03-30-2010, 06:30 PM
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ok where to begin... to my knowledge, carbon wont do anything super detrimental to the cycle, but that doesnt mean its super useful either. The only time I use carbon is to remove some of the stain from my 110g tank, and removing medications after the dosing is done.
on top of that, the filter cartridges themselves dont need to be disposed of. The penguin filters use the biowheel for bacterial colonization, not to mention the bacteria grow on every surface in the aquarium.. so changing the pad isnt the end of the world, BUT you dont need to.
since the carbon isnt doing anything super fantastic for you, there is no need to renew it unless you medicate or something. When the filter pad becomes clogged, wait until you do a water change, then swish the pad around in the old tank water, vigorously, too. that will remove all the muck from the pad, then you just pop it back in. My last filter cartridge in my penguin 200 lasted almost a year before it started to fall apart.
the disposable cartridges are just one more way for the companies to make the moolah...