5 Best Aquarium Vacuums for a Clean Fish Tank

There’s nothing more important than keeping your fish tank clean. As a fish owner, you can spend so long purchasing all your fish, all the equipment, designing your tank and doing everything else relating to your tank, but failing to keep your tank clean can fatally undo all your hard work.

Our Favorite Aquarium Vacuum: Tera Pump Aquarium Cleaner

Regarding your fish, a dirty tank, and therefore dirty water can result in sickness, stress, and ultimately death. If you have any plants in your tank, toxic water can also cause similar problems. The easiest way to think about it is imagining it is if the air in your home had tons of dirt floating in it. It wouldn’t be good for your health.

Fortunately, while you will still need to clean your tank by changing the water and putting some elbow grease into it, and of course using a filter can help, investing in an aquarium vacuum can be a great way to clear your tank of unwanted dirt, debris and fish waste.

Today, we’re going to explore the best five aquarium vacuums that are available today, helping you find the one that’s best for you. We’ve taken everything into account, including price, ensuring you have the best for your aquarium tank.

Tera Pump Aquarium Cleaner with Long Nozzle and Water Flow Controller

Tera Pump Aquarium Cleaner with Long Nozzle and Water Flow Controller

To start off our list, we’ve chosen this affordable and highly functional aquarium vacuum which is produced by one of the most renowned aquarium manufacturers in the world, Tera Pump. Known around the world for their top-quality products, this tank cleaning set won’t leave you disappointed.

With this kit, you’ll have access to two individual types of nozzle for the easiest and most specific cleaning experience. The first is a shorter nozzle which is designed for draining your tank, the second being a longer nozzle which is perfect for cleaning up any leftover food, dropping, and the finer gravel in your tank.

We love this set because the setup allows you to not only clean the tank but also to replace the water at the same time. This ensures cleaning is a breeze and takes next to no time at all. Of course, all your fish and plants will remain unharmed while in use.

The only downside here is there’s no clamp to your bucket. This means you’ll need to be a little bit careful you’re not splashing drained water out all over your floor, but with a little bit of attention in this area, you can’t go wrong with this cleaning kit.

  • Comes with two nozzles for the most precise cleaning experience
  • Doesn’t harm fish or plants in your tank
  • Powerful suction rate with water flow controller
  • Can effortlessly clean gravel and sand without having to put your hand in the tank
  • No clamp to direct drained water into a bucket or container

Buy at Amazon

SunGrow Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Kit with Priming Bulb

SunGrow Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Kit with Priming Bulb

Next up, we’ve chosen another awesome aquarium vacuum kit, this time from SunGrow. This pump is ideal for both saltwater and freshwater tanks and sets out to make your routine cleaning process as simple and as easy as possible; although you’ll need to check online since the instructions aren’t in English.

We love the fact this pump takes less than two minutes to set up and put together, ensuring you can get started without having to fiddle around with each different part of the vacuum. This pump works by simultaneously cleaning the gravel, rocks, and sand in your tank, and replaces the water at the same time.

Thanks to the spill-proof design, you also won’t have to worry about getting water all over your home or office. As the title suggests, this is a manual pump where you simply squeeze the priming bulb to start suctioning the water.

This gives you full control over how much suction you’re using; ensuring it’s not too weak and not too strong.
There’s even a built-in safety net on the nozzle to ensure you don’t suck up anything you want to stay in your tank!

However, easily the best aspect of this pump is the price. It’s rare that you’ll be able to find such a comprehensive aquarium vacuum for a price this low, making it ideal for anybody shopping on a budget.

  • A super affordable vacuum solution
  • Manual pump giving you full control over the level of suction
  • A nozzle net to prevent removing anything you want to stay in the tank
  • Easily set up and ready to use in minutes
  • Instructions aren’t in English (details can be found online)

Buy at Amazon

Aqueon Medium Siphon Vacuum Aquarium Gravel Cleaner

Aqueon Medium Siphon Vacuum Aquarium Gravel Cleaner

If you’re looking for a simple vacuum solution that gets the job done and doesn’t break the bank, it doesn’t get much better than the Aqueon Siphon Vacuum. There are multiple versions of this pump available, ranging from 1-5-gallon pumps, all the way through to huge 40+ gallon editions.

This means you can choose the vacuum set that best suits you and promises to deliver the best results. If you’re looking for the fastest way to change the water in your tank; this is it. You’ll love the fact this pump is designed to separate the debris in your tank from things you want to keep; such as sand and gravel.

What’s more, you’ll have full control over the level of suction throughout the process since this is a manual vacuum that only requires a simple push and pull motion on the handle to pump; perfect for tackling the dirt in all the diverse areas of your tank.

Furthermore, there’s even a clip for attaching the discharge end of the vacuum to your bucket, ensuring you won’t be spilling out any dirty water over your floor or worktop.

In short, this vacuum is really easy to use; just make sure you’re monitoring the suction level to ensure you’re not sucking up any fish or plants you want to stay in the tank!

  • Really simple to use and clean your tank
  • Effective at removing all kinds of waste and debris
  • A built-in clip to attach the discharge end to your bucket
  • One of the most affordable aquarium vacuums available
  • Suction tends to be a lot stronger than other manual pumps
  • Pumping technique may require a bit of getting used to

Buy at Amazon

Python No-Spill Clean Fill Aquarium Maintenance System

Python No-Spill Clean Fill Aquarium Maintenance System

If you own a larger tank, or you’re looking for a beast of a vacuum set that makes your cleaning and water replacement process as effortless as possible, you’ll be glad you turned your attention to the Python Maintenance System.

While this is perhaps one of the more expensive vacuum solutions, it’s packed full of features that you get the job done. Easily the best feature of this kit is the no-spill design. All you need to do is connect the pipe to any of the universal water faucets; meaning there’s no need for buckets or siphons, therefore meaning there’s no mess or risk of spillage.

To make sure your kit reaches, it comes with a minimum of a 25-foot hose; with options available all the way up to a huge 100-feet. Then simply use the vacuum section to clean the tank without having to remove your fish, rocks or plant life. This is easily one of the simplest vacuum sets out there, and it guarantees to make the whole cleaning process as easy as possible.

  • A no bucket design with no risk of spillage
  • A huge 25-foot pipe to easily connect to any water faucet
  • Multiple pipe length options available
  • Ready to use in less than a minute
  • A pricey vacuum set than others on this list

Buy at Amazon

Ehiem Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner and Sludge Extractor

Eheim Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner and Sludge Extractor

To finish up our list of the best aquarium vacuum sets, we’ve chosen this outstanding Quick Vac Pro set that boasts another no-spill design and makes cleaning your tank a breeze. In fact, most of the process is automated, so you won’t need to do a thing!

While this won’t deep clean your tank, it will help to keep it cleaner for long; prolonging the times between each deep clean cycle. There’s no cables or extensions to worry about; this vacuum is battery operated and fully submersible up to the 3-feet, ideal for quick cleans when you’ve got the time.

Whether you’re cleaning a little spot in your tank, or you’re giving the entire thing a once over, this vacuum will do you proud. With a built-in filter, you can be sure your fish and plants are also protected at all times.

However, it’s worth noting that this vacuum does have a habit of picking up finer aspects; like sand and gravel, this is easily avoided by taking a bit of extra care. With a good level of suction and a two-year guarantee, what more could you ask for from your aquarium vacuum set?

  • No power cords to hold you back (battery operated)
  • Long battery life of up to four hours
  • Can be used in aquariums of all shapes and sizes
  • Advanced suction technology to thoroughly clean your tank
  • Can suck up fine gravel and sand if not careful

Buy at Amazon


As you can see, when it comes to cleaning your aquarium tank, you don’t have to stress about how long it’s going to take or whether you’re doing it properly. There are plenty of vacuums out there that can help you get the job done thoroughly and in no time at all.

Any of the five aquarium vacuums we’ve listed today make ideal choices and are sure to give you everything you need to your tank in the best possible condition; only resulting in a happy aquamarine environment!