It's a messy job but it has to be done. Everyone who keeps fish has to do it in order to keep their tanks clean. You can do it the old fashion way with a hose and buckets or create a custom solution with an inline water pump. There is no way around keeping your fish tank clean and if you are in the market for an inline water pump to help speed things up, here are our top picks for keeping your fish tank clean.
Best In-line Water Pumps for Fish Tank Cleaning
Most of the time, people use a water hose and buckets to syphon out waste that accumulates in the fish tank. Sloshing around water buckets can get messy and who wants to spill all that mucky water all over the carpet or floor?
Lucky for us, someone at some point took a look at a sump pump and realized it could also be used to create a syphon vacuum to remove dirt and waste from fish tanks. With an in-line water pump, you will need some hose or PVC pipe for the inlet and outlet. Of course, you will also need a drain or large trash can to capture the wastewater. Depending on your situation, you may even use the wastewater in your garden or flower beds.
The Wayne in-line water pump is made with a heavy-duty bronze plated housing for durability. It's small and portable and can pump up to 340 gallons of water per hour. It comes with a threaded discharge outlet that fits a standard garden house.
The SEAFLO water pump has a three-chamber high volume design, driven by a heavy-duty motor produces flow rates of 3.3 gallons per minute. It is capable of self-priming up to 6 vertical feet and can run dry. It also has a built-in Adjustable Pressure Switch that turns on/off at 45 PSI.
Are in-line water pumps loud?
Yes, In-line water pumps are made for industrial and outdoor use to move water from one place to another. The noise was not on the maker's priority list, although some are quieter than others, sump pumps tend to be on the louder end. On the brighter side, you will only use it when cleaning out your fish tank, if you are quick, you won't have to hear it for too long.
What else will I need?
Depending on your setup and fish room size, you may decide to use a simple hose attachment or build out a custom PVC pipe drainage solution. For sure you will need to take some time to figure out pump placement and where the wastewater will go. Sometimes it makes sense to send everything down the drain, for others, wastewater is great for the garden and flower beds.
Can it suck up my fish?
Yes, be very careful around your smaller fish as some inline pumps can have very powerful suction. If possible, use a PVC pipe attachment that is rigid and provides better control of where you are suctioning water from. In cases where you have smaller fish or fry you may want to syphon the wastewater out of your tank using a traditional hose and bucket instead of using the water pump.
If you have fry or smaller fish, you may want to look into a simpler solution like the python water exchanger. It hooks up directly to a water faucet and all the waste water goes down the drain, no water buckets, no mess.
Cleaning out fish tanks can become a real pain in the rear, especially as your fish room grows. Keeping multiple tanks clean is not easy and using the old hose and bucket can become tiresome. Taking some time to plan out a more permanent and efficient solution using an in-line water pump can really help speed up the cleaning process. Yes, they are noisy, but if used carefully and maintained, in-line water pumps can save you tons of time keeping your fish tanks clean.