every time i trim down my cheatoe a gang of detritus pours out of it. it is in a 50g fuge, so there is a lot of cheatoe. is there a good way for my to pull out the whole mass of it and get all the crap out without killing all the microfauna in it?
The bacteria in there would be pretty negligible, you might worry about other animals like stomatellas, stars, pods and worms living it, but even those are not going to have a big impact by losing them.
I leave mine alone and it manages to stay clean on it's own. I'm not entirely sure why, but I seem to have a higher turn over rate in my sump than most people. there is a huge amount of pods and worms running through as well which I imagine help devour any detritus.