Fish Tank Cleaning Tools

Cleaning the water, the surface of the tank, and the ornaments in it, doesn’t mean that you have to change the water in it completely. Starting over may let you lose every bit of beneficial bacterial colonies that reside in your tank.

These organisms keep your pets alive and thriving inside their artificial abode. More so, you have to learn the right way to clean an aquarium as well as the right fish tank cleaning tools that you should use.

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Things To Consider Before Buying A Fish Tank Cleaning Tool

To help you make the best purchasing decision, here are some of the things you need to consider before purchasing a cleaning tool for fish tank:

Size Of The Fish Tank

One of the things you need to know before buying a fish tank cleaning tool is the size of the fish tank you will clean. If you are planning to invest in the right product, make sure to look for one that is suitable for the size of your fish tank.

It is better to buy a smaller cleaner if you use it to maintain a smaller size of a fish tank. It is especially that big fish tank cleaners can siphon the tank water quickly.

It is in comparison with smaller units, causing you some trouble to tinier items inside the tank.

Type And Size Of Aquarium Inhabitants

Aside from the size of the fish tank you use, it is also essential to consider the type and size of fish that live inside the aquarium.

If you keep smaller types of fish in the tank, make sure that the fish tank cleaning tool you use comes with nozzles with enough diameters to prevent it from siphoning your pets.

You must check the product if it comes with additional safety features that can keep your fish safe while doing its job.

Size Of The Substrate Inside The Tank

If you do not use gravel in your aquarium, but you filled it with sand, you don’t need to purchase a gravel cleaner. Purchase a fish tank cleaning tool that won’t suck the substrate inside your tank.

The Fish Tank Cleaning Tools You Need

Fish tank cleaning tools may come in different forms. For this reason, make sure to consider which type can work best on your needs. You may also need one or more types when cleaning.

Here are some of the fish tank cleaning tools you need to start cleaning your fish aquarium:

Filter Media

Filter media helps to trap debris in the tank’s water by inserting it into the fish tank filter. The quality of filter media you use can affect the environment in your aquarium. Below are some of the filter media you can choose from:

1. Aqua Flo Aquarium Filter Media

This filter media from Aqua Flo is made of 100% Polyester. It contains no chemicals and is safe to use for all saltwater and freshwater fish ponds and tanks. And unlike other filter media, you can easily cut Aqua Flo using a scissor according to the size you need.

2. Koral Filters Aquarium Filter Media

Koral Filters Aquarium Filter Media is easy to replace and cut fish tank cleaning tool. It provides reliable and proven performance for both salt and freshwater ponds and aquariums.

3. Hygger Large Aquarium Filter Media

Keep the water in your fish tank clear and clean with Hygger Large Aquarium Filter Media. It effectively blocks and absorbs debris along with fish waste by its premium ceramic made thousands of small porous holes cover that.

To get what you need, this filter media is easy to cut. You can crack it according to the size you need and is ideal to use in freshwater aquariums, ponds, planted aquariums, and sumps. Take note that this filter media is not suitable for saltwater tanks.

Filter Brush

Filter brush helps to trap all waste and debris that is in the aquarium water. These unnecessary particles will be stuck into the brush’s filaments along with the current of the water, making it faster and easier to improve biochemical filtration performance.

Here are some of the leading filter brush in the market:

1. SLSON Aquarium Filter Brush

This flexible brush features high-performing brushes on both ends that are equipped with soft nylon bristles. This filter brush is made flexible stainless steel that will allow you to reach further inside the hose pipe.

You can use this best for cleaning pipes with a small diameter. With this, you can remove gunk buildup as well as algae that may block the tubing.

2. Stainless Filter Cleaning Brush By Caution

Another double-headed brush that you can use to clean tank tubing is a Caution stainless filter cleaning brush. It is suitable for removing dirt blockage inside glass tubes and pipes with a diameter between 9 and 35mm. 

It is made of high-quality materials, including stainless steel spring and durable brush bristles. Aside from aquarium tubing, you may also use it to clean the aquarium, water pump, and so much more.

Algae Scraper

You will need an algae scraper to remove all the nasty deposits inside the aquarium. You can buy it in two variations, including glass and acrylic, and may come in different structures. Check out some of the leading algae scraper below:

1. API Algae Scrapers And Hand Held Pads

API Algae Scrapers And Hand Held Pads is your ideal fish tank cleaning tool for cleaning and getting rid of algae from the acrylic aquarium. It arrives with an extra-long handle that can prevent your hand from getting soaked in the tank’s water.

This heavy-duty algae scraper can remove unsightly algae speedily from acrylic aquariums. So if you are using an acrylic fish tank at home, this algae scraper is ideal for you.

2. Continuum Aquatics AquaBlade Algae Scraper

This product is a premium scraper that is ideal for freshwater and marine aquariums. It comes with a heavy-duty fiberglass handles that are intended to resist thousands of pounds of pressure.

Also, it does not have hollow handles, which means it won’t accumulate any odor from flourishing bacteria. You can purchase it with Stainless Steel Cyan Plastic Blade that is made in the USA.

Water Siphon / Fish Tank Vacuum Cleaner

Water siphon or aquarium vacuums are fish tank gravel cleaners that are intended for removing food debris and fish waste from the substrate in the tank. When buying a fish tank vacuum cleaner, make sure to get the one with appropriate lip size.

It is to prevent the vacuum from sucking all the substrate in the fish tank.

You can choose from a simple siphon and hand pump to a high-end automatic fish tank vacuum. Batteries operate this high-end vacuum rather than manual usage. Check out our shortlist of the best fish tank vacuum cleaners below:

1. EHEIM Quick Vac Pro

If you want to have a portable and convenient fish tank vacuum cleaner, head straight to EHEIM Quick Vac Pro. This fish tank cleaning tool features a design and function that helps to extract sludge and clean gravel inside your tank.

In terms of functionality, this vacuum cleaner for tanks shows a better performance compared to other similar products. It is easy to operate, in fact, using it once will allow you to master using this utility.

2. TERA PUMP Aquarium Fish Tank Substrate Cleaner

Another fish tank cleaning tool that can make cleaning easy for you is this Aquarium Fish Tank Substrate Cleaner from TERA PUM. It arrives with the right components that provide a better performance, allowing you to achieve a cleaner and more transparent water inside the tank.

It is also multipurpose. You can, in fact, use it for two different cleaning functions such as cleaning gravel and sand. It provides a good suction feature that is essential for cleaning your tank easier.

Bucket For Aquarium

You will always have to use aquarium buckets that are intended to use for aquariums only. You will use it to put water inside the tank as well as when you have to remove water from the aquarium. This is why it is very important for you to choose the right size of the bucket according to the size of your tank.

1. Kikkerland Collapsible Bucket

This collapsible bucket is ideal for all variety of uses, which includes fish tank cleaning. It has an impressive capacity that allows it to handle too much weight with the help of its sturdy handle.

It is made of silicon, so make sure not to fold and unfold them too much to prevent it from having small cracks and holes.

2. Zealetc Portable Collapsible Bucket

Another collapsible aquarium bucket will give you a more practical option. Zealetc Portable Collapsible Bucket is ideal for home storage, camping, kitchen, garden, bathroom, courtyard, laundry room, and BBQ.

It boasts a comfortable handle that is designed for easy carrying as well as convenient hanging hole simple storage.

Start Cleaning The Fish Tank

Assuming that you now have all the asked fish tank cleaning tools with you. Here is a step by step guide that you can follow to clean your fish tank aquarium. You may also need bleach, soap, and chlorine remover along the way.

Step 1: Clean The Tank’s Interior

Begin cleaning the fish tank by using the algae scraper inside the glass aquarium. As mentioned earlier, you can find different variations of algae scraper in the market today.

The ones with long-handles can help you to clean the interior of the tank without soaking your hands. You may also encounter some algae scrapers that as a magnetic rubber.

Step 2: Clean Rocks And Decorations

After cleaning the tank’s interior surfaces, begin cleaning the rocks and decorations inside the aquarium. In this step, you have to remove the rocks, decorations, and artificial plants from the tank if algae are starting to grow in them.

Also, remove the noticeably dirty ones. But make sure not to use detergents or soap when cleaning such to prevent harmful chemicals from contaminating the water inside the aquarium.

You can use a good algae scraper to remove dirt and algae from the ones you removed from the tank. If you don’t have one, you may also use a new scrub to clean the materials.

Step 3: Clean The Aquarium Gravel

The next step that you have to do is to use a siphon or fish tank vacuum cleaner to remove the debris inside the tank. This fish tank cleaning tool works just like a fish tank filter.

A high-quality tank vacuum cleaner should stir up the substrate and eliminate waste without including the gravel. To make sure that the one you use is ideal for the substrate you use, make sure to buy the right vacuum that is intended for sand and gravel.

Step 4: Fixtures And Outside The Glass

After cleaning the interior of the fish tank, next is to clean the hood, tank top, light, as well as the external surface of the aquarium. Use glass cleaners that do not give off a bad smell and is safe for fish.

Step 5: Clean The Tank Filter After Two Weeks

Return the fixtures, substrate, and decorations inside the fish tank when done cleaning the exterior of the tank. Then wait for at least two weeks before cleaning the fish tank filter.

The reason behind this is that the major cleaning you did may have disrupted the colonies of good bacteria on the rocks, plants, and gravel. The filter may still have some of these beneficial organisms that are most likely trapped in the filter media.


To summarize everything, the proper way of cleaning a fish tank can help with the healthy growth of fish. To help you clean conveniently and speedily, utilize the right fish tank cleaning tools.

Make sure to choose the one that offers the fastest solutions to remove algae, dirt, and foreign debris from your fish tank. When cleaning the tank, it is better to keep the fish in the tank.