best aquarium gravel cleaner?Ask these 5 Questions

best aquarium gravel cleaner?Ask these 5 Questions

If you want to keep the aquarium look clean, then there is the need to have the best aquarium vacuum cleaner starting today. There are many models of vacuum cleaners on the market today that can all come in handy for making sure you keep the aquarium substrate great.

 Regularly cleaning your gravel can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of your tank and the health of its inhabitants. In this article , We will discuss 5 questions to help you choose the best aquarium gravel cleaner.

Do You Need an Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner?

Yes. I consider a gravel cleaner to be an essential product for all aquariums – even those without gravel!

Why? Because water changes are a vital part of keeping your tank clean and healthy. And, a gravel vacuum provides an easy way to siphon water out of your aquarium. It sure beats using a cup or pitcher.

Besides, your substrate isn’t going to clean itself – and in my opinion, a gravel vacuum is the easiest way to remove the built-up poop, uneaten fish food, plant debris and other gunk that has fallen between the cracks.

However, if you have a larger tank, consider a good aquarium water changer instead. A water changer is essentially a giant gravel vacuum that connects to your faucet, eliminating the need to carry buckets of water back and forth through your home.

So if you are considering skipping a gravel vacuum, I recommend that you reconsider. It will soon become one of your most commonly used pieces of aquarium equipment.

What' s the benefit of using aquarium gravel cleaner ?

The main benefit is that you can keep your aquarium clean, so your fish and plant life inside can thrive. Also, it makes everything look much better since you’re also helping clean the water.

By getting rid of the debris, you can also lengthen the time between water changes. Or you can use the water changer as a vacuum and this can also reduce the time and effort needed to change the water.

How many types of gravel vacuums commonly used ? 

There are two different types of gravel cleaners commonly used in aquariums…

1. Siphon-style gravel vacuums

Consisting of little more than a hose and hollow tube, this is the most popular type of gravel vacuum. Cheap and available in a wide range of sizes, these are a favorite among beginners and experts alike.

The downside is that in order to clean your gravel, you must also drain water from your tank.

I’ll be straight up:

This is the type of gravel vacuum you want. You will soon see that the alternative doesn’t compare…


  • Affordable
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Siphon, clean your gravel or do both
  • Doesn’t need batteries because gravity does all the work


  • Takes practice to use correctly
  • Improper use can result in spills
  • Cannot clean gravel without draining water

2. Electric gravel vacuums

Electric gravel vacuums operate a little differently, and they don’t drain your aquarium. Instead, this device automatically pumps water through it, trapping any uneaten food, poop and other gunk in a filter.

The advantage is that you can spend as long as you want cleaning your gravel – you are not limited by the water in your tank.

However, this comes at a cost. For the price of a good electric gravel vacuum, you could afford up to five of the siphon-style gravel vacuums.

Also, there is no perfect electric gravel vacuum currently on the market. During testing, we needed to modify each gravel vacuum to get the most out of the product.

For example, we found that tiny pieces of waste escaped the vacuum’s bag and clouded up the tank. While we could have waited for the filter to take care of it, we were able to trap even the smallest pieces of gunk by adding a fine filter media to the gravel vac.

Electric gravel vacuums are often purchased in addition to a siphon-style gravel vacuum. After all, you still need a way to drain the water from your aquarium when performing a water change.

Despite the limitations of electric gravel vacuums, they remain a popular accessory in the aquarium community.


  • Easy-to-use
  • No priming needed
  • Don’t need to drain the tank to clean the gravel


  • Limited range of models
  • Unsuitable for small tanks
  • More expensive
  • More points of failure
  • Requires a minimum depth of water
  • Requires constant cleaning to maintain suction
  • Battery-operated/limited runtime
  • Often need modification to work correctly
  • Often have weaker suction
  • Still need a siphon to drain the tank

How to use aquarium vacuum cleaner?

It is not easy to fully explain how to use an aquarium vacuum cleaner as it can vary from one model to another. It is therefore important for you to check instructions from the manufacturer of the vacuum in learning more about using the vacuum cleaner.

For most models, you will not have to spend a lot of time learning about how to use the aquarium vacuum cleaner.

Always follow the manufacturer settings if you want the cleaner to work great.

How often should you vacuum the gravel in the aquarium?

When it comes to how often to vacuum gravel, it all comes to down to the type of aquarium you have. Some aquariums might have more fish or plants so it means vacuuming more often is important.

It is time that you took the time to analyze more on your aquarium needs. For most people, vacuuming once a week should be enough.


If you don’t already have a gravel vacuum, I suggest that you grab one today. This inexpensive product will make water changes and aquarium maintenance an easier task – leaving you with more free time to stare at your fish…