I have an aquaclear 500 that I converted to a mini fuge. The main problem with not doing a full change and just cleaning the pads is that you disturb all the "crud" that sinks to the bottom of the aquaclear. When you pull the basket out, it creates a suction that pulls all the "crud" out as well, and then the particles get pushed back in your tank. I think it would be reasonable to alternate doing a through rinse once a week on these units.
3' fine sand bed 1x Orange Stripe Prawn shrimp goby, 1x sixline wrassemated pair of true percula clowns, 1x CBS shrimp, 2x peppermint shrimp, 1x pistol shrimp, 1x tiger tale cuke
, ~20+ snails, ~10+ hermits, 1xserpent star.
green Bubble coral, hammer coral (8 heads!) ,various Zoos,green finger leather, green star polpys ,shrooms
175w 10k MH
28w actinic 03
2x maxi jett 1200
Prizm skimmer (modded)
Hagen powerfilter(for running carbon 24/7)
nano arctica chiller