How To Clean Fish Tank Gravel Without A Vacuum

Fish tanks are now one of the most popular facilities in most countries because of the demand for keeping fish as pets. But how to use a fish tank in the right way is undoubtedly answered. 

People usually clean fish tank gravel with a vacuum these days. However, how to clean fish tank gravel without a vacuum? If this question is haunting you, let us help you find out the answer.

Read on!


How To Clean Fish Tank Gravel Without A Vacuum – 2 Effectively Quick Ways


#1. Important Tools 

Cleaning a fish tank now and again is considered a hard task if we do not choose the right tools. These tools are essential as they help avoid problems with our fish due to our cleaning’s adverse effects. 

Most owners buy a vacuum with the hope that it would make the cleaning process more convenient and effective. But what if you don’t have a vacuum or you don’t like using it? It’s time to use alternative tools to get their job done. Let’s see what they are!

  • Gloves 

So why do we need gloves? As usual, if we have a vacuum, gloves are still very vital, especially when we need to catch our swimming fish. They help prevent dirt, trash, and other impurities from the water where fish live from coming into contact with our hands.

  • Strainer

A strainer is used to strain trash and dust, which we can not use our hands to freshen the water. Moreover, the strainers can also be used to change the water in the aquarium when it is too dirty. Because of its importance, we need to use this to clean a fish tank gravel repeatedly.

  • A bucket or other container 

Owners of a fish tank must have a bucket or other containers that are large enough to hold all the fish and place them gently in the containers with a net during the cleaning process.

  • Note: All the tools must be very clean and chemical-free to avoid bacteria before use, as chemical residue can be harmful to fish.  

#2. Take The Fish Out

When you use a gravel vacuum, it is much easier for you to remove the fish from the aquarium. But imagine that you do not have any tools like that, and the fish keep swimming around the tank, which makes the cleaning process more ineffective. How terrible! We are here to help you to solve this problem. 

Fully fill the bucket or other clean, chemical-free containers with water from the fish tank. Then, gently remove the fish into the bucket using a net if necessary. And you won’t see fish swimming around while you’re cleaning.

#3. Take Out The Gravel And Start Cleaning

From the bottom of the fish tank, scoop up a few gravels out of it and put them in the separated place without rinsing them. These gravels contain beneficial bacteria that help break down ammonia from fish waste into less harmful nitrates. 

Therefore, it is very important to avoid rinsing the gravels because all these bacteria can repopulate after your tank is cleaned.

After that step, rinse the other gravels thoroughly with plastic gloves. Make sure that all tools used are clean and chemical-free.

Once the water below the strainer is clear, transfer the gravel to the tank and place them with any unwashed gravel.


In a nutshell, if we are worried that we do not have a vacuum or we do not like spending money buying one, here are effective and quick ways on how to clean fish tank gravel without a vacuum.

Please try doing it and give us feedback!

Also read: The Ultimate Guide on How To Clean Sea Monkey Tank

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