My Eheim Gravel Vacuum Review

I got in my Eheim gravel vacuum the other day, and since I haven’t found any comprehensive reviews on it yet, here are my impressions of the device. I figure there are a lot of people out there who are on the fence about getting one, so hopefully this will give you the information to make a decision.


I was lead to purchase this device when I was looking for a way to clean my new tank. The python was out of the picture because I had no possible place to hook it up to. I was browsing on the Petsmart website when I saw this device and all of the positive reviews that it had received there. So I decided to give it a go and dropped my dough on it. It was a little pricey at $50, but I figured the hassle it would save me would be worth it.

A few days later, it arrived. The Eheim gravel vacuum is a pretty simple tool - to assemble it out of the box, you stick in the impeller and the two pieces of suction housing over it. Then throw in the 4 AA batteries, and you are ready to clean (the battery compartment is sealed with a o-ring, so it is supposed to be fully submersible, which I did not test)!


The assembled product is pretty large. My 14 gal tank is 15” high and you can see in the photo that the vac is a bit longer, 23” to be exact. It is totally wireless/tubeless, giving you great freedom of movement – when you’re ready to clean, all you do is click the power button on top, and it will start sucking water. The way it works is that it sucks water about ¾ up the device, at which point the water drops back down through the inside of the filter. When the water reaches the bottom of the inside of the filter, it gets forced through and out the filter and back into the tank, leaving any debris stuck inside the filter. The filter material is a very small sieve, so anything you can see with your own eyes should not be able to pass through it.





Once you are done, cleaning the vac is too easy. You just snap out the filter, take off the two endcaps, and rinse out all the debris. That’s it!


So what about its performance? With my limited experience and use of the vac, I would say pretty good. It didn’t fail to pick up any old flake food and bits of plant debris from my gravel, and since it didn’t drain water from the tank, I was able to very thoroughly vacuum my gravel. However, the vacuum wasn’t so strong that it sucked up any gravel (I have medium~largish gravel), plants, or fish. With that said, I don’t think it would pick up solid, non-floating debris very well. I did a test with some uncooked rice, and it sucked up a bunch of the rice, but mostly it just stirred up the rice. That should give you an idea of how strong the suction is. And since it is a large device, for those with a smaller/cramped tank, it may be difficult to maneuver this vac around. For my purposes though, it was more than enough.

In conclusion, the Eheim gravel vacuum is a very simple to use and easy to maintain device. Though you still need to do water changes separately, you can get your gravel cleaner than you would with a plain ol’ siphon, and you don’t have to deal with a mess of tubes. I can’t say how it would handle large, messy fish like Oscars, but for medium and small fish like my danios, it is the perfect cleaning tool. The price may turn away some people, but the fun it puts into cleaning and the trouble it saves is worth it.

If you have any questions about this product, I’ll be happy to answer them as best as I can.
But don't you still have to do water changes?
Though you still need to do water changes separately, you can get your gravel cleaner than you would with a plain ol’ siphon, and you don’t have to deal with a mess of tubes.[/quote]

Yep,,,still need to do water changes!

Sounds great for med. sized tanks, did they offer a larger model for larger tanks?
Thanks, sounds like a good tool. I appreciate your going to the trouble of writing about it.
  • Thread Starter
As far as I know, this is the only size model that is offered. It could work in a larger tank depending on what kind of fish you have.

And I do my water changes with a bucket, so the fact that it doesn't remove water works out for me.
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