Ask any aquarist what they hate the most about the hobby aside from their fish dying, and they will tell you that it is the need for weekly water changes. Not only is lugging around buckets of water across your living room a pain, but having to ladle water from the tank can be quite tedious.
This is where having the best aquarium water changer comes in handy. I have been keeping a couple of aquariums for more than a decade. For most of that time, I have been changing the water of my tank the old-fashioned way. When I got my first good automatic water changer, it made my life better.
Believe me when I tell you that having a quality aquarium water changer will make the hobby much more enjoyable. To help you pick out the one that is right for you, here is a quick guide and a couple of recommendations.
- Best Aquarium Water Changer Reviews
- 1. Hygger Aquarium Water Changer
- 2. Laifoo Aquarium Water Changer
- 3. U-BCOO Fish Tank Siphon Water Changer
- 4. SSRIVER Nozzle Water Changer
- 5. AQUANEAT Aquarium Siphon Water Changer
- 6. MingDak Siphon Gravel Washer Water Changer
- 7. STARROAD-TIM Gravel Cleaner Water Changer
- 8. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer
- 9. UPETTOOLS Automatic Vacuum Water Changer
- 10. ZaneSun Gravel Cleaner Water Changer
- What to Look For When Buying a Aquarium Water Changer
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Aquarium Water Changer Reviews
1. Hygger Aquarium Water Changer
Back in the day, you needed to use a rubber hose to siphon the water from the aquarium and into a bucket. The problem with that is that you usually end up with a mouthful of tank water. This aquarium automatic water changer works on the same principle but in a much easier and a lot less disgusting way.
Aside from siphoning the water from the aquarium, it also serves as a gravel vacuum. This product comes with a coarse gravel filter, so gravel can go up the inlet without going any further than the end of the inlet tube. I liked how you are essentially killing two birds with one stone.
I also liked that Hygger included a 79-inch rubber hose in the package. This made it easier for me to clean and remove water from my 100-gallon tank without having to move the drain bucket often. I pretty much use this product like a vacuum cleaner, which made it quite convenient to use.
Aside from the hose, I also liked how the inlet hose can extend from 16-inches to 32-inches. The package comes with an extra extension tube that connects to the end of the inlet tube. This doubles the length of the tube. Again, it made cleaning my somewhat large tank much easier.
Most people think that you just need to pull the trigger a couple of times to get the water flowing and they are wrong. You need to squeeze the trigger rapidly 10-15 times to get the water flowing fast enough so that the siphon effect will kick in. This means you may get some sore hands from using it.
- Easy to use
- Cleans the gravel while removing the water
- Drains directly into a bucket
- The hose is of adequate length
- The inlet tube is extendable
- You need to pull the trigger rapidly to get the water to flow
This is a great improvement compared to the old-fashioned water changer hose that came with the ball. It may take a bit of getting used to. However, when you master how to use it, you will discover how great this product is.
2. Laifoo Aquarium Water Changer
The thing that I loved the most about this aquarium water change equipment is that it comes with a 50-foot rubber hose. This means that I no longer need to haul a bucket of stinky water across my living room. I just need to place the output end of the hose beside the storm drain outside the house. This is so convenient.
The gravel cleaning attachment works quite well. The flow of the water will pull up the dirt and debris from the gravel but will leave the pebbles at the bottom. The water flow is not so strong that it will kick up the dirt and cause the water to get cloudy. It is just strong enough to pick up dirt.
Unlike other aquarium water changers out there, this one is a lot easier to use. Just connect the one-way manual pump at the outlet end and give it around 10 quick squeezes. It is a lot easier to use compared to my old water changer that used the old valve and rubber ball.
Another thing I liked about this tap to tank water changer is that it consists of just a couple of parts and you can expect all of them to connect. This means that storing this product is quite easy. It also does not take up that much space.
The only issue that I have with this product is that the rubber hose’s diameter is a bit too small. If it was a bit bigger, then water would be flowing much faster. If you have a big tank, then you may have to wait a while until enough water is removed from your tank.
- Comes with a long hose
- Will not kick up dirt quite as much
- Features an easy to use one-way siphon ball valve
- Attaches to your faucet for easy refilling
- Contains only a couple of parts, making it easy to store
- The hose is a bit too small
This product is so much easier to use compared to siphoning the water out of the tank the old-fashioned way. The long rubber tube is a plus. I just wish that it was a bit bigger, though.
3. U-BCOO Fish Tank Siphon Water Changer
This aquarium water changer system is so simple to use that you do not even need to read the instructions that came with it (but you really should read it). I just gave it a couple of quick pumps and the water started flowing out on its own. This is such a welcome change compared to manually scooping out dirty water into a bucket.
The suction that this siphon has is just strong enough to lift away any dirt and debris stuck on the gravel and at the bottom of the fish tank. A bit of the gravel might get lifted, but not so much that it will make the water cloudy. It will disturb the gravel a bit, but will quickly suck up the dirt.
This product uses the natural siphon effect of U-shaped hoses to suck up the water from the tank into a bucket placed lower than the bottom of the tank. Just give the pump a couple of quick squeezes to get the water flowing and it will continue draining the water if you do not stop it.
This product is also made of BPA-free plastic, so there is no risk of any toxic chemicals leaching into the water. You can continue using this product and be assured that your fish will be perfectly safe and healthy.
I do wish that there is a way to extend the aquarium water changer hose. I have a big reef tank, and I need to move the bucket several times to clean the substrate. It would have been better if the hose was a bit longer so I only need to move the bucket once or twice.
- Easy to get the water flowing
- Made of BPA-free plastic so it is safe for your fish
- Will not kick up debris and cloud the water
- Can clean the gravel while removing water
- No batteries or additional pumps needed
- The hose is a bit too short for larger tanks
This is a handy tool to have if you have a small to medium-sized tank. The great thing about this is that you are essentially cleaning the tank while changing the water at the same time. This is truly a great time-saver.
4. SSRIVER Nozzle Water Changer
I find this water changer a great gadget that makes cleaning and replacing water in an aquarium less of a hassle. If you are only replacing the water, you can clip the inlet tube in place on the tank, and the outlet inside a drain bucket. This way, you will not disturb the fish too much because the water will gradually drain out.
If you need to slow down or completely stop the water flow, this product comes with a hose clamp. Clip the hose all the way to stop the water from flowing, or open it a bit to slow down the water flow, which is ideal when you are cleaning the gravel.
If you have a large capacity tank, you would be glad to know that this product has an extendable inlet pipe. You can attach another tube at the end to double the length of the inlet. This way, you can reach the bottom and every corner of your tank easily.
If you will be using this product as a gravel cleaner, then you need to make sure that you connect the included basket filter. It will allow you to clean the gravel without having them siphoned out of the tank with the water. The basket filter will also prevent your fish from accidentally getting sucked into the inlet pipe.
I am quite impressed with this automatic fish tank water changer, but it can still improve in some areas. One of the things that I wish was better is the diameter of the rubber hose. It needs to be a tad bigger to make the water drain out faster. If you have a large aquarium, it will take a while for this product to take out a third of its contents.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Comes with a basket filter to prevent gravel from going through
- Has a clamp to control the water flow
- The inlet tube can be extended
- Comes with a glass scraper
- The rubber tube would be better if it is a bit bigger
If you have a large tank, then you might want to figure out a way to retrofit a slightly larger diameter rubber hose on this product to make it drain faster. On the other hand, the rate of flow is not all that horrible. Overall, it is still a great product.
5. AQUANEAT Aquarium Siphon Water Changer
There are times when simple is best and this product is a great example of it. This siphon has no fancy mechanisms. It is just basically a flexible hose with a hand pump at the outlet end. It uses basic hydraulic concepts to drain the water from your aquarium, which makes water replacements much easier than before.
In the past, I used to use a large mug to ladle water out of the tank carefully and pour the water into a bucket. Not only is this process painfully slow, but I also typically need to mop up the floor afterward. This is no longer a problem with this product. I just prime the siphon and the water drains straight into a bucket.
Another neat thing about this product is that you do not just drain water from the tank. You can also use this same product to clean the gravel. Aside from dirty water, this siphon can suck out the debris and fish waste from the bottom of the tank. This means that you are hitting two birds with one stone.
To prevent your aquarium substrate and small fish from getting sucked into the inlet tube, this product comes with a filter screen. You just have to attach the filter at the end of the filter valve and it prevents the gravel and fish from getting into the inlet. This will also prevent the gravel from jamming up the siphon.
Although I did not expect this automatic water change saltwater aquarium to have the same build quality as the more expensive water changers, it would have been better if it was made using materials that are a bit more robust. I think that this product is good for a couple of months’ worth of water changes, after which, it will start to deteriorate.
- Easy to use
- Drains directly into a bucket, making it less likely to spill
- Cleans and drains the aquarium at the same time
- Comes with a filter screen
- Has an adequately long hose
- The plastic used for this product is a bit flimsy
Although it might not be as reliable as some of the other more expensive brands, for its price, you will be getting a lot of value. Although it may not last for an entire year, you can easily buy a new one to replace it and not hurt your budget.
6. MingDak Siphon Gravel Washer Water Changer
This product is not just for removing all the old water from the tank, but it also siphons out the dirt and debris from the bottom of the tank. This saves me a lot of time as this allows me to do two things at the same time. Although this does not clean as great as actual tank cleaners, it still does a good job.
This product is BPA-free, so there is no risk of harmful chemicals leaching into the water. This means it is safe to leave in the tank while you are waiting for it to drain the water. Even after a couple of months and the plastic starts to deteriorate, it will not contaminate the water and make your fish sick.
This tool is typically used for draining the tank when you are partially replacing the water, and this works well for that. You just need to squeeze the rubber pump a couple of times to get the water to start flowing. After that, you can leave it as it drains the tank.
Aside from draining the tank, you can also use this to refill it gently with clean water. I use this tool to refill my tank because using a bucket will disturb the substrate too much and make the water cloudy. This product gently refills the tank without disturbing anything inside it.
The problem that I have with this product is that it is made of very flimsy and cheap plastic. I have been using it for around four months or so and the hand pump started to develop leaks. The plastic became quite fragile and started to crack.
- Cleans the tank while taking out the old water
- Can effectively suction the dirt and fish waste from the bottom of the tank
- Made of BPA-free plastic
- Useful in refilling the tank
- Very budget-friendly
- Made of flimsy plastic – The hand pump will most likely break after just a couple of months
This is a great tool for beginners at the aquarium hobby. It will make water changes a lot easier and significantly less messy. Having this in your tool kit will make this hobby even more enjoyable.
7. STARROAD-TIM Gravel Cleaner Water Changer
The thing I liked the most about this water changer is the design of the hand pump. This product has a pistol-styled handle, which promotes ease in priming the siphon. You still need to pump the trigger rapidly, but it is quite easier to do compared to using the old-fashioned ball pumps.
I also liked how long the outlet hose is. I have my aquarium set up quite high because I use the space underneath for storage. Having a long outlet hose allows it to reach a bucket set on the floor. Draining the tank this way is surely much easier and a lot less messy.
Moreover, it is possible to extend the inlet tube by attaching another tube at the end. This helps quite a bit with my 100-gallon tank, allowing me to reach the corners without getting my forearms wet. This water changer also doubles as a gravel cleaner and a good one at that.
After I finish cleaning the fish waste and uneaten pellets, I use the clamp on the handle to affix the inlet tube to the side of the tank. I also use the included clips to keep the outlet tube inside the drain bucket. This prevents the water from splashing about. Ever since I used this tool, I never needed to break out the mop after water changes.
The only thing that I wish was made better is the trigger. You will need to pump the trigger rapidly to get the water flowing out. However, the trigger is a bit too stiff and somewhat uncomfortable to squeeze while the product is still new. It does get easier once it is broken in.
- Ergonomic handle design
- Comes with a long flexible hose
- The inlet tube can be extended
- Comes with clips and a clamp to secure the siphon on the tank
- Has an algae scraper
- Needs to be pumped rather quickly to get it primed
This is a great tool that every aquarium hobbyist should have. It helps in replacing water and cleaning the tank. If you do not have that much time on your hands, it will be great for all your maintenance needs.
8. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer
This electric aquarium water changer is a sort of Swiss Army knife of aquarium cleaners. This has a couple of attachments that allows this tool to do six different functions. These functions include a gravel and sand cleaner, come with a bag filter, and can clean inside the glass and even the corners.
This uses an electric submersible pump. This pump is compact and light, but it has a significant amount of power with a capacity of 1700L/hour. If you will be partially replacing the water of your aquarium, it will only take around 10 to 15 minutes to finish the task. You can also use it to refill the tank.
This tool is quite easy to set up. You do not need any additional tools to assemble. It will only take you a couple of minutes to put together right out of the box and you can start using it immediately. The long extendable handle allows me to use it like a vacuum cleaner.
It is also quite easy to maintain. You can disassemble the entire thing without using any tools, not even a screwdriver. I could even remove the pump motor by hand, which makes it easier for me to clean the impellers of the pump. Regular maintenance will provide you with many years of use.
The only problem that I have with this tool is that it is a bit awkward to use. The inlet port of the tool is bulky and a bit unwieldy. It takes a bit of maneuvering before you can get to the corners of the tank.
- Has 6 functions
- Small pump with a high flow-rate
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Can extend the handle
- Not usable for full tank draining
This product is a sort of jack-of-all-trades when it comes to aquarium maintenance. It does a lot of things somewhat well, but not nearly as good as professional tools. Even though this tool has a couple of hang-ups, it will still lighten your workload significantly.
9. UPETTOOLS Automatic Vacuum Water Changer
Unlike the other water changers in this article, this one has a higher-quality construction. This does not use flimsy plastic parts, and the squeeze pump is made of silicone instead of thin rubber. Even though this set is just a bit more expensive, it will last significantly
Also, unlike the other products in this list, this one has a real valve that helps in controlling the water flow. You can set the flow to just half of the capacity, so you can have enough time to clean the gravel using the vacuum attachment.
Speaking of the gravel cleaner, this one has a wide and tall chamber for cleaning the substrate. This tool has just the right amount of suction to lift the substrate but not siphon them up the inlet tube. In addition, the vacuum chamber has a substrate filter that does not permit gravel and your fish from getting through.
The included hose is a bit on the short side, so I was thankful that you can add more lengths of hose. The included hose is enough to reach a bucket placed on the floor near the tank, but I added even more hose so the water goes straight into the storm drain.
The hose that came with the tool is much thicker than what the other water replacement tools come with, but that also means that it is stiffer. I had a harder time using the gravel cleaner because the hose was a bit too stiff.
- Has an actual valve to control water flow
- Comes with a durable rubber hose
- The gravel cleaner is wide and rigid
- Has an option to increase hose length
- The package comes with a cleaning brush
- The hose is a bit too stiff
This product is a great basic aquarium siphon. However, some areas need improvement. Some of the things you can do would be using a softer, more flexible hose, improving the valve, and adding more hose length. Still, it is a very good beginner-level aquarium cleaning tool.
10. ZaneSun Gravel Cleaner Water Changer
This is one of, if not the best, water-changing tools I have ever used. This tool connects directly to your kitchen faucet. You just need to run a length of hose from the tank to the sink and turn on the faucet. The running water from the faucet will create a vacuum in the valve, which will then suction water from the tank.
Speaking of this tool fitting your faucet, you only need to screw this onto the tip of your faucet and it should be good. If your faucet does not have threading, you can get fittings for it in your local hardware store.
I like using this product because it means I do not need to lug around a heavy bucket full of nasty-smelling water. The dirty water goes directly into the kitchen sink, so there is no risk of spilling stinking tank water on your carpet or upholstery.
If you have other water-changing tools, like the ones with the manual pumps, you can use their cleaning attachments on this product. You only need to get a hose that fits the attachments and you are ready to go. I love using this product for cleaning the gravel as it can provide more suction compared to siphons.
The obvious issue that I have with this product is that you have to buy the other parts separately. I first thought that this tool already came with the necessary parts but it does not. I had to order the parts separately, like the Aqueon aquarium water changer 25 feet and waited for a week or so before I could start using it to clean my aquarium.
- Easy and convenient to use
- Can fit on most kitchen and garden faucets
- A lot less messy to use
- Can be used in refilling the tank
- Compatible with other aquarium maintenance tools
- You will need to buy the other components separately
This is probably one of the most convenient water-changing tools that I have ever had the pleasure of using. This eliminates the use of buckets and just drains the dirty water into your sink.
What to Look For When Buying a Aquarium Water Changer
Here are some of the features and qualities that you need to look for when you are shopping for a new water changer for your aquarium.
A good water changer would typically come with accessories that will help you maintain your aquarium. The product you buy should at least come with a gravel/sand cleaner and a glass scraper.
All these accessories will help you clean your tank while you are removing water at the same time.
You will need to measure the distance between the bottom of your tank and the top of the bucket you use for draining the water. Make sure that the product that you buy comes with a hose that can go from the bottom of your tank and into your drain bucket.
Even better, get a product with a hose that is long enough that you can place the outlet into a storm drain.
The Durability of Materials
You can easily tell just by holding something if it is made of durable materials or not. There are many water-changing products out there that are made of cheap plastics, and they usually do not last longer than two or three months.
Ease of Use
The pump and valve should be strong enough that you will only need a couple of squeezes to get the water flowing from the tank and into your drain bucket. Some have pistol grips and they look like they are easy to use. However, those are the ones that take the most work to get the water flowing.
If your budget allows, some come with a small submersible pump that you can use as a vacuum cleaner for your aquarium. Some connect directly to your kitchen faucet. Turning on the faucet will create the vacuum needed to draw out the water from the tank.
If you are a beginner at taking care of an aquarium, you will do well using the cheaper plastic water changers, especially if you have a small 10–20-gallon aquarium. If you will only be doing partial water changes, the amount of water you will need to take out won’t even fill halfway up an average-sized bucket.
If you have a larger tank, like say a 100-gallon tank, then you need to get one that has a faster flow rate and attachments that let you reach the corners of your tank.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Dry Out Aquarium Water Changer Hose?
You just need to hang it on a hook that is high enough that both ends are off the ground. This will allow the water inside to drip out and eventually allow the hose to dry. Do not let your hose dry under the sun though, it will make your hose brittle.
How to Get Rid of the Smell of Plastic on the Tubing of the Aquarium Water Changer?
The only way you can get rid of the plastic smell is to put the tubing outside to air out the smell. In an hour or two, the strong plastic smell will be gone. Also, do not place the hose directly under the sun. Doing so will make the hose hard and brittle.
Just like what has been mentioned many times earlier, a water change tool can make aquarium-keeping a much more enjoyable and relaxing hobby. Aside from the fact that you no longer need to lug around heavy buckets of water, you will also be cleaning the inside of your tank at the same time.
Follow the tips mentioned above and you will surely be able to find the best aquarium water changer that fits your needs and budget.