Well this hobby can be really easy to maintain if you keep up with your chores. Every tank is different and run differently but you can apply the same rules to all set-ups. It's easier to break down the maintenance if you separate them. I recommend a journal or a simple notebook to write down the days you need to clean your tank or change your media. I myself keep a record on my phone and alerts me when it's time for some tune up.
I run Filter Floss, Purigen and Chemi-Pure in my Mediabasket.
I replace my Filter Floss every week, Purigen is recommend to be change every 6 months or until the beads exhaust and turn brown/dark. The Chemi-Pure, according to the manufacturer is suppose to be change every 6 months as well, suggestions by other forum members and hobbyist suggest 3-4 months. I look at it as depending how my tank looks and its bio-load, usually lasts me from 4-6 months. Since this tank is fairly recent I used the Chemi-Pure Nano when I set it and let the tank cycle. Once my ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates where 0, it was time to get rid of it and replace it with a regular size 6.5oz. Now I will place a memo on my phone to remind me to within 4 months to check the status on how it's doing.
So being that I'm replacing my Chemi-Pure I figure I might as well check my Purigen and since my Filter Floss is schedule to be replace I start doing my changes.
Now as you can see my Purigen has turned brown and it's exhausted so it's time to remove. The Purigen can be either replace or wash under a certain process to bring it back to life(I will discuss this on a later blog).
As you can see we are ready to go. I then turn off my pumps and proceed to start scraping and cleaning my glass. Any detritus will fall on the substrate and here is where your siphon tube is good for. I myself do a 10% water change. You wanna make sure to siphon your substrate and pass on lightly enough to not disturb your sand. I use a turkey baster to blast any detritus on rock surfaces. Now that you siphon your water it's time to replenish your tank.
Next step is to turn back on your pumps and your set to go for your next maintenance schedule.
(Next upcoming blog... maintenance part II, taking pumps, skimmers, and powerheads and giving them a good scrub)