Thank you... something told me best to leave alone until really necessary.
I am using the 2 HOB
"Water Polishers" that was include with the Aqueon Quietflow canister filter instead of the typical return flow. The polishers use filter cartridges which in theory should cut down on the filter cleaning times.
I changed the cartridges a few times and the water is so clear the fish look suspended. In my 75 gallon I have 10 cardinals,5 tetras, 12 tiger barbs, 6 platys, 2 pearl gourmais,4 corys and 10 nertite snails plus giving all live plants a shot and everything doing great. ph 7.0 and NO ammonia,nitrites or nitrates
Why? Because no matter how delicately you clean you're removing biological filtration ability. This is particularly important when the filter media is new as it [seems] to take much longer to establish a bacterial colony on biological media like bio balls and ceramic cylinders than mechanical media like pads and hybrids like foam. You must maintain the permanent
bacterial colony when cleaning.
In that vein the question really becomes, "How do I clean the filter?"
My suggestions are:
1) Get a 10-gallon galvanized wash tub.
2) Get a 1-gallon or so bucket.
3) Fill the wash tub about 2/3 full with tank water.
4) Remove the canister filter.
5) Unload the canister putting any permanent media like bio balls, ceramic cylinders and foam into the wash tub. Put any "filters" into the bucket.
6) Reload with new or cleaned "filters" doing nothing more to the permanent media than swishing a bit in the water in the wash tub.
Back to your original question of, "How often?" I suggest you wait at least 2-3 months for your new tank before the first cleaning.[/QUOTE]