Best Fish Tank Vacuums for Sand

5 Best Fish Tank Vacuums for Sand for 2024

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Introducing a vibrant and lively fish tank into your space can transform it, offering a splash of joy and a unique focal point for conversations. Yet, the flip side involves a commitment to regular upkeep to ensure your aquatic habitat remains pristine and healthy.

The good news is that with the right fish tank vacuum, the chore of cleaning your aquarium’s gravel and sand can become significantly more manageable. If you’re on the hunt for a top-notch aquarium vacuum cleaner, you’ve landed in the perfect spot.

Given the plethora of models on the market, pinpointing the ideal one might seem daunting. To streamline your search, we’ve compiled a list of the top six fish tank vacuums for sand as we head into 2024. Ready to dive in?

If you do not have the time to read to the very end of this article, we simply suggest that you opt for our editor’s pick: the TERAPUMP genuine aquarium pond fish tank cleaner, which is designed for easy, one-hand operation and comes backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

#1. AQQA Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Siphon Kit

The first cleaner on our list is this AQQA aquarium gravel cleaner siphon kit, whose main function is to change the water automatically and help you clean the sand and water filter to remove debris. With the help of this tool, your fish tank cleaning activities become more efficient and save you much more time.

There is a flexible 360-degree brush head that can clean the dirt on the side walls of the fish tank with ease. The 45-degree corner suction inlet is used to clean fine sand, while the duckbill suction inlet with spatula comes in handy to grab debris and feces stuck at the bottom.

We love the fact that the assembly is so simple and can be done without the use of any advanced tools. You only need to carefully follow the installation steps and instructions provided. When the job is done, you can disassemble the tool and store it away with ease so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Product features and specifications

  • Weight: 2.38 lbs.
  • Made of ABS stainless steel
  • Gravel washer with filter sponge
  • 360° water intake strainer
  • 360° brush head
  • 45° corner suction inlet
  • Fast and convenient installation and disassembly
  • Extendable handle suitable for all fish tanks

User/Customer Reviews

People have mentioned that this vacuum works wonderfully to clean the gravel and sand in their tanks, keeping the environment clean and clear. Some users have mentioned that it only took them 15 to 20 minutes to put the tool together for use. A few customers have warned that this is suitable only for larger tanks and not for smaller ones.


The AQQA aquarium gravel cleaner siphon kit is a well-designed and multi-functional vacuum that is made of sturdy steel for durability, yet it also has delicate and well-designed heads to remove debris from gravel and sand. Overall, we feel that this product is a good investment for large-sized tanks.

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#2. UPETTOOLS Aquarium Gravel Cleaner – Electric Automatic Removable Vacuum

This aquarium gravel cleaner with an automatic vacuum from UPETTOOLS is just what you need to keep your freshwater and seawater fish tanks well maintained. This upgraded version of the product comes with amazing 6-in-1 functions that include a water changer, debris cleaner, and even a water shower.

The UPETTOOLS electric automatic vacuum features a 110V/28W powerful and adjustable water pump motor that can give you a maximum flow of 1700L/H. It can be used for cleaning gravel, changing the water, absorbing any dirt, and washing the sand.

With its strong level of suction, it does a good job of cleaning the food debris and fish poop out of the aquarium to keep the tank environment healthy and clean. The installation process is simple and easy, too. You simply need to check the instructional video and follow the provided instructions before using it. The manufacturer also offers 24/7 technical support.

Product features and specifications

  • Powerful cleaning function with suction
  • Easy to install and use
  • Lifetime warranty and satisfaction guarantee
  • Perfect for a 180-gallon tank
  • 360° brush head
  • 45° corner suction inlet
  • 360° water intake strainer

User/Customer Reviews

People who have bought this electric vacuum cleaner have been impressed with their purchase, as it makes life much easier by taking the stress out of keeping their aquarium well-maintained. Many users have said that the attachments do a good job of cleaning the gravel and sand, too. A few customers have warned that the instructions provided are not very clear, however.


The UPETTOOLS aquarium gravel cleaner is a fantastic tool you can use to keep your large fish tank healthy and clean. Besides vacuuming the sand, it can also change the water, clean the filter, remove debris from the gravel, clean the side walls, and so much more. Overall, we feel that this gravel cleaner is exactly what you’d expect when purchasing it.

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#3. TERAPUMP Genuine Aquarium Pond Fish Tank Cleaner

This manual pump from TERAPUMP is built for one-hand operation, and it is exactly what you need to remove the gunk and dirt from your aquarium. It comes with a discharge hose clip that attaches easily to containers for convenience when changing out your tank’s water.

Made from BPA-free plastic, this safe-to-use pump can empty a 10- to 20-gallon aquarium tank in just about seven minutes. Since it may also be used as a sand and gravel cleaner, there are two types of nozzles included: a shorter nozzle used for changing the water and a longer one for cleaning up leftover food and droppings from fine gravel or sand.

The siphon is built to last for a very long time, and we love the fact that the manufacturer appreciates the feedback that’s been provided and uses it to improve upon the product as needed. The manufacturer also stands behind the product with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty to ensure your aquarium can always be kept clean.

Product features and specifications

  • Total length of cleaner: 66 in.
  • Weight: 5.29 oz.
  • Suction cup for easy drainage
  • Hands-free clip
  • Patented flow clip
  • Made from BPA-free plastic

User/Customer Reviews

Several users have said that this cleaner actually works much better than the standard ones available in the fish tank store. Many people have mentioned that it does the job correctly and serves its purpose well at a reasonable price point. A few customers have warned that the hose that comes with it is not enough to change the water in their large tanks, however.


The TERAPUMP genuine aquarium tank cleaner is a great upgrade from the cheap products you get at the pet store. It has a good suction power that can be adjusted with the help of a clamp to clean the debris and dirt from the fine gravel or sand. Overall, this is a low-cost but good-quality product that gets the work done if you are not keen on spending too much.

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#4. VIVOSUN Aquarium Gravel Cleaner Siphon Fish Tank Vacuum Cleaner

Next in line, we have the VIVOSUN aquarium gravel cleaner, which is made of safe and non-toxic material and is BPA-free. This cleaner is designed in a way to cause no harm to the aquatic animals inside the aquarium during cleaning sessions. The hose is different from the usual vinyl tubing found in other products and enables a smooth flow of water without any roll-ups occurring.

This cleaner comes equipped with a large, sturdy, and durable operation bulb, so you can get the water flowing without much effort; about 5 to 10 pump should be enough. It features an excellent design with a clamp that comes in handy to regulate the amount as well as the speed of water during changes.

We also appreciate the dual nozzle design; the short nozzle is used for draining water from the tank, while the longer nozzle is used for cleaning sand, gravel, and substrate. There is a small suction cup that can be used for one-handed cleaning operation as well.

Product features and specifications

  • Total length of cleaning tube: 51.5 in.
  • Weight: 9.52 oz.
  • Dual-nozzle design
  • Durable operation bulb
  • Max flow rate: 800 GPH
  • BPA-free construction
  • Max lift height up to 10 ft.

User/Customer Reviews

Several people have said that this product did great work to clean their 20-gallon and 50-gallon fish tanks. Users have said that this cleaner was a useful little starter kit and easy to use, although it was not ready to use right out of the box. A few customers have said that they wished the plastic tubing was a little thicker, though.


The VIVOSUN aquarium gravel cleaner is a good kit that works great for small aquariums and does the job without any hassle. It is a relatively cheap option and lets you clean the sand and gravel in your fish tank without spending a lot on an expensive vacuum cleaner. Overall, we feel that it offers a good value for the money.

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#5. hygger Bucket-Free Aquarium Water Change Kit

Last but not the least, we have the hygger bucket-free aquarium water change kit, which is easy to connect with your fish tank and offers long-term, reliable use. The assembly is a breeze and saves you a lot of time and energy while easily cleaning the mess caused by carrying a bucket for water changes, too.

We love this automatic siphoning tool that can be easily attached to a faucet. You just turn on the tap and let the water flow out of the gravel tube to remove the debris. To vacuum out the dirt and leftovers in the sand and gravel, you simply need to move the tube in an up-and-down motion.

This cleaning kit comes with three built-in size adapters that can perfectly fit 13/16-27 threads, male 55/64-27 threads, and female 15/16-27 threads. This kit includes a faucet pump, a gravel tube for gravel cleaning, a 25-foot-long vinyl hose, and three faucet adapters.

Product features and specifications

  • Weight: 3.48 lbs.
  • Easy to use
  • Metal faucet connector
  • 3 options (25 feet long, 33 feet long, 49 feet long)
  • Draining, filling, and gravel cleaning capabilities
  • Fits most faucets

Users/Customer Reviews

There are mixed customer reviews regarding this product. While some individuals think that this cleaner is easy to use and offers some good advantages, others have stated that you must always check the compatibility with your faucet at home before using it as it may not always work right. People have been thrilled with the fact that this vacuum cleaner helps them get their tank maintenance done with less leaks, less mess, and no need for using buckets.


This hygger bucket-free aquarium water change kit is a good value product you can use to maintain and take care of your fish’s home. The very fact that it is adjustable makes it all the more usable and convenient. Overall, we feel that this aquarium water change kit that also serves as a great gravel and sand cleaner is just what you need for your fish tank.

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Buying Guide: Best Fish Tank Vacuums for Sand

While all the products reviewed above are great options and carefully handpicked to provide you with the best possible quality, you may still need to narrow down your choice. So, we have created this buying guide to help you take a look at the factors you must consider before buying a fish tank vacuum for sand.

Tank Size

This is a no-brainer yet a common mistake that buyers tend to commit. If you end up buying a vacuum with less cleaning capacity, it will not work for a bigger tank. Additionally, if it has a high capacity, investing in such is just money wasted when you have a smaller tank.

This is why it is essential when choosing a manual or electric aquarium vacuum to keep the size of your tank in mind. The vacuum you choose should be capable of handling the flow rate. The electric ones are a great option for a 100-gallon tank, while a small, dinky siphon may do the job just as well for a small one.

Size is also important when choosing a cleaning siphon to ensure that the equipment can be properly used and submerged as required. When the vacuum is unable to function as designed, this can make the cleaning process less convenient and mean that you also wasted money when a more suitable option may have been available.


Most of the tank vacuum cleaners will come with several attachments to clean every nook and corner of the fish tank. However, if you have some special requirements (such as requiring algae removal), you’ll want to look for kits that include algae scrapers and other such relevant tools.

Ease of Use

With time and technology, things have become much simpler than before. You no more need to fill your own mouth with filthy tank water to change the water in your aquarium. There are now cleaning siphons especially for gravel and sand that are hand-pump-operated and will allow you to get the cleaning process going with ease.

Such features make the cleaning process much cleaner and simpler than before. Some products may also come with water pumps already built into the design to change water in large fish tanks.


Again, it cannot be ignored that you get what you pay for. More convenience and ease of use comes with a fair price. There are affordable cleaning options available, but they will also have their own limitations, too. However, being cheap does not mean that a certain vacuum or siphon will not function well. Some of the affordable ones can perform just as well as their expensive counterparts—you just need to ensure you’ve gotten the right capacity and a compatible kit.

Related Questions

How often should I vacuum the sand?

Maintaining a regular cleaning routine is good for your fish tank and the aquatic animals living in it. We suggest that you perform vacuuming about once a week or once every other week for the best results. However, make sure you remove all the decor before vacuuming and cleaning out the tank.

How do you clear cloudy aquarium sand?

To get rid of this problem, we suggest that you wash the sand before putting it in the fish tank. The filter you have should do the job of filtering out the extra particles that make the water cloudy. Also, most of your sand should fall to the bottom of the aquarium, rendering the sand more clear and good-looking.