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[APD] Vaccuming the gravel for planted tanks


I have a question about regular cleaning of planted
tanks. I change about 20% of the water in my 20 gallon
tank every week. People have told me to vaccum gravel
during the cleaning but I'm not so sure if I should do
that with planted tanks. I get the feeling that I
shouldn't disturb the substrate or roots of the
plants. So I haven't cleaned my gravel for a long time
now. What do you guys think? Do you vaccum the gravel
in your planted tank? 

On a slightly different topic, I've been having very
high ammonia reading for about 2 months now. Do you
think this may have been caused by me not vaccuming
the gravel? I've tried everything to get rid of the
ammonia. 40% water changes every other day, but the
ammonia just won't drop? What's going on? Why isn't my
beneficial bacteria growing? Do I have to change the
sponge in my filter (AquaClear 200 on a 20 gallon


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