I have a very long term 55 gallon planted set up (20+ years). It has an Ehiem wet/dry canister filled with ceramic rings and a little filter floss on top. It has no other filtration or water circulation method. I find this 90's vintage canister a bit cumbersome to clean and I always seem to break something that I then have to improvise a repair for whenever I touch it. Consequently, my record between cleanings of this filter at least 2 1/2 years and I'm pretty sure it's much longer.
OK I'll confess it, there was a time when I too ran filtration until flow restriction indicated it was time for a cleaning,,, thought that was good use of a canister.
(now not so much)
Is dragging water through filthy filter material something that amounts to bragging rights?
(just another thought on topic)
The Fraternity of Dirt
If at first you don't succeed,,, keep kicking it RubberSideDownOnTheLanding, 2-75g planted, 5-55g planted, 5-20g planted, 110g w/30g sump, 8-10g, Refugium, doghouse/newbie 2012 update adding table top pleco pans & a 90g (Nutz)
My parents community tank is probably going on at least 3 years since the last cleaning. The last time it was cleaned we found 2 baby mollies that had to have been living in there for a few months. One was a little deformed but they lasted quite a long time and never had a problem getting food or swimming.