Katalox Light and flow rate

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Seven years ago I purchased an air injected Katalox Light filter with a Fleck 2510 SXT valve in a 12x54 Vortech tank. At the time I also purchased a cheap home depot water softener where the softener tank sat inside the bring tank. My water has a strong sulfur smell and the air injected Katalox filter removed it 100%. These have also been just about maintenance free until now.

About 6 months ago my water pressure began to drop at all my faucets and today I finally got into looking into replacing the Katalox Light as I had assumed it was clogged and had failed. Unfortunately I dumped all of the Katalox Light out before I tore apart the valve. It turns out the issue was a stuck backflow preventer on the inlet of the Fleck! I didn't even know it was there.. The media that I dumped out however did has visible iron throughout it.

Water flow rate 10.5 GPM
Hardness = 5.1 GPG
Iron = 4.09 PPM
Magnesium = 6.42 PPM
Manganese .221 PPM
PH 7.61
Water temp = 50f (taken in February in Maine - Well is 200ft deep so water stays cold in the summer)

So, my plan is as follows -

1.) Purchase a new water softener - this time one with a separate brine tank and a Fleck 5600 which I think I'll be much happier with! (already purchased)
2.) Purchase 2cu ft. of Katalox Light and replace resin in filter.

But I have these questions first -

1.) Do I need to keep the backflow preventer in place or can I remove it? This seems like it would limit flow to the filter especially during backwash. If it needs to be there I'll be sure to check it at least yearly.

2.) Is a 12x54 Vortech tank to big for my flow rate or am I better getting a smaller tank? I already have a spare 10x54 tank laying around but it's not Vortech.

I might be overthinking all of this! With the Iron in my water maybe 7 years is a good lifespan for Katalox and the Softener. If that's the case just let me know!
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