Cleaning up tank
So I did some pruning in my tank a couple of weeks ago, and I also ended up having to move some plants around because they grew faster than I thought and needed to move to the background. There has been a little bit of die-off and some stray leaves dropping since then, but now everything is growing well again. There are also a few sword plants that need to be uncovered and relocated because the ludwigia is literally growing an inch a day, and it is creating too much shade.
I am now afraid I will have to do a good cleanup the substrate (sand over floramax) and all the detritus that has accumulated in between the plant stems, etc. But I have red cherry shrimp as well as a school of cories. None of them will move out of the way when I vacuum, so I've had to put a mesh screen over the end of the gravel vacuum since I sucked up a couple of shrimp and a cory got a nice ride as well (nobody died). The cories actually seem to deliberately try to swim into the gravel vac tube. I have a tall, deep corner tank, so in order to do all the cleaning I need, I will basically have to go in blind and just push the vacuum in between the plants and into the back corner where I can't even see.
I do have snails, but they aren't taking care of the bulk of the dead leaves. Tips for cleaning this out without sucking anyone up? I have 40 fish in the tank, and I don't think I could net and move all of them even if I tried. I was even thinking of getting some little creatures (daphnia, copepods, etc.), but I'm sure they would become fish snacks before they did much in the way of cleaning the substrate.