• I always use a fine mesh strainer, just like you would use for food. You can get one cheap at any kitchen store like Bed Bath and Beyond.
  • I use a wet and dry vaccuum cleaner to suck up the water and pebbles, I drain the water off and pour running water (through a hosepipe) over the pebbles in the vac and swill them around until I feel they are clean enough to put back in the tank. I bought the vac at a garage sale cheap and my tank is 30 gallons plus, it's less messy and efficient :o)
  • Our fish tank was a little bigger but we just used a siphon hose to suck the water out. In your case a strainer would probably work if you have one. You can get them at the thrift store for a buck or less. Or you could get a drain screen. I use drain screens on a regular basis anyway to keep from having plumbing problems (I have long hair, so they're a must) you can get a set of three of them for a dollar at the dollar store. Prices may vary based on your location of course.

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