It is really simple to fully clean this type of set up.

I just fold the netting, or Coir, which holds all of the plants, and slowly pull it up out of the tank while making sure the fish slip through of course, and place the whole mat into a bucket of fresh water from my tap.

Then I wipe all glass with one of those nylon body scrubber puffs you can get at walmart or where ever for cheap.

Now I start siphoning into a bigger 5 gallon bucket.  Sometimes I admit to siphoning evening more than 50% water.  I can get away with this because I don’t have to worry about cycling for nitrifying bacteria with this set up.  It’s more like a large (10g) water bowl.  The plants do the cleaning!

I refill the tank to just under the top.

I use my fingers to wipe down large leaves from slime, and pull any wasting leaves, etc., and rearrange if necessary, while the plant mat is in the bucket,  fold it in, pull it back out, and slowly lower it back into the tank.  Making sure not to harm the fish.  I do keep the mat at an angle, so the fish have all the space behind it while I replace it.  It stays at an angle anyway, so that the plants at the back are higher up than the front.  I like the look.  I have to rearrange some of the plants that moved during folding, but it’s easy enough.

My Fish Tank Cleaning Video is here:  (My crazy old Mom is at the end.  She gets her fame!)