The Best Aquarium Vacuum Cleaners for 2021


Ensuring that your tank and its components like the substrate or gravel is clean is one of your main responsibilities as a tank owner. If you’re looking for the best aquarium vacuum cleaners that will help you keep your tank clean, you can get started comparing the top picks in the category. Compare each of your options by looking into their features, pros and cons.

In the following, you will also learn about the things to consider when finding this kind of tank equipment. With this guide, you can make an informed choice and have a more satisfying purchase. If you’re ready, let us get started in the reviews section for the top picks in the category.

What is the Best Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner for 2021

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Top 6 Best Aquarium Vacuum Cleaners Reviews

1. Upettools Electric Automatic Vacuum Water


The Upettools aquarium gravel cleaner is one of the best electric gravel vacuum cleaners in the market. With its features, it guarantees a reliable and superb performance.

This aquarium vacuum cleaner is equipped with 6-in-1 functions. As such, it can clean your tank quicker compared to other models. It comes with a water changer, filter and shower for easy water drainage.

Moreover, it also comes with a sand washer function for those with sand-filled aquariums. Its features also mean that it can be used in both saltwater and freshwater aquariums

The Upettools aquarium vacuum cleaner is also powerful and provides a maximum flow of 1,700 liters per hour. With this, you only take about 30 minutes to pump a 180-gallon fish tank.

Moreover, this gravel vacuum cleaner is also user-friendly. You can also easily adjust the flow control and the pump.


  • Has numerous features
  • Versatile
  • Easy to use and install
  • Powerful
  • Great customer service


  • Quality control issues

2. Aqueon Aquarium Siphon Vacuum Aquarium Gravel Cleaner


With the Aqueon aquarium vacuum cleaner, cleaning and maintaining your aquarium tank would be a breeze.

The Aqueon aquarium vacuum cleaner comes with a 6-foot hose with a built-in clip. Because of the hose’s length, it’s recommended for fish tanks with a water capacity of 15 gallons to 35 gallons.

This gravel vacuum cleaner comes with a self-priming feature. This basically means that this vacuum cleaner doesn’t require any set-up. Instead, you just need to push and pull the hose to allow water flow.

With this feature, the Aqueon vacuum cleaner is ideal for quick water tank replacements. It’s also quite powerful and is effective in separating the gravel from the waste and debris. Moreover, it can also be used for sand-filled tanks.


  • Efficiently separates gravel and debris
  • Self-priming feature
  • Good for big tanks
  • Has a built-in clip and light bulb
  • Ideal for quick water replacements


  • Suction power is too strong

3. LL Products Gravel Vacuum for Aquarium Gravel Cleaner


The LL Products aquarium gravel cleaner is known for its versatility and practicality. This aquarium gravel cleaner comes with an 8-feet long clear and flexible hose. Moreover, it also comes with an extension that can be added if necessary. As such, it is suitable for medium to large tanks with water capacities ranging from 20 gallons to 55 gallons.

The LL Products vacuum gravel cleaner is also equipped with a one-way flow controller and a shut-off valve for easy tank cleaning. Moreover, this vacuum gravel cleaner comes with a filter to prevent plants and small fish from being sucked by the siphon.

It also has a BPA free kit with a minnow net that you can use to filter out debris and sand. You can also use it to catch your fish and transfer them into another tank while cleaning.


  • Perfect for medium to large tanks
  • Versatile
  • Comes with a BPA free kit
  • Extendable hose
  • Easy to clean


  • Prone to leakage

4. LONDAFISH Electric Fish Tank Vacuum Cleaner


The LONDAFISH electric aquarium vacuum cleaner is known for its power and its features.

This electric gravel vacuum cleaner comes with strong suction capability. With this, it can clean your tank faster compared to other products. Its strong suction feature also makes it suitable for tanks with rough gravel and sand bottoms.

The LONDAFISH electric vacuum cleaner is also easy to use. It has intuitive buttons and controls and also comes with an instruction manual to guide you. However, do be mindful that the cleaner will only work at a certain water level.

Moreover, this electric gravel vacuum cleaner also has a filter or netting inside the tube. With this, you can filter debris from the gravel as well as prevent fish and other tank occupants from being sucked.


  • Strong suction capability
  • Easy to use and understand
  • Has a long hose
  • Clean tank within 20 minutes
  • No pumping required


  • Filter can only trap big specks

5. EHEIM Quick Vac Pro Automatic Gravel Cleaner


The EHEIM automatic aquarium vacuum cleaner features a practical and versatile design. It’s also known for its features and its reliable performance.

Unlike other products, the EHEIM vacuum cleaner doesn’t require a bucket or a hose. More importantly, you don’t have to go through a difficult installation process. You just need to stick it in the gravel and it will do the job for you.

Due to its design, this gravel cleaner provides just the right amount of power to extract waste, debris and sludge from your gravel. The suction head is equipped with a fine mesh cartridge to filter out even the smallest particles. This mesh cartridge can be easily taken out for cleaning.

It runs of 4 AA batteries, and it can be used up to 4 hours. It measures a total of 24 inches and is submersible up to 3 feet.


  • No bucket or hose required
  • Sufficient suction power
  • Submersible up to 3 feet
  • Mesh cartridge
  • Easy to use


  • Not suitable for water replacements

6. NICREW Electric Vacuum Aquarium Cleaner


The NICREW gravel vacuum cleaner is an electric vacuum cleaner known for its reliable and steady performance.

This electric aquarium cleaner is a 3-in-1 unit as it simultaneously cleans the gravel, removes fish waste and other debris as well as changes the water. As such, this unit doesn’t require any siphoning and will not disturb the gravel’s bottom layer.

With its powerful pump, the NICREW electric vacuum cleaner can effectively suck the dirty water. It’s equipped with a sponge filter to filter and catches the dirt particles. This sponge filter can be detached for easy cleaning.

It also comes with an adjustable flow valve to adjust the flow rate as well as a sealed rotator to prevent clogging. It also has a rubber washer to prevent water leakages.


  • Strong suction power
  • doesn’t disturb the bottom gravel layer
  • 3-in-1 unit
  • Adjustable flow valve
  • Removable sponge filter


  • No hose included

Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

Aquarium vacuum cleaners are a useful addition in your aquarium tank. By having one of these installed, you create and ensure a healthier and cleaner environment for your fish tank and its inhabitants.

Because of their popularity, there are numerous types and models of cleaners for the aquarium. As such, it can be quite difficult and confusing to look for one especially when you’re a beginner.

To help you out, here are some factors to take into consideration when purchasing one.

Size of Fish Tank

One of the most important factors that you need to consider is the size of your fish tank. Having a small vacuum cleaner for a big fish tank would mean that little cleaning progress while a big vacuum cleaner for a small fish tank would endanger your tank occupants.

As such, your aquarium vacuum cleaner and aquarium should be proportionate in size.

Tank Inhabitants

The size of your aquarium vacuum cleaner should also consider the size of your aquarium tank inhabitants.

If you have baby, small or injured fishes, then it’s best to purchase an aquarium vacuum cleaner with a small nozzle. That way, you can prevent and avoid accidents that may endanger the life of your aquatic pets.

There are some models of aquarium vacuum cleaners that come with numerous safety features. Make sure you get this type when you have sensitive or injured fishes in your tank.

The Substrate’s Size

An aquarium gravel cleaner is recommended for fish tanks filled with gravel. This is because food and fish waste and other particles easily are stuck.

However, if your aquarium’s bottom is sand or the like, gravel cleaner is not recommended.

Type of Gravel Cleaner

Aquarium gravel cleaners come in two types and offer numerous features. What you’ll get depends on your preferences and tastes.

Choose one that can best match what you need to get the full benefits.

What is an Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner?


As in its name, an aquarium vacuum cleaner is a tool that creates a cleaner and healthier environment for your tank.

An aquarium vacuum cleaner is typically made out of a plastic syphon that is fastened to a long tube. If installed correctly, these cleaners then extract all types of waste and debris inside your tank.

Types of Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner

There are two types of vacuum cleaners for the tank available on the market.

Electric Gravel Cleaner

The first type is the electric gravel cleaner. These types run on batteries and generally come in 2-in-1 versions. For example, electric gravel cleaners both have a vacuum cleaner and a filter. As such, they are often preferred by those with smaller tanks.

In terms of installation, you just need to place the electric gravel cleaner in an upright position and it will immediately extract all the waste and debris inside your tank.

However, electric gravel cleaners are more expensive and its parts are also quite difficult to replace. They are also noisier and produce more vibration that may scare your fishes and other tank inhabitants.

Moreover, since it’s electric, you wouldn’t have to do much. But it might take a while for you to figure out how the electric gravel cleaner works and acquaint yourself with its controls.

Manual Gravel Cleaner

The second type is the manual gravel cleaner. It comes with the standard clear and durable tube attached to a siphon.

Compared to the electric ones, manual gravel cleaners are cheaper and more understandable. Its parts are also easy to replace. However, since it is manual, these gravel cleaners require more effort in installation.

For one, you need to ensure that gravel cleaner’s hose is in an upright position. Moreover, you need to have a large container to drain your water. Many users recommend placing this container lower than your tank for your siphon to function properly.

Why Do You Need Aquarium Vacuum Cleaner?

Being a responsible tank owner means that you need to create and ensure that your fish and other tank inhabitants are living in a clean and healthy environment. With this, you will ensure that your pets will grow and thrive.

One of the ways to do this is by installing an aquarium vacuum cleaner.

One of the main benefits of an aquarium vacuum is that it eliminates food and fish waste and other debris and particles. As a result, your fish will be healthier and safe from any sickness.

In fact, many users have stated that their fish and other tank inhabitants have lived longer due to an aquarium vacuum cleaner. Moreover, a cleaner aquarium results into a more beautiful fish tank.

Another benefit of an aquarium vacuum cleaner is that it makes cleaning your aquarium water easier. This is because the vacuum cleaner already takes out some dirt, waste, algae and other particles inside your tank. With this, you wouldn’t have to exert much effort in cleaning and maintenance.

An aquarium vacuum cleaner also extends the time it takes to replace your water. Thus, you wouldn’t have to replace your tank water constantly. This is especially useful when you have a busy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions


How does aquarium vacuum cleaner work?

Despite the different types of aquarium vacuum cleaners, they more or less work the same way. These cleaners basically churn the gravel around to extract food and fish waste and other debris stuck inside.

This is done by placing the end of the vacuum cleaner into the gravel and burying it deep there. Ensure that you just slide the end of the cleaner and not shake it, lest you disturb and loosen up your aquarium.

Turn the vacuum cleaner on. Water would then flow into the tube along with your gravel. You would then see all the waste and debris flowing down the siphon and into the drainage bucket.

Once the water is clear, you can turn off the aquarium vacuum cleaner by stopping the water flow with your finger. Then, you gently remove the tube from the water and allow the gravel to settle. Repeat the process until you are satisfied.

How often to clean aquarium gravel?

Your aquarium gravel doesn’t need to be cleaned frequently, especially when you have a new set-up. You can whip out the aquarium vacuum cleaner whenever you see indications of accumulated waste and filth.

Many users vacuum their aquarium gravel once every two weeks. You can also vacuum it during water replacements. You can also clean it if your aquarium really needs it.

Where to buy vacuum aquarium cleaner?

Aquarium vacuum cleaners are often sold in fish stores and other pet specialty shops. You can also find them in veterinaries and the like. They are also available in trusted online shops like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and the like.

These websites are reputable and trusted by hobbyists and fish keepers because they supply quality and affordable products. You can check them out if you want to buy from legitimate sources and suppliers of these items.


If you would like to ensure that your tank and the content inside it is always clean and tidy for the health and welfare of your pet fish and any other living things inside the aquarium, you need the best aquarium vacuum cleaners.

These products are a must-have in a tank because it can help in suctioning and getting rid of the dirt and debris in your gravel and tank overall. You can get started in selecting the right product that will help you achieve the purpose and receive the benefits it can give by referring to our buying guide and looking into the things to look for when selecting this product. Buy your aquarium vacuum cleaner today!

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