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It is a good idea to suck up the excess mulm and other debris from the top of the substrate, but not a good idea to actually get down into the substrate in trying to clean it. You would disturb a lot of roots and probably uproot some plants if you tried to really clean the top inch or so of substrate. And, you wouldn't accomplish much doing that.
 

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Not sure if your supposed to or not but to be honest ive never done a substrate clean/vac on any of my tanks. I believe as long as its heavily planted and regar water changes are done it will be fine. I do sometimes clean my tanks that hve sand as its much easier to see the detritus in those tanks. For darker substrate where i cant see it, i leave it alone an the plants/microorganism will do the work
 
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