DSenn, a few things you may try are to make sure the intake tube inside the tank is only about midway up the tank, this may help from pulling so much debris into the filter, you can use a pipe cleaner to clean out the bottom of the tank. I have an older penguin 350 that I have had for about 3 years and it still works beautifully. Once a month or so I take the filter off the tank and clean it out in the sink. I don't know about the new ones, but the older ones come apart easily, if your sink has a sprayer, you can hold it upside down and spray it out with hot water. This method has always worked well for me.
Saltwater junkie... 2 90 gal. bowfront tanks liked the first one so much, I got another one. Both FOWLR but newest one is reef in the making.