I have a penn-plax cascade 400 internal filter. I don;t think it's a particularly excellent filter but it was cheap so I bought it until I can find a good one second hand somewhere or until I find out that it is actually doing a good job anyway.
My issue is that it has a "activated carbon cartridge" in it which is a box filled with stones or something! I have 2 issues with this cartridge:
(i) I don't want carbon in my filter in the first place. My personal opinion is that is unecessary. In a fully cycled tank, mechanical filtering is plenty. Also if I have to medicate, I will have to remove it anyway.
(ii) It's so noisey! I don't just mean you can hear a pump running, I mean that it rings in my ear 24/7 now whether I am in proximity of the filter, or even my house or not. I can't sleep with it running and my boyfriend is even staying with his parents until I can "sort that **** out!". I have had it running for over a week now and I've really had enough!
So my question is can I just remove the carbon cartridge? If I do, do I have to put something in place of it? There is a place for the sponge, and a place for the carbon as well in the filter so would I just fill the space with filter wool, for those small filters you often see in pet shops? Or leave it empty?
Please help, I would like some sleep tonight!