Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter Reviews and Guide

Product TypeProduct NameCheck Price
penn-plax-cascade-500Penn Plax Cascade 500Check Price on Amazon
penn_plax_cascade_700Penn Plax Cascade 700Check Price on Amazon
Penn_Plax_Cascade_1000_Canister_FilterPenn Plax Cascade 1000Check Price on Amazon
penn_plax_cascade_1200Penn Plax Cascade 1200Check Price on Amazon
penn_plax_cascade_1500Penn Plax Cascade 1500Check Price on Amazon

Why Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter is the Best


Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter series offers the best at an affordable price also. With high-tech filtration mechanism, all the canister filters in the series, i.e, Penn Plax Cascade 1500, 1000, 1200, 700 and 500 are well suited for different aquarium capacity ranging up to 200 gallons.


Being an aquarist is not easy but it will give you an immense amount of satisfaction to see those tiny little creatures swimming around healthy and happily under your care.

To provide your aqua-friends with a perfect atmosphere to dwell in, having a canister filter is a must. Many of the small-sized aquariums have internally placed canister filters.

But if you own a large-sized heavy aquarium, then you are definitely supposed to have an external canister filter that will make your cleaning work less tedious. It will cut your work of cleaning every once in a while but still keeping your aquarium pollutant free.

Currently, Penn Plax Cascade series manufactures the most acclaimed powerful canister filter with the best possible features. They are designed with a large amount of filter media that are being installed to keep your aquarium clean even with your long absence from maintenance work.

Given below is a table with details of Cascade canister filter series.

Model Item Number For Aquariums Up to Gallons Per Hour (GPH) No. of Media Baskets Dimensions (in Inches)
Penn Plax Cascade 500 CCF1UL 30 gallons 115 GPH 2 11.5 X 13.5 X 9
Penn Plax Cascade 700 CCF2UL 65 gallons 185 GPH 2 11.5 X 15 X 10
Penn Plax Cascade 1000 CCF3UL 100 gallons 265 GPH 3 11.5 X 17 X 10
Penn Plax Cascade 1200 CCF4UL 150 gallons 315 GPH 4 11.5 X 20.5 X 11
Penn Plax Cascade 1500 CCF5UL 200 gallons 350 GPH 5 11.5 X 20.5 X 12

Penn Plax Cascade Features


The Cascade canister filter is designed with locking lid, impeller motors, intake and outtake tubes and different types of filter media.

The work starts with the intake tube channeling the water from the aquarium tank to the canister filter where the filtration process undergoes with the help of different types of filter media.

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The impeller motor then channels back the filtered water from the canister storage cylinder to your aquarium. The following features offered in the Penn-Plax Cascade aquarium canister filter series ease up the process.

High Flow Rate of Cascade Filter

The high flow rate characteristically available with the Cascade canister filter series efficiently ensures powerful and speedy water flow along with several layers of effective filtration mechanism.

Considering the variety in the quality of water content of your aquarium ranging from fresh to saltwater, these canister filters are crafted to give an almost perfect performance with every aquarium.

The attractive color of cobalt blue makes it appealing to everyone’s eyes when placed next to the aquarium. The high flow rate ensures water circulation in a regular interval that discards all the unwanted toxic fish waste from your aquarium.

And the feature that makes this cascade filter series most desirable is the regulator or the control valve for adjusting the water flow rate whenever and however required according to the size of the aquarium and fish living in it.

The control valves are also useful for cutting off the water flow for any issues related to the maintenance that may lead to leak and mess if continued with the flow of water into the canister filter.


Multi-Stage and Quite a Filtration of Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

For effective filtration mechanism, the Penn Plax Cascade series has pre-installed filter media of different types along with the large filter trays. The numerous baskets for holding up the filter media makes it possible to have a combination of all with different filtration techniques for delivering efficient multi-stage filtration.

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The pollutants in your aquarium can be different in their composition and approached to get rid of them. The combination of all these filter medium to discard different types of toxicity like chemical, mechanical or biological waste helps to provide the aquarium creatures with a healthy atmosphere to grow in.

Cascade Filter series is amongst the favorites of everyone who has ever used these because of its large filter chambers which facilitate more space to include various filter media for effective filtration and longer maintaining periods to help adjust your fish even when you are not around to take care of them.

Filtration Media of Cascade Canister Filter

The Penn-Plax Cascade aquarium canister filter package includes different media for your convenience. You may use them or can make your own combination depending on the type of waste created in your aquarium.

It is suggested to go for having a wide array of filtration possibilities to accomplish total cleanliness from every toxicity. The filtration media can be of bio-sponges, bio-floss or activated carbon depending on the composition of the waste produced in your aquarium.

It is always recommended to use the combination with more filter media because the more the media, lesser is the chance of having foul water for your aquarium creatures and reduced maintenance needs and time.

The Cascade Filter Easy to Set-up and Maintain

While buying a Cascade canister filter, the most disturbing thoughts you may have of the difficulty in setting up the filter. For your convenience, the Penn Plax Cascade canister aquarium filter series canister filter is designed to facilitate comfortable and easier set up of the machine.

Any equipment that you may need for installation work is easily available and accessible. The fast filtration mechanism then clean and clear up your aquarium after installation.

As fast as within 30 minutes of installation the filtration begins and you will be able to see the improvement in the water quality within a day or less. The Cascade filter contains a self-priming button on the lid for easy and reachable starting switch.

Your work will be reduced to only pressing the button as many as times you think is required to get sufficient speed of water flows from the intake tube into the filter. The rest work is done by the filter to keep your aquarium clean and ideal for the fish living in it.

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Additional Features of Penn Plax Cascade Series Which Makes it Wonderful and Easy for Set-up

  • Loaded with two independent directional 360-degree rotating valve taps to ensures hassle-free placement.
  • Swimming pool style hose clamps facilitate easy assembling or disassembling of filter for setup and maintenance.
  • Flow-rate control valves provide easy adjustment of flow rate to avoid any mess created because of excessive water flow or leakage.
  • The directional return, meaning the channel from the aquarium to the filtration tank and then back aids for easy circulation of waste and freshwater.
  • Easy-lift clamps provide for the simple removal of the top lid as and when required for cleaning or changing filter media.
  • Air-tight permits no water to leak from the filtration tank and for a very quiet and sound free operation.
  • A mounted tip-proof rubber base prevents the filter from any unwanted movement.

Pros and Cons of Cascade Filter Series



  • Affordable price in comparison to other canister filters in the class.
  • Comes with a well-explained user manual that makes your set up work easy and fun-filled.
  • Adjustable buttons to control the flow of water through valves present.
  • Noise-free operation.
  • Available in different capacity range for you to choose from that will require less of your efforts in maintaining.
  • The best quality at the price.
  • Long-lasting and durable.
  • Tip-proof base.
  • Always remain in demand amongst the aquarist.


  • The size and shape of some trays do not fit snug, creating a passage for the water to bypass through the media. But this problem has a solution too. The filter floss available in the market can easily be stuck to the side areas to prevent the flow of water through snug.
  • The motor and pumping parts of the canister filter from the Cascade filter series offered by Penn Plax are sealed and covered. So if there remains any residual waste matter, algae or any debris then that stays unreachable and removing it becomes difficult.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter Assembling Manual


Prepare Penn Plax Cascade Filter

The top lid of the Penn-Plax Cascade aquarium canister filter can be opened using the lock clips. Once it has been opened, the motor unit can be removed. You can remove the filter basket from the filter case then.

Prepare Media Baskets of the Cascade Canister Filter

The filtration process starts from the bottom of the filtration tank and then stir the water at the top. Using a floss pad and carbon bag in the bottom basket help in effective cleaning. Whereas the combination of floss pad and coarse sponge pad in the top basket is recommended.

Reassemble the Cascade Filter

Now to reassemble the Penn Plax Cascade canister aquarium filter, place the seal ring, connector and the media basket cover over the top basket. Media baskets can be fit using the clips that are attached on the sides of the top basket.

Once you install these clips, you have to slide the media basket into the slots. You will find a small opening on the motor unit. This must put in a line with the holes in the basket.

Attach the Valves of Penn-Plax Cascade Aquarium Canister Filter

The valves are easy to attach. Once you attach these valves to ports on the motor unit, you will be able to restrict the flow of water. Both “in” and “out” port are marked with different colors.

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The valve with blue ring must be attached to the “in” port and the black one must be attached to the “out” port.


Position the Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Placing your cascade filter in an easy place for your reach is a good idea. It can be accessed without any discomfort. The hose is not supposed to attach yet. Hose with valves can be removed from the motor easily enough to remain at the aquarium during filter maintenance.

Hose Attachment Cascade Canister Filter

The intake tube and hose must be attached. The blue-colored hose ring must be fit aligning the intake port. Now, attach the intake tube extension and the strainer. Using two suction cups will help in securing the intake tube to the aquarium wall.

Exhaust Hose Assembly of Penn Plax Cascade

Either a spray bar or a directional spout can be used. Any choice you make will help to break surface water to provide oxygen exchange for your aquarium. The only difference between these two is the force asserted.

While in case of the directional spout a forceful circulating flow is created in any direction whereas the spray bar evenly distributes the filtered water across the length of the aquarium. You can even adjust the height for positioning the directional spout or spray bar. The two extra elbow connectors will do the needful.


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