum inside the tank and let it fill with water. After it gets full, take it out of the water and then let it drain inside the bucket via the tubing. Now put the head back inside the water before it gets fully vacant.

What are The Names of The Most Trusted Brands For Aquarium Vacuum Cleaners?

The brands like TERA PUMP, Python, SunGrow, Aqueon, EHEIM, and Zacro are the trusted ones for purchasing aquarium vacuum cleaners.


To ensure the health and fresh environment for your aquarium creatures, you need to use a decent quality aquarium vacuum cleaner. Such products are simple to use and highly effective at cleaning different kinds of waste inside.