09-04-2012, 08:18 AM
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Yes, that's how it works.
My method :
At the weekly water change, I quickly hover the gravel cleaner everywhere, to get at the fallen leaves and whatnots. I then do a more thorought cleaning of half the tank. I dig about 1 inch in the gravel. You will see it go up in the cleaner tube, getting agitated a lot and the gunk will come out. After 5-10 seconds of this, I plug the end of my cleaner (where the water comes out) and wait for the gravel to come back down. Lather, rinse & repeat. Usually, I aim for a 40-50% water change, and cannot do the whole tank at once. I do the other half the week after.
Also, I dont do this deep cleaning near the plants root.
BTW, how were you doing your water changes before ? It's so easy with a gravel cleaner...