Penn Plax Cascade Canister 1000 Aquarium Filter Review: Worth It?

The most vital function of most aquarium filters is keeping the water clean and fresh for your fish to thrive. Bearing that in mind, you can’t afford to do without the best filtration system for your aquarium.

Penn Plax Cascade CCF3UL Canister Filter For Large Aquariums and Fish Tanks – Up To 100 Gallons, Filters 265 GPH,Blue
  • CASCADE CANISTER FILTER FOR FRESHWATER OR MARINE ENVIRONMENTS: the Cascade 1000 (CCF3UL) has 3 media baskets, works at 265 GPH, and is recommended for Aquariums up to 100 gallons. It measures 11.5 x 17 x 10 inches.
  • STATE OF THE ART FEATURES OF THE CASCADE 1000: ♦ flow valves that rotate 360 degrees for easy maneuvering in even the tightest aquarium cabinets ♦ large capacity media baskets allow aquarists to customize to their media needs ♦ push button primer allows for a quick and easy prime of the filter ♦ includes a spray bar, tubing, directional spout for customization, and filter medium.
  • USE ANY COMBINATION OF MEDIA: floss pad for removing particulate matter and a course sponge that provides abundant surface for promoting bacterial growth (to remove ammonia and nitrites) included free with purchase
  • SEE BELOW FOR DIAGRAM, THE CASCADE 1000 INCLUDES: ♦ Flow rate control cut-off valves ♦ two independent directional 360 degree rotating valve taps ♦ swimming pool – style hose clamps ♦ quick, easy, push button self-primer ♦ extra-large capacity stackable filter medium containers with lift-up handles ♦ floss pad and coarse sponge included, free with each canister filter ♦ easy lift alignment clamps that release vacuum suction ♦ sturdy tip-proof base
  • FILTER MEDIA OPTIONS BY CASCADE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON, SOLD SEPARATELY: see below for details, sold separately is media such as: bio-floss, bio-sponge, bio-rings, filt-a-pack pro-z, and filt-a-pack pro-carb-z.


  • Presence of multiple filtration stages ensures all dirt and particles are properly removed.
  • Connectors and tubes provided for this model is of utmost high quality.
  • The self priming feature is great for most aquariums out there.
  • The spray bar support is important for proper circulation of water.
  • Easy push button allows for easy and quick starting of filter.
  • Large media basket allows for customization of media however you want.
  • It is relatively cheaper than most filters.


  • Priming model for the first time and after cleaning could be a challenge.
  • Consumes a lot of power.


Keeping your tank clean and healthy is the best thing any aquarium owner can do for the aquarium animals. A healthy aquarium can’t be maintained without the use of a good filtration system.

Dirty water leads to increase rate of disease and reduces the oxygen in a tank which raises the likelihood that your fish might suffocate. Besides that, an algae-ridden tank is just an eyesore to stare at.

As a result, you need a reliable canister filter like the Penn plax filter to provide your aquarium with clean and crystal clear water.

This filter is in its own class in terms of construction quality. It is neither the biggest nor smallest unit measuring 17” ×10”×11.5” with a total weight of 12 pounds.

It’s a good balance between size and durability, it won’t fall apart and can easily be carried. It has a secured locking clamp at the base unit that won’t tip over easily.

This cascade filter is very easy to clean. Simply turn off the filter, remove the hoses and move it to a dink where you can give it a thorough cleaning. Reconnect the hoses and voila! You are done.

Compared to other aquarium filters in the market, the Penn plax cascade feels like a steal because of its relatively low pricing.

How It Works

The filter comes with a pre-installed filtration media, which means the filter will be ready for use immediately after set up.

The floss-pad does a great job at catching small fine particles in the water, the carbon media does the job of removing water impurities and the sponge gives an extremely nice surface for beneficial bacteria to exit waste from your aquarium.

When the time comes for the replacement of filtration media, it’s a simple matter of sliding open filter trays while slipping in fresh pads and sponges.

All in all, the cascade filter is pretty simple to use, and get your aquarium water squeaky clean as long as you don’t use in a tank that is too much for the Penn plax to handle. A power input of 27 watts is required for the filter to function which is common with most mid-sized tanks.

What’s In The Box

The cascade 1000 is made up of extremely durable and hard plastic which will last a very long time, depending on how much care and maintenance the user applies. It also comes with a filtration media containing 3 large filtration trays,which is definitely sufficient enough to help with the whole filtration process.

No dirt will be able to bypass the filtration media. The filter is also equipped with a filter pump capable of pumping out air from the canister in a short period of 3 minutes. It comes with a spray bar which when engaged adds a bit of disturbance unto the surface of your water tank.

The presence of the carbon media will help remove impurities, while the floss pads work at removing small particles from the aquarium water. It also comes with a sponge capable of giving the surface of your aquarium really great look.

What's Special

The Penn plax cascade canister filter 1000 provides your aquarium with an exceptional flow rate of 312 gallons per hour which is a lot. It can even be used on larger aquariums with a capacity of up to 150 gallons.

The inclusion of the spray bar makes water aeration and circulation much easier than before. It also ensures that your aquarium waste is properly filtered in the shortest possible time.

This product can actually deliver the best filtration process because of the presence of its large filter trays. The filter is quite easy to maintain because of its portable size. Its soundproof system leaves you wondering if the filter is working at all.

Also equipped with this filter is an easy push-down button to make priming process easy for the user. You will no longer have to siphon water into the filter to get it working.

However, it is advisable to push the button down for about 5-10 minutes, this will make the filter pump out all the air and start running so the filtration process can commence.

Nevertheless,we strongly advise that you keep an eye on water bubbles when the water is first filled, there might be bubbles as it is still pumping out air from the canister.

If after 3 minutes, you still see bubbles then there might be an error in the filter connection. More bubbles are caused by air leaking into the canister.

Ensure the canister is well connected at this point.

How To Install

Installation is often quite difficult for most users, you’d have to endure that your filter is properly set up so as to deliver the right filtration process. The instructions for setting up can easily be found in the manual which means it should not be hard to do yourself. But just in case you are not experienced with filter set up, the help of a professional can be employed.

Though most customers claim set up can be done in just 15 minutes, keep in mind it might take longer for first timers.

Just ensure all the necessary hoses and tubing on filters are properly tightened,it will ensure its going to work perfectly when turned on.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will the filter work for a hundred-gallon tank?

Yes, it has a capacity of over 150.

2. Does it come with hoses?

Yes, it does.

3. Does the cascade 1000 come with spray bar?

Yes, it comes with a fully functioning spray bar.

4. What are the dimension?

Has a dimension of about 8×9×19 including the hoses space.

5. Does it make use of carbon?

 Yes, definitely!

6. How big is it?

The cascade filter container is 15 inches tall.

7. Does it come with tubes?

Yes, the manufacturers include all the tubing sets needed for the filter to function.


The Penn plax cascade filter 1000 is a heavy duty external canister filter capable for usage with large fish tanks. It delivers the combination of mechanical, biological and chemical water filtration.

It is very important to find the right filter for you and your tank,this is to ensure finding a filter that can provide maximum cleaning of your tank. To end, this is what the cascade 1000 offers.

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