Moved to hardware/equipment forum:
Weekly cleanings are all that's needed. That involves unplugging the filter, opening it up, rinsing any sponges or other waste trapping sources well in used SW
, replacing everything back, filling with SW
water, and plugging back in.
is ok for occasional use but not for more then 2 weeks and make sure you buy quality GAC
(Black Diamond for example) since cheaper brands tend to leach po4
Purgien is a much better media. This is a synthetic polymer that removes proteins, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. It works very quickly and lasts for a couple of months. It can easily be regenerated
with household bleach and can be reused about 8-10 times before needing replacement. I regenerate mine every 3-4 months as needed.