I have a question. When they talk about using a cycled filter to start a new aquarium is better because it gives the nitro cycle a head start, does that imply the filter cartridges too and where and how do you store the cycled filter and cartridges?
Yes, cartridges and media included. That's where all the good stuff is. As for storage, don't if you don't have to. Just move the filter straight from one tank to the next. The bacteria populating the filter will be aerobic, and without constant water flow will most likely die in a few hours. That being said, there should still be spores left from which new bacteria can grow. My thought would be that if you HAD to, you could dump the water out of the filter and stick the whole thing in the fridge for up to a week maybe. Wouldnt be as good as fresh, but better than nothing. But that is just my theory based on my rusty microbiology!