My filter cartridge is all gunky and the water hardly goes through it at all anymore and just flows out of the overflow thing on the side.
So now the flow in my tank is a lot stronger because it's not being baffled by the cartridge and it's all coming out the overflow thing. My fish doesn't like it too much. How can I fix it? I rinse it off in the water that I gravel-vac'ed off, but it's still all gunky. Can I scrape stuff off the surface of it (looks like brown algae maybe)? What if I got a new cartridge? I know that would mess up my cycle but what if I stacked my old cartridge on top of the new one in the filter (it has like an open top under the hood)? will the bacteria colonize the new cartridge eventually and then I could just remove the old one? That might be really stupid. I have no idea. lol.
Basically right now it's not functioning as a filter because hardly any water is actually going through it. What should I do?