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Customer Reviews for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters

Heavy-duty external aquarium filter delivers powerful mechanical, chemical and biological filtrationExtra-large capacity stackable fish tank filter media containersThree-year warranty against defectUser-friendly design with push-button self-primerIncludes filter media
Average Customer Rating:
4.038 / 5
4
 / 
5
(132 Reviews) 132
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Breakdown 132 reviews
5 stars
76
4 stars
25
3 stars
9
2 stars
4
1 star
18
107 out of 132(81%)reviewers recommend this product.
Customer Questions & Answers:
15 Questions | 25 Answers
Customer Reviews for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Review 1 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Trouble Priming then it humms!!

PostedMay 16, 2006
Customer Avatar
from Chicago
After installing the tubing on the tank and suction lines, I found allowing a powerhead within the tank to blow into the open end of the suction line, removing the screen obviously, it primes almost instantly!! I have a 125gal and own two cascade 1000s for it. Literally scrubs the water!
I would recommend this to a friend!
Quality 
4 / 5
4 / 5
Performance 
5 / 5
5 / 5
+31points
41of 51voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Have used this filter for 18 months...

PostedJune 20, 2015
Customer Avatar
from Mesa, AZ
I have now been using 2 of the Cascade 700 filters for around 18 months. I would recommend it with a few rminor reservations.
It is usually reasonably priced online compared with other brands.
If you do a little research online and watch some of the excellent YouTube videos about how to setup your media it will work great. It fills from the bottom of the box and pulls water from the top so you need to put at least 2 kinds of sponges in the bottom tray and don't bother with one on the top. In the top tray I highly recommend Biohome Ultimate for the whole top tray. I've found no better biological media than that. Forget about carbon or anti ammonia chips. Don't waste money on expensive bags of their media.
There is a little bit of water that will pass by the trays without being filtered. If you put too much fine pore sponges or pack your filter too tightly, you will reduce your water flow to going around the boxes. Use the filter media I just mentioned and it'll work great and give you clear water and will handle all 3 parts of the nitrogen cycle. It does take a few weeks for any filter to start working properly when it comes to biological filtering. If you are concerned about the bypass, use a little filter floss.
You should expect to clean it out monthly, more often for over feeders or turtles (very messy).
It's easy to prime. If you pay attention when you put it together, it will continue to work. Most of the people who claim it makes noise or doesn't seal or doesn't prime are not reassembling it correctly. It needs a good seal to work right and it can take several hours to get all the little air bubbles discharged.
The 700 model is perfect for 30 to 40 gallon tanks. It's flow is not as good for a 55 gallon or above if you restrict flow by using a spray bar. It works in my 55 gallon great after removing the spray bar. It's too much current flow for 20 gallons and under.
One other issue is that the motor is cooled by the water flowing through it. In 30 gallon tanks or less without good surface airflow, it will heat the water 2-4 degrees. In less than 30 gallon tanks it can become a problem if you live in a hot climate like I do.
All in all, I would definately recommend this filter if you consider the price versus the great job it does. You can get slightly better ones, with their own set of quirks, but not at the price you pay for this.
I would recommend this to a friend!
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

powerful filter

PostedJune 4, 2015
Customer Avatar
from Cleveland OH
I have had wonderfuly clean water w my Cascade 1000. If bought in bulk, the media and floss is not that expensive, but you do need to keep supplying it. The only thing I don't like about this filter is that it is very difficult to prime. We have to "push-button" 100 times to get it going after every water change. Other than the priming hassle, it works great!
I would recommend this to a friend!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great Filter

PostedApril 9, 2015
Customer Avatar
from alabama
I've used back filters for years and this Canister filter is by far the BEST....
I would recommend this to a friend!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Crystal clear water

PostedMarch 27, 2015
Customer Avatar
from Brookville PA
Bought the 700 about a week ago, my water is crystal clear. Bought it at the store for $114, should have bought it on line for a lot less. So far very worth the money. Hope it last though
I would recommend this to a friend!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
3 / 5
3 / 5

Micro bubbles

PostedMarch 3, 2015
Customer Avatar
from Georgia
Bought this and installed in our 75 gal. Now we have micro bubbles covering everything. It has been running for 3 days. Runs very quiet but I hate bubbles on everything. Going to return.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
-5points
0of 5voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great Filter

PostedNovember 19, 2014
Customer Avatar
from San Diego, Ca
real easy to set up out the box works real good no leaks after turning on, water was clear over night
I would recommend this to a friend!
+6points
6of 6voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

If you hate spending hours cleaning tanks BUY IT!

PostedOctober 17, 2014
Customer Avatar
from Elkhart, IN
Have a 75 Gal with a very large and messy Oscar. Had two over the tank filters and was spending hours cleaning his tank about every 4th day with about 40% water changes. Should also mention the filter pads have to be changed weekly on both filters $$$$. Read many reviews, bought the Cascade. After two weeks, I now cut cleaning time down with only about 20% water changes every 7th day (could go much longer but since he lives in his toilet I feel this is pretty important). The water is crystal clear. Easy to assemble, no leaks, started right up. Took about 30 minutes to assemble but I was very thorough with the directions and took my time to make it right. It is silent! No turning the TV up to cover all the splashing from the over the tank filters. My lids now fit perfectly. Definitely one of my favorite purchases!
I would recommend this to a friend!
+13points
13of 13voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

cascade 1000

PostedSeptember 3, 2014
Customer Avatar
from boston
This item was delivered very quickly. Once it arrived i was looking at the detections everything was pretty simple accept there was no extra filter for the top tray, and the o ring was on the motor section not in the items for the pump once i figured that out it was super easy to put together. It also is super quite
I would recommend this to a friend!
-1point
1of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Wrong choice

PostedAugust 5, 2014
Customer Avatar
from Syracuse, NY
Thought It would be a great deal and seemed simple enough to operate. It was nothing less than poorly engineered trash. I threw it away in exasperation after the fourth time it leaked. Flow valves will pop off, so you have to be careful adjusting the flow. If they come off the water squirts out. You need a divining rod and a map to reassemble it after filter change. Plastic body chips or cracks at a whisper.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
-20points
0of 20voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great deal

PostedAugust 3, 2014
Customer Avatar
from GI, NE
This product iS awesome! Cleaning my turtle tank 1/2 as often. Got a REALLY good price online. Even better than the store!
I would recommend this to a friend!
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Great filter not so great media

PostedJuly 17, 2014
Customer Avatar
from Tennessee
It was very east to set up and I like the black that's in the tank so it doesn't stand out to much. I didn't really like the media that came with it so I added my own filter media
I would recommend this to a friend!
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

this product has great features

PostedJune 20, 2014
Customer Avatar
from kennesaw, GA
Easy to use, working great, and very quiet. Good for big tank
I would recommend this to a friend!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Penn Plax Cascade filters

PostedMay 20, 2014
Customer Avatar
from Texas
Great filters. I have two cascade filters, a 750 and 1000. Both work great with little noise and no leaks. You do have to be vigilant in re assembly after cleaning to make sure gaskets are in alignment before clamping down the power head but a great filter. Really like the spray bar assembly.
I would recommend this to a friend!
+4points
4of 4voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
4 / 5
4 / 5

Filter for fish tank

PostedApril 22, 2014
Customer Avatar
from Idyllwild, CA
I will know more when my power bill comes. Right now so far so good.
I would recommend this to a friend!
-5points
0of 5voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
3 / 5
3 / 5

Average canister for a decent price if you don't mind about the noise

PostedFebruary 12, 2014
Customer Avatar
from California
The only good feature about this filter is the spray bar. Other than that it is an average filter making loud noise. I am thinking of return this filter, but I'm in the middle of cycling my tank. If anyone know of a good filter that don't make too loud of. A noise, please respond.
Tx,
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
-1point
5of 11voted this as helpful.
Review 17 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Great company, poor product.

PostedDecember 30, 2013
Customer Avatar
from Waterloo, IA
We purchased this product two years ago. It was highly recommended by the store associate and we were happy with it....for a short while. In the past two years we have had to contact the Penn Plax because the filter stopped working. They where nice enough to send us out a new filter...THREE TIMES. One time the filter just stopped working out of now where, another time it stopped working due to a power outage (something Penn Plax said was common), and the most recent....and last time for us, it stopped working while we were attempting to clean it the tank and filter.
Penn Plax was a wonderful company to deal with but I would suggest looking for another filter. Dealing with trying to get another filter takes a few days. I would rather spend good money and not have to find out someone has excellent customer service :)
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
+2points
4of 6voted this as helpful.
Review 18 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Do NOT Purchase one of these.

PostedNovember 25, 2013
Customer Avatar
from AR
I have used this on my reef tank for the past year. When it works, it is great. My tank houses sps, lps, soft coral, and an anemone. The problem is when you do maintenance on the filter. It is so hard to get the canister to reseal, and it will leak water. I literally just spent 2 hours trying to get the top to reseal. So much water leaked out, that I now have to mix 5 more gallons of water to add to the tank (after already doing my water change). When I build a new tank, I WILL NOT use this brand. I will probably not use a canister filter at all, and just go with a a sump. This is too much of a headache, and it gets pretty costly when you have to buy the filter floss and carbon every couple of months.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
0points
3of 6voted this as helpful.
Review 19 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

This product exceeds expectations

PostedSeptember 26, 2013
Customer Avatar
from Buford, GA
Prior to this I had two power filters designed for 70 gal tanks in my 55 gallon saltwater reef tank but water was not crystal clear. The canister was easy to assemble and did not leak. I tried the Marineland canister filter but it dripped at the shutoff valve thus was returned. After discussion with my local Petco store I purchased this product. This filter is also very quiet despite a few other reviews to the contrary.
I would recommend this to a friend!
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 20 for Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters
Overall rating 
1 / 5
1 / 5

Not Good

PostedSeptember 8, 2013
Customer Avatar
from Utah
I have purchased two of the canister filters in two different sizes. The motors burned out on both within a year. The filtration is extremely sub standard. Customer service from Penn Plax was no existant. I would not recommend this product at all. There are better filters out there.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend.
-2points
3of 8voted this as helpful.
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