For my first tank I went with a petco 6.6g bookshelf aquarium. With it came a cartridge based HOB. Is their an alternative to the cartridges for this setup? I don't like the idea of throwing away the cartridges with all of the good bacteria on it every time.
"carbonic compounds" = carbon matter... not the activated carbon cartridge.
most on this board don't use activated carbon in their filter, and I'm amoung them. it has little benefit for everyday filtering and just takes up space and costs money. save it for when you have to dose some medication and then use it to remove the medication. and remember a pack of activated charcoal only lasts like 30 days.
Could you explain the benefits of leaving the old carbon cartridge in a bit more?
Reusing the old media preserves the most important filter in your tank: the nitrifying bacteria colonies. If you trash the filter media instead of removing the mulm buildup, you are basically creating a mini-cycle at best, and a complete recycle at worst - ammonia spikes, nitrite spikes, etc.