So my HOB filter uses carbon cartridges, and I want to avoid using them ever again as from reading and learning on here they are the wrong way to go. For starters I have added a bunch of fluval biomax pieces to a filter media bag and shoved it in behind the cartridge - it has been there since the beginning when I started the tank & cycle like 5 weeks ago. So my question is, how do I go about removing the carbon cartridge without losing the cycle, and making sure I don't need them anymore? I have another media bag and more fluval pieces, should I just shove another in there, wait a couple weeks, then toss the cartridge?

If that's the case, going forward would I just rinse the media bags in tank water and never have to replace them? (never meaning, for like a year or 2 because from what I understand those little pieces last quite a long time).