3 Ways to Siphon Your Aquarium Water

Cleaning Aquarium with Siphon Vacuum Image Credit: osseous on Flickr

To clean your aquarium by far the easiest method is to siphon your aquarium water with a siphon vacuum gravel cleaner. A lot of first time fish owners gets confused with how to start the siphoning process to actually get the water to start. The oldest and most commonly used technique to start a siphon would be “sucking the siphon tube”. However a lot of us don’t necessarily like to suck on the siphon tube with the chances of getting the dirty aquarium water into our mouths for hygienic reasons. Luckily, there are other ways to start a siphon without using your mouth.

To start the siphon, it’s important that your aquarium is on a higher ground than the bucket you’re going to siphon the water into.

Sucking the Siphon Tube

Perhaps the most common way of starting a siphon and the easiest way. However some of us might get grossed out since no matter what you’ll have to suck some dirty aquarium water into your mouth.

Steps to start a siphon with sucking the siphon tube:

  1. In order for the siphon to begin, all the air must be sucked out.
  2. Remove your mouth from siphon tube and place your thumb over the tube to prevent water from spilling all over.
  3. Move siphon tube to an empty bucket and release your finger.
  4. Water should now be flowing into your bucket.

Immersing the Siphon Tube

You can also get the siphon started by first putting your entire siphon tube into your aquarium to get all of the air out.

Steps to start a siphon with immersing:

  1. Lower your entire siphon tube into your aquarium tank, slowly to remove all the air out of the tube.
  2. Plug the one end with one of your thumb.
  3. Release your thumb to allow the water to start flowing into the bucket.

Priming Ball

Some siphon gravel vacuum cleaner comes with a priming ball to get all of the air out. Additionally, you can also add a priming ball if your siphon tube doesn’t come with one.Steps to start a siphon with a priming ball:

  1. Place the end of the tube near your bucket
  2. Squeeze your priming ball to force the air bubbles into your aquarium tank.
  3. You must release your finger quickly once the water reaches the top of your aquarium tank. If air gets to the top of the siphon tube then it won’t flow.
  4. Allow the water to start flowing into the bucket.


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