How to Use a Siphon to Clean Aquariums

siphon hose

Due to chemicals and other materials, aquariums can become dirty and cloudy over time. To keep your aquarium clean and healthy, use a siphon to remove debris from the gravel or substrate on the bottom of the tank. This article provides detailed instructions for using a siphon to clean an aquarium.

Types of Siphons

Hand Siphons

Hand siphons are the most basic type of aquarium siphons. They are manual devices and need the user to start the siphon action by sucking on one end of the tube.

Self-starting Siphons

Self-starting siphons are more technologically advanced than hand siphons. They have a bulb or pump mechanism that starts the siphon action, removing the need for the user to start it.

Gravel Vacuum Siphons

Gravel vacuum siphon hose is a device designed for aquarium cleaning. This siphons have a wider tube that allows them to suck up debris from the gravel without removing the gravel itself.

Gather Supplies

Before you start siphoning, ensure you have all the necessary supplies. You will need a gravel vacuum, a container to put the debris in, and a hose or bucket for rinsing the aquarium. You may also want a pair of aquarium gloves to protect your hands from sharp or abrasive edges within the tank.

Prepare the Aquarium

Before you begin to siphon hose, it’s important to ensure you prepare the aquarium. Start by turning off any filters or other equipment in the tank. Then, remove any plants and other decorations from the inside of the tank so they don’t get damaged during the cleaning process.

Assembling the Siphon

Once the aquarium is ready, it’s time to assemble the siphon. Start by attaching the hose or bucket to the end of the gravel vacuum. Then, connect the other end of the hose or bucket to a nearby drain or outside container. Place your hands on either side of the gravel vacuum and lower it into the water so it rests on the gravel at the bottom of the tank.

Begin Siphoning

Now that you have assembled the siphon, you can begin cleaning! Place your finger over one end of the gravel vacuum and lower it into the water until it reaches the bottom of the tank. Then, remove your finger from the end and allow the vacuum to start sucking. Watch as the tank lifts the debris and sends it into your container or hose. When done, turn off the vacuum and lift it out of the tank to stop the water flow.

Rinse and Repeat

Once you have finished siphoning out all the debris from one area, continue going around the tank until you have completed a full cycle. If necessary, rinse the gravel with fresh water before and after using the vacuum to remove any excess dirt. Once you finish, your aquarium should be nice and clean!

Proper Maintenance

The most important part of keeping an aquarium clean is proper maintenance. You should try to siphon hose from your aquarium at least once a month to keep it in the best condition. Also, change 25-50% of the water every two weeks and add new plants or decorations to keep things looking fresh and interesting. Following these simple steps will help ensure your aquarium stays healthy for years!

Cleaning the Substrate

Finally, it’s important to remember to clean the substrate or gravel at the bottom of the tank. If your aquarium has been running for a while, you may need to replace some old substrate with new material. Use your gravel vacuum to remove as much of the old substrate as possible before adding fresh material. It will help ensure your tank stays clean and healthy for years!

Dispose of the Dirty Water

Once you have siphoned as much dirt and debris from the tank, it is time to dispose of the dirty water in the bucket. Make sure to avoid spilling water onto your floor or furniture. Once you have disposed of the water, repeat steps 1 through 4 until the tank is completely clean.

Replenishing the Water

Once the tank is clean, adding fresh water back in is time. Begin by filling a bucket with dechlorinated water and slowly adding it back into the tank until it is full. Then, turn on any filters or other before turning on the equipment.

Reassembling the Aquarium

Now that the tank is clean, it’s time to assemble everything. Start by putting the decorations and plants back in their original places. Then, turn off any filters or other equipment that were before running. Finally, check for leaks or other damages before turning the equipment back on and enjoying your cleaned aquarium!


A siphon is the best way to keep your aquarium clean and healthy. Following these steps will help ensure you do everything. Remember to replace the old substrate, dispose of dirty water, and replenish the tank with fresh water after cleaning. With proper maintenance and regular cleaning using a siphon, your aquarium can look great for years to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *