Yeh these pertain to me. Thanks!!
Canister filter says clean it every 3 months. So it needs to be cleaned more often with a dirt tank?
I would open the canister after three week's and clean all filter material except biomedia (Ceramic's,bioball's,etc)
This is only what I do,but yes,,the soil based tanks filter media seem's to me to get dirtier faster IME.
If the filter material is near black when rinsed in sink or bucket of aquarium water,then I might consider cleaning the filter more often.
Don't take long to get a feel for how dirty the filter material is getting between cleaning's.
I Started with fishy side of the hobby,and good robust filtration that is kept clean produced the best result's ,so monthly filter cleaning was what worked the best for me regardless of what type of substrate I was using.
Same for weekly 50% water changes.
Is still what I do.
Mileage would vary for many folk's depending on a whole slew of factor's Like fish load.frequency of feeding's,size of tank.filter size,etc.
If you place a little biomedia in the filter, and do not rinse it under tap water which might contain chlorine,then you can get fairly aggressive with cleaning the filter pad's,sponges,etc.
I buy spare set of media for my filter's and just swap out dirty ones for clean ones which I clean under the tap in sink.
I leave the biomedia alone except to maybe pour the water I drain from the canister over the basket of biomedia.