Originally Posted by Bombalurina
If you want to have something that is cheaper in the long run, buy yourself a filter that only uses sponges and ceramic noodles. Run the two filters together in the tank for a month, then remove the carbon one. You don't have to replace the contents of a non-carbon filter til it is absolutely falling apart. :)
I stopped using Carbon in all my tanks, it's not necessary and can actually cause problems if you do not replace them often enough. The only time carbon is useful: when you need to take out medication or if your tank begins to smell. Instead I use filter floss, sponges, and ceramic rings- all of which do not need to be replaced until they are literally falling apart.