Just in case useful - nitrates you want to keep below 50 ideally and ph above say 6.4 (depending on fish types). Below 6.4 the good bacteria start to go dormant as they don't like the low ph. Nitrates of 40 to 50 is a warning to do a pwc imo
(some people go less, others more). A thermometer for inside the tank is essential.
Many people here will change out between 20 to 50% of the water each week. Using a gravel vac I'd say I spend an hour and a half a week (when not mucking around with plants) so the lfs
is kind of correct. We have a new puppy and i think i spend 30mins a week on mopping up after it. On the flip side your now water chemist, vet and can own more gear than raising the titanic.
Your filter should be cleaned in old tank water and not tap water as the chlorine will kill off the bacteria and cause a mini cycle.
I find once a tank is set up and running they do just hum along.