Welcome to AA ttop
I'm a big fan of the Filstar series myself. Reasonably priced, easy to clean, quiet, reliable and lots of capacity for various media options.
Also ttop, The small white pad is for catching small particles of waste. The charcoil is what polish's water. Charcoil generally only holds it's polishing ability for a week. I personally don't even bother with charcoil in any of my tanks.
If you really want sparkling water. Check into getting a diatom filter. Unless your keeping sensitive fish like Discus etc.... IMO
you might be wasting money purchasing a diatom. How big a tank and what type set up?
's/cleaning and feeding correctly (not to much) with the help of your XP2 should be more than enough to maintain nice, clean water. HTH