5 Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaners 12

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Gravel cleaning is a laborious task but yet important in keeping a healthy aquarium. Filtration systems and protein skimmers are not enough to maintain a healthy environment inside the tank. Cleaning gravel is also necessary to ensure that fishes as well as marine plants thrive in an ideal aquatic environment.

For first time aquarists, cleaning gravel inside the aquarium may seem like a difficult task. Some may even attempt to completely empty the aquarium to replace water and then manually clean the gravel by hand. It is hard to believe that this really used to be how hobbyists used to clean their tanks. Thank god for recent developments which have made gravel cleaning easier and more efficient.

Importance of Gravel Cleaning

There are several reasons why you should clean aquarium gravel:

Debris removal

Uneaten food items, fish waste products, and plant debris will accumulate on the aquarium floor as well as in between gravel. In order to remove debris without the need to empty the aquarium, it is only necessary to perform cleaning with the use of a gravel cleaner. Inability to perform gravel cleaning can lead to an increase level of pollutants and toxins inside the aquarium. High concentrations of nitrite and ammonia can lead to a change in water chemistry. This in turn can lead to decreased immunity of the marine life in the aquarium.

Improve Water Chemistry

Gravel cleaning does not guarantee the elimination of all bacteria living inside the aquarium. This is due to the fact that some bacteria are beneficial in maintaining a healthy environment for fishes. This is also one of the reasons why it is not recommended to replace 100% of aquarium water. Ideally, only 25% of fresh water should be added simultaneously with gravel cleaning. By cleaning the gravel, the growth of bacteria is maintained at ideal levels.

Top 5 Gravel Cleaners

1. 25-Foot Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System

Python No Spill and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System

Python No Spill and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System

This product is dual purpose in that aside from being an effective gravel cleaner, it serves as a water changing system too. This product is ready to use as it can be connected to almost all faucet types making water changes hassle-free.

The 25-foot Python No Spill Clean and Fill Gravel Cleaning system is ideal for small, frequent water changes as this promotes optimum health for your fishes. It prevents the buildup of toxins inside your aquarium overtime, These compounds not only affect water chemistry but are known to be detrimental to its inhabitants.

Your routine aquarium maintenance is going to be a breeze as cleaning gravel and changing water can both be done with the use of just one efficient system.

The 25-foot Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System is a complete system out of the box made up of the following parts:

  • Faucet adapter
  • Female connector
  • Switch
  • Gravel Tube for No Spill Clean and Fill System in 6 different sizes
  • Brass adapter
  • Male connector
  • Universal adapter
  • Brass snap connector
  • Replacement pump

To see it in action, check out the video below:-

Recommended Retailer: Get 34% Off on the Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium including free shipping. Check out the offer here

2. Fluval EDGE Gravel Cleaner

Fluval Edge Gravel Cleaner

Fluval Edge Gravel Cleaner

Another famous tool used by many aquarists is the Fluval EDGE Gravel Cleaner. This product is undoubtedly an effective gravel cleaning tool which enables you to conveniently perform your gravel cleaning chore fast.

Although it’s made specially for the Fluval EDGE aquarium, it’s still quite effective in larger sized tanks. It just requires more time to clean your aquarium as the suction power is limited due to it’s size.

If you have a small sized tanks either a nano or even a desktop tank, I would recommend you look into using the Fluval EDGE gravel cleaner.

Let’s take a closer look at what this tool has to offer:

  • Easy Start Valve – This mechanism automatically starts the siphoning by simply moving the device up and down in the water. The gravel cleaner generates continuous water flow which in turn sucks up dirt and debris. Consequently, the clean gravel is placed back to the aquarium bed.
  • Two Cleaning Attachments – The Fluval EDGE gravel cleaner comes with two attachments that facilitate precision and efficient cleaning.
    • The GRAVEL HEAD is used for deep cleaning
    • The SLIM NOZZLE is used to clean hard-reach areas and corners

The two cleaning attachments are perfect for cleaning decorated and well planted aquarium setups.

  • Gravel Guard – The Fluval EDGE Gravel Cleaner comes with a unique gravel guard which effectively prevents gravel from clogging the tube.

3. EHEIM Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner

EHEIM Quick Vac Pro

EHEIM Quick Vac Pro

If grabbing a bucket and hoses isn’t your thing, the EHEIM Quick Vac Pro may be for you. This battery operated gravel cleaner allows you to vacuum all debris into a super-fine mesh cartridge that functions to trap even the smallest particulates and debris with a click of button.

The EHEIM Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner and Sludge Extractor is very easy to assemble as well. It is also relatively easy to remove the parts for a quick and easy cleanup process.

The suction power is great on the EHEIM is quite powerful, so be extra careful if you have a small tank. The manufacturer recommends a minimum 12″ inch depth tank.

See it in action here:-

Recommended Retailer: Amazon currently offering the Quick Vac Pro at a 17% discount plus Free Shipping. Check out the offer here

4. Aqueon 06232 Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner

Aqueon Siphon Vacuum

Aqueon Siphon Vacuum

The Aqueon Siphon Vacuum Gravel Cleaner features a self-priming tube that utilizes an up and down motion that initiates continuous water flow.

The debris then is pulled out from the aquarium so your fishes and plants end up with a cleaner and healthier aquarium environment.

The Aqueon 06232 Siphon Vacuum Aquairum Gravel Cleaner comes with:

  • 10-inch intake bulb
  • Hose clip
  • 6” flexible hose

5. TOM Mr. Cleaner Battery Operated Gravel Siphon

TOM Mr Cleaner Gravel Siphon

TOM Mr Cleaner Gravel Siphon

TOM Aquarium Maintenance Mr. Cleaner Battery Operated Gravel Siphon is a highly regarded product due to its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The company has always been successful in coming out with superior quality and innovative products for pet owners.

Through the TOM Aquarium Maintenance Mr. Cleaner Battery Operated Gravel Siphon, aquarists are sure to have an easier time in the cleaning and maintenance of healthy aquarium environments. Gravel Siphon, aquarists are sure to have an easier time in the cleaning and maintenance of healthy aquarium environments.

This battery-operated gravel cleaner is perfect for nano tanks. It is a helpful device which effectively removes waste materials and particulates without having the need to remove valuable water inside the aquarium.

Other features:

  • Easy flow rate allows for spot cleaning and reaching into difficult areas
  • Highly reliable and very easy to operate
  • Battery operated so you feel extra secure when using the product on the water

What's Your Gravel Cleaner of Choice?

Do you already have a gravel cleaner? What do you make of it?

What’s your choice to be dubbed as the Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaner?

Share it with us in the comments section below.

About Dennis Hanson

Dennis is an experienced aquarist with many years of knowledge and experience in keeping successful tanks. He also has no relations to the pop group Hanson.

12 thoughts on “5 Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaners

  1. Reply zack kinsaul May 28,2014 11:37 pm

    I live in an apt and am considering pjrchasing the Python all in one gravel cleaner but I have a question.
    How do I de-clorinate the water as it´s being replaced with tbis device? I previously used 5 gallon buckets and added de-clorinator per bucket. Also what about water temp changes during refill?

  2. Reply Jayme Sep 20,2014 5:25 am

    I have the same questions. Did you get answers? I just got a much larger tank and I’d like to get a python, but I don’t quite get it.

  3. Reply Jeff Oct 16,2014 9:37 pm

    I have been using my Python for decades and in fact added an extension. I connect directly to the faucet outside my house in the summer and slowly add a bucket of warm water with conditioner, cichlid salt and buffer that is mixed in the bucket. While the tank is filling I continue to fill the bucket with warm water and conditioner and pour it in slowly. If I connect to the sink faucet, I fill the bucket to the top using a small platic container.The Python is an absolute must since it takes out debris quickly and easily.

  4. Reply David Manson Jan 26,2015 10:34 pm

    I have a Newa gravel cleaner which hangs on to your aquarium sucks up the gunge passes through a filter and back into the tank great product if you dont want to change water and only want to clean the gravel

  5. Reply Tristan Gorson Oct 29,2015 10:17 pm

    Good gravel cleaner reviews, well written article, loads of detail, helped me decide which to choose. Tbf the Python is ideal allowing you to refill.

  6. Reply Deborah Keeney Nov 27,2015 6:59 pm

    I had a Eheim Quick Vac Pro, it does not last long. Even though the battery compartment never got wet the batteries leaked and now it does not work. I am surprised it has such a top rating on your website.

  7. Reply Melissa R. Dec 31,2015 2:48 am

    I agree with Deborah. I’m on my 2nd Eheim Quick Vac Pro, bc they don’t last long. And it works only half the time. When they work, they work well. When not, it’s frustrating. It worked best in my 48 gallon tank. But when I use the extension in my new 90 gallon tank, there is barely any suction. Maybe this 2nd one is ready for the trash, too. It’s a love-hate relationship.

  8. Reply Katherine J Feb 6,2016 6:07 am

    I have an Eheim Quick Vac, and have done pretty well with it for a couple of years. But I did try the Awueon Siphon after about a year because I’m just lazy and was looking for an easier way to clean. I felt like a complete moron, and nearly strangled myself with the thing before going back to the Eheim. I appreciated the article. Good food for thought.

  9. Reply Ben Garcia Mar 12,2016 3:59 pm

    Like Deborah and Melissa, I’ve not had much luck with the Eheim Quick Vac product. My second one was bought January 2014 and has now failed. When they work, they do a decent job but I have discovered too late that a bit of prevention after use might have helped. Removing the batteries and using a hair dryer to blow hot air down the battery tube might have stopped corrosion that seems to have killed the item. But they are too expensive to keep replacing every 2 years. Going to try a Fluval AquaVac Plus Water Changer and Gravel Cleaner next.

  10. Reply Gina Wiley Jun 24,2016 4:22 am

    I have the Aqueon which connects to the faucet. Problems for me : 1 – poor water pressure= no suction, 2- I pay for water and to use this one the water from the faucet MUST be kept running= money down the drain!! Need a better way ! My tank is 130 gallons. Any suggestions???? Anyone ??

  11. Reply Kevin Oct 19,2016 3:52 am

    I got a Gravel cleaner from Dora’s Corner on Amazon, there are no batteries, just a simple valve that creates a suction for the water to flow out and down. I added an extension to the tube and let it go out the window to the garden. Simple and easy, no wasted water to get a suction!

    They have a bigger one now too, I should have waited…

  12. Reply J.Negron Feb 25,2017 1:25 pm

    i will be getting toms gravel cleaner because you can just clean the gravel withought having to do a water change at the same time. My every 2 wk nightmare is cleaning my 55gal tank bc i have to carry large buckets of water back and forth to do water change AND clean gravel.If my gravel wasn’t as dirty in betweem changes bc of fish feces and food etc. i wouldnt have to carry out so many buckets of water to do jst a water change. But since those marina syphon do only both at same time, i have to take out about 4/5 buckets (my bucket is a 6gal trash can)of water. plus,i feel, the circumference is so big it takes out more water before the actual dirt circulates the tube and comes out other end. So, if i jst can make simple cleaning to pick up dirt on floor, water changes would be just for that, water changes and i wouldn’t have to break my back carrying extra buckets of water till gravel is clean. mind you, i have a 4yr old trying to help me “clean” , ok.

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