We have the elite stingray 10, it is the only filter we have ever had for our tank, and have had it about 4 years. It is working as well now as the first day we bought it. The carbon baskets, I was advised to change every 6 weeks, but I confess I do not change them that often. The sponges we clean in aquarium water, as is normal, but only change those if they become split or raggy.
But you need to remove the bottom of the motor/pump where the impeller is and clean that regularly, get all the sludge and muck out. We also have hard water here, so that needs knocking off as well. I had not done it for a while, an oversight on my part, and the filter was not working so well, but now I have dealt with that, it is back to perfect again.
I would totally recommend this product, it works well for us and we have no complaints with it.
It does come with instructions of how to take it apart and what needs cleaning.