I run a little Penguin 100 HOB
to switch over to a quarantine tank, if required. I change the pads every two weeks, but rinse them off and scrub off all the gunk on them every week. I often run a small bag of carbon on the outlet side of the filter pad, or a Polyfilter from time to time.
I clean the whole unit about once every 6 months, so I'd say your weekly cleaning is probably a bit overkill. Just until recently, my nitrates have never gone above 1.0 ppm
. For some reason they always seem a little elevated during the summer months. Right now they're a tad over 2.0 ppm
. (46g, 10% water change weekly.)