Originally Posted by sainthogan
Is there anything special I need to do when I replace the filter cartridge? I have 2 live plants in my tank.
This depends....size of tank, age of tank, stocking, species of plants and how mature the nitrogen cycle.
I don't change my filter media until its falling apart-generally all that need to be done with the filter media is to give it a good rinse/swish in the bucket of old tank water a couple of times a month.
Unless you plan to use carbon and it is part of your filter media-like with the cartridges-then you need to change that per package direction.
You may or may not need to cut a section from the old filter media sponge and add to your new filter media to seed it, however, this depends on the factors I stated above.
Carbon isn't needed in most tanks-its more of a personal choice. With that said, its a good idea to always have some fresh/unused carbon on hand for emergencies.