Top 5 Best Aquarium Gravel Vacuums

Aquarium Nov 30, 2019
Written by | Updated Sep 12, 2021
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Aquarium Gravel Vacuums

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Top 5 Best Aquarium Gravel Vacuums

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Cleaning your fish tank doesn’t usually top your list of favorite activities, right? Unfortunately it’s something that we must do regularly to keep our pets happy and healthy. One way to make this job easier is to buy an aquarium gravel cleaner. 

Having the right gravel cleaner for your aquarium will simplify the cleaning process. Things are so high-tech these days, we can even opt to purchase a gravel cleaning system that doesn’t require pails, hoses, or other extra tools that usually make the process messy. 

If you’re wondering what the best gravel cleaner is, you’re in the right place. We looked at dozens of options and came up with a list of only the very best to recommend. Basically, we did the hard work to make sure that no matter what vacuum you pick from this list, it’s going to be amazing quality and do the job right the first time. 

At a Glance: Best Aquarium Gravel Vacuums To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Aquarium Gravel Vacuums

Best Overall
Python No Spill Clean And Fill System

1. Python No Spill Clean And Fill System

Runner Up
TeraPump Aquarium Gravel & Sand BPA-Free Pump

2. TeraPump Aquarium Gravel & Sand BPA-Free Pump

Best Budget
Lee's 6-Inch Slim Jr. Vacuum Cleaner

3. Lee's 6-Inch Slim Jr. Vacuum Cleaner

Best Automatic Cleaner
NICREW Automatic Gravel Cleaner

4. NICREW Automatic Gravel Cleaner

Quick Cleaning Option
Luigi's Aquarium/Fish Tank Siphon and Gravel Cleaner

5. Luigi's Aquarium/Fish Tank Siphon and Gravel Cleaner

Brand
Python
Brand
TERA PUMP
Brand
Lee’s
Brand
NICREW
Brand
Aqualantis
Hose length
25-100 feet
Hose length
51.5 inch
Hose length
72 inch
Hose length
N/A
Hose length
64 inches
Features
By far the most popular gravel vacuum
Features
Attaches to glass, includes filter attachment, water flow control
Features
Great price, easy to use, great for small tanks
Features
Electric, easy to use, replaceable filter
Features
Inexpensive, easy to use, net/filter on nozzle

What To Look For In An Aquarium Gravel Cleaner?

Aside from the price, you should check out a few important specs and features before you buy your cleaner.

Here are some things you have to consider:

  • Size of Aquarium: You need to ensure the size of your aquarium will fit the cleaner you intend to buy. Some cleaners siphon water out much faster than your small tank can handle. This can just end up disturbing your marine life and other decor. Smaller tanks need a smaller cleaner. 
  • Size of Hose: If you need to attach the tubing to the sink, then you will need a longer hose. This also comes in handy if you don’t want to put your hands into the tank. 
  • Type of Cleaner: There are electronic cleaners that require the least amount of manual work. There are manual gravel cleaners that need you to exert effort. You’ll need to decide whether you pick budget or convenience.
  • Consider Marine Life: The size of fish and other plants living in your aquarium matters when you buy your hose. You don’t want anything too big because it may accidentally suck up your fish if you’re not careful. The best are those with safety-nets or filters that prevent this kind of accident. 
  • Size of Substrate: If you have smaller particles like sand with your gravel, then you will need a vacuum cleaner that will work for both sizes. Be sure to read the fine print. 

Our Top Picks For The Best Aquarium Gravel Vacuums

Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them! Here are our top 5 picks for best aquarium gravel vacuums:

Best Overall
1.

Python No Spill Clean And Fill System

Product Info

  • Brand: Python
  • Hose length: 25-100 feet
  • Features: By far the most popular gravel vacuum
Pros
  • Very easy to use, no need for pails
  • Convenient because no need to disturb the tank
  • Super long hose
Cons
  • Hose may pop out of connector attached to the sink
  • Plastic connectors will wear with time
This Python No Spill Clean and Fill System is our top pick because it is excellent when it comes to doing its job, and it is super easy to use. It is truly a no spill cleaner – you will not need to use any buckets or pails for this one.

You will receive a 10” extendable gravel tube with this system, and it comes in 25, 50, 75, or 100 foot length. You will also receive hose connectors, a switch, an adaptor, and a faucet pump. This system allows you to keep your aquarium clean and fish healthy with the greatest of ease.
Runner Up
2.

TeraPump Aquarium Gravel & Sand BPA-Free Pump

Product Info

  • Brand: TERA PUMP
  • Hose length: 51.5 inch
  • Features: Attaches to glass, includes filter attachment, water flow control
Pros
  • Very light weight and convenient to use
  • Super suctioning power removes dirt while replacing water
  • Works well for gravel and sand
Cons
  • Not the best at cleaning gravel
  • Even though it works, plastic feels cheap
If you need something that works for the sand and gravel in your fish tank, then this Tera Pump Aquarium Cleaner is the right one for you. It comes with two kinds of nozzle: a short one for drainage and a longer one for cleaning droppings, fine gravel, and leftover food.

It effectively take out waste and replaces the water simultaneously. It efficiently siphons 1.5 gallons of water per minute. This product is lightweight and not bulky, so your arms won’t get tired as quickly if you have a larger tank. Expect this machine to have a high powered discharge and operate smoothly. It really will not give you any headaches.
Best Budget
3.

Lee's 6-Inch Slim Jr. Vacuum Cleaner

Product Info

  • Brand: Lee’s
  • Hose length: 72 inch
  • Features: Great price, easy to use, great for small tanks
Pros
  • The self-start assembly makes it easy to use
  • The hose works well for sand and gravel
  • Works well even for smaller aquariums
Cons
  • Poor suction power
  • The tube curls and is hard to dry out
This product is one of the most affordable vacuum gravel cleaners out there. It’s specifically crafted for smaller aquariums – it will even work for fish bowls and nano tanks. This product features a self-start cap assembly, so no need to put in too much effort to make it work.

It comes with a vinyl hose that is 72 inch long, which gives you more room to play with than some others out there. The diameter is quite small, too, so it won’t harm your fish or plants. It is even suitable for cleaning up small bits of gravel and sand.
Best Automatic Cleaner
4.

NICREW Automatic Gravel Cleaner

Product Info

  • Brand: NICREW
  • Hose length: N/A
  • Features: Electric, easy to use, replaceable filter
Pros
  • Waste disposal is easy with the sponge filter
  • The three in one function makes this a versatile product
  • Water flow can be adjusted to suit your needs
Cons
  • Not the strongest option
  • The sponge filters get clogged up, so frequent cleaning is needed
This automatic gravel cleaner is a certified power vacuum that has a 3-in-1 design. It covers you in each of these areas: gravel cleaning, water changing, waste removal. These are all done with no need for siphoning, so you’ll be able to clean your aquarium without a mess.

The pump’s suction power is strong enough to remove harmful waste and particles from the upper most layer of the gravel or sand without disrupting what’s underneath. Within the cleaner, there is a sponge that acts as a filter to trap the different debris. The sponge makes waste disposal easier, too.
Quick Cleaning Option
5.

Luigi's Aquarium/Fish Tank Siphon and Gravel Cleaner

Product Info

  • Brand: Aqualantis
  • Hose length: 64 inches
  • Features: Inexpensive, easy to use, net/filter on nozzle
Pros
  • Efficient product that cleans without harming marine life
  • Affordably priced and will not break your wallet
  • The no spill design means no more messes to clean up
Cons
  • Comes with no instructions
  • Could use a longer hose attachment
This easy to use product is effective in siphoning out all the waste in your tank. This is a no spill product so say goodbye to making a mess.

The hose can be easily controlled with the suction cup and bucket clip that comes with it. This is an affordable cleaner that gets the job of cleaning all sorts of waste done.

Why You Need A Gravel Cleaner?

If you think an aquarium gravel vacuum cleaner is just an added expense, when you can manually clean things out, please re-think your choice.

Gravel vacuums are very efficient when it comes to cleaning the waste within your tank from dead plant matter, extra food, or fish waste. It is critical to clean waste from gravel because in the nitrogen cycle having these around will cause a spike in the ammonia levels. These are very harmful for the fish, and super high levels will cause their imminent death. 

Using an aquarium gravel cleaner means you can enjoy your fish and marine plants longer. You will have a wonderful time looking at clean, non-murky waters while enjoying your fish move as they are highlighted by your pretty aquarium lights

Final Remarks

As you can see, there are many aquarium gravel cleaners for different sizes of fish tanks. These products will siphon old water, take out the waste, and replace it with new water, ensuring a stress-free tank cleaning experience. If you are worried about spending too much, then worry no more because based on our examples, there is an aquarium gravel cleaner that is available for every price point.

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