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Another alternative would be to add your own filter media to the existing filter. Since the cartridge's size is likely optimised for chemical filtration (check if that is the case for your filter, the cartridge will have carbon in it), you want to fill up all that empty space to improve the capacity of the biological cleanup.

It's fairly likely that there is enough space in the filter to add sponge material together with the old media. After a few weeks you can replace the old cartridge with even more media without problems. The only thing to watch out for is that you don't compress the media, causing a blockage or an overflow.
 
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