Earlier, I used to think that aquarium gravels are just like any other gravel we find on the road side. They are dirty and needs to be cleaned a lot before being placed in a tank. But overtime, I learnt that the gravels we find on roads might be dirty but the ones underwater are as clean as they could be. There is no need to clean them especially with a cleaner.

What is an Aquarium Vacuum and Why do we need it?

​How to use it?



Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Reviews

Now that we are straight on the uses, benefits and drawbacks of gravel cleaner, it is time to list the best available options in the market.

Python No Spill Clean and Fill

25 Foot - Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System
  • Will not disturb fish or decor during routine aquarium maintenance.
  • Adapts easily to most faucets.
  • Complete ready-to-use system.
  • No buckets, no siphons, no mess, no tank tear downs ever again.

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Very effective water cleaner.
  • Adapts to most faucets with available adapters.
  • Also works as a vacuum gravel cleaner so that you can clean debris along with the water.


  • If you are using it only as a vacuum gravel cleaner then it is expensive. However, if you are using it as a water changer too, then the price is reasonable.
  • You need to take help of the manual to use it as a gravel cleaner properly.

This one is the best seller on Amazon mainly because it helps in siphoning off and put water into your fish tank without the need to carry buckets of water. It is a pretty effective cleaner. Only if you add  extra adapters or longer tuber or hoses to the kit, it will work significantly. All you need to care about is that your basin and faucet are 25 feet long.

EHEIM Quick Vac Pro

EHEIM Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner and Sludge Extractor- PetOverstock
  • Easy to use - no buckets or hoses required
  • Extends intervals between water changes
  • Fully submersible up to 3 feet
  • Battery operated
  • Ideal for complete aquarium cleaning or quick spot maintenance

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Easy to use
  • No need to do cleaning with water change.
  • Suction power is great
  • Comes with a 2-year guarantee


  • Expensive
  • There have been reports of bad quality.
  • Inherent design flaw - The impeller has a tendency to jam.

This piece exemplifies the other gravel cleaners as it only acts as a vacuum gravel cleaner. It is an electric aquarium vacuum with a battery-operated unit. The batteries are 4AA which can work up to 4 hours straight.

Quick Vac is ideal when there is a lot of waste inside your tank along with gravel bed. You just have to put it in the water and the mesh will gently suck the debris while the water gets returned to the tank. After finishing this, just snap out the mesh cartridge and clean off the dirt and put it back.

EHEIM Fluval EDGE Gravel Cleaner

Fluval EDGE Gravel Cleaner, 15-inch Intake Tube
  • Contoured for angled reach
  • Includes 2 cleaning heads and an easy-start valve
  • Works in planted and decorated aquariums
  • Exclusive gravel guard
  • 13-inch intake tube and a 5-foot water tube

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Available at a reasonable rate
  • Can reach the debris in the gravel from any angle.
  • Comes with a gravel guard which keeps the gravel from siphoning off to clog the hose.
  • Comes with two cleaning heads.


  • It's pretty useless if you don't know how to start the 'easy start' valve.
  • The diameter of the hose is just 1-inch which makes it ideal for only the small tanks.

You can get it from the name that this cleaner is designed for nano aquariums. It means that you don't need to carry buckets of water to and fro. It works like Python except for the fact that it is 5-feet long which means that you will need a bucket for the dirty water. Also, while this gravel cleaner removes the water, it does not fill anything up. It gives a chance to treat the water instead of adding the conditioner directly into the tank.

Marina Easy Clean

Fluval Easy Vac Gravel Cleaner, Medium
  • Exclusive gravel guard cleans while keeping gravel in the tank
  • Quick and hassle-free start-up
  • Non-kinking hose
  • Oval shape for easy access to corners
  • 15-inch cleaning tube, 2.5-inch diameter, 6-foot non-kinking tube and clip

Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Available at a reasonable price
  • Its main function is to siphon water during water change.
  • While siphoning off the water, you can remove the gravel as well.


  • Its suction power is at low setting which means that it is suitable only for small tanks.
  • It is a little bit difficult to get the hang of starting the siphon.

Marina cares about your aquariums and that is why they have designed the Aquarium Gravel Cleaner in 4 sizes - from small to large. The smallest model has a diameter of 1-inch while the largest one is 2.5-inch. The medium sized model has a 2-5-inch diameter and a 15-inch long cleaning tube. It hose does not kink and it takes out the dirty water. You just have to do the 'up and down' motion to clean it up.

KollerCraft TOM Mr. Cleaner

No products found.


  • Available at a reasonable rate.
  • It is a great gravel cleaner only if you know how to operate it right.
  • Assembling it is easy - Take off the black piece first before you put in the sock which traps the waste.


  • Needs to be angled properly to work better.
  • The sock provided does not work well, so you might need to replace it with a nylon sock.
  • You will need to be careful so as not to end up too close to the edge of the tank which can spill the water all over.

This battery-operated model comes in a 3-in-one cleaning option. It can be used as a gravel cleaner, algae remover or to siphon dirty water. It uses 2C batteries with a tube which extends from 8-16 inches. It is not designed to be fully submerged in water, that is why it is ideal for only nano tanks. It sucks off the water and then flows through a mesh cartridge which traps the waste.
The water is then either returned to the tank or drawn off through a hose, into a bucket.


According to me, the best aquarium vacuum cleaner is Marina. It works just right. Also, it is available in different sizes which makes it an ideal choice for all types of aquariums - from small too big. The quality is also great. If you too choose this one for your fish tank, make sure that you watch videos on YouTube on how to set it up and use properly. You will get hang of it overtime!


[Revised and Updated for July, 2019]
Sign up to our newsletter to enjoy quality aquarium information and techniques in your email. As an added bonus you will also get Freshwater Aquarium Guide worth $99 for Free
Written by Debra Hutchinson, founder of FishXperts

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *