This is a discussion on vacuuming gravel with plants within the Aquarium Plants forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; -->
I'm just wondering how much gravel vacuuming one should do in a heavily planted tank? I try not to vacuum much around the plants ...
I'm just wondering how much gravel vacuuming one should do in a heavily planted tank? I try not to vacuum much around the plants or dig the tube too deep into the gravel because I do not want to damage the roots. Is it necessary to vacuum much of the gravel to keep nitrates down? Or is changing 25% of the water per week enough?
Correct. The substrate is a source of nutrients for the plants, and should be left alone. You can read more here in the bit about substrate bacteria: Bacteria in the Freshwater Aquarium
You mentioned nitrates; in a natural planted tank you should not have nitrate issues. What are your nitrates? Also, what is the light, and what fertilizers if any are you using? This is all inter-connected.