Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter: Fit For Your Aquarium?

The best way to vouch for the quality of water that flows in any aquarium is to have the best filter in lace. While there are numerous types of systems in the market,the canister filter has become a favorite for many fish keepers. And mind you, the mad rush is not misplaced.

Canister filters are great options for meeting your aquarium filtration needs. Not only do they offer great filtration power, their space saving size and shape make them a viable option for most fish tanks. Not to mention the fact that they are affordable.

If you happen to be in need of a heavy duty multi-stage external filtration for your fresh water or salt aquarium? The Penn plax cascade canister is one of the aquarium filters you might want to consider to keep your aquarium clean at all times.

In this detailed review, we are going to take a close look at this filter and what it offers, so you can decide if it’s a worthy investment for your aquarium.

Without wasting anymore time, let’s get started.

Cascade CCF5UL Canister Filter For Large Aquariums and Fish Tanks – Up To 200 Gallons, Filters 350 GPH
  • CASCADE CANISTER FILTER FOR FRESHWATER OR MARINE ENVIRONMENTS: the Cascade 1500 (CCF5UL) has 5 media baskets, works at 350 GPH, and is recommended for Aquariums up to 200 gallons. It measures 11.5 x 20.5 x 12 inches.
  • STATE OF THE ART FEATURES OF THE CASCADE 1500: ♦ 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 1500 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.


A product of penn-plax, manufacturer and distributor of top pet supplies in the US, this aquarium filter offers intuitive set up, 3 stage filtration and industry leading reliability. The cascade 700 canister can handle up to 65 gallons efficiently, providing up to 185 gph of flow.

These filters allow you to combine the benefits of several types of media delivering powerful mechanical, chemical and biological filtration for crystal clear water In aquatic environments.

When it comes to making the best canister filters, the Penn plax models are worth mentioning, thanks to the awesome features they offer.

At a glance, the cascade canister consists of:

  • Flow rate control cut-off valves
  • Two independent directional 360” rotating valves taps
  • Extra large capacity, stackable filter medium containers with lift-up handles
  • Easy alignment clamps, release vacuum suction
  • Sturdy tip-proof base (permanently mounted rubber feet)
  • Swimming pool-style hose clamps
  • Easy push button self primer
  • Coarse sponge
  • Filter material included FREE with each canister filter.

Let’s jump right into the detailed features of the CCF3UL cascade 700 canister filter.


Even in the tightest of aquarium cabinets, the flow valve of the cascade line of filter rotates 360 degrees. This makes for worry-free placement and easy maneuvering. The flow valves can easily be removed for canister maintenance while your hose intake and output remain at the aquarium.

This enables you to easily take the system apart to carry out cleaning when you need to.


Ever wanted to be able to customize your filter media according to your preference? The two extra large media baskets of the cascade canister allow you to do just that and more.

So you can add more media depending on your filtration needs and the density of fish stock.

You can use any combination of media including bio-floss, bio-sponges, activated carbon and others to accomplish a wide array of aquarium filtration needs.

The machine comes with a multi-stage filter that consists of three filtration stages to provide your fish tank with fresh water that is clean and crystal clear. It is mainly designed for aquariums that are 65 gallon sin size, which is absolutely incredible.

It will also interest you to know that the device has a flow rate of 185 gallons per minute.


You can quickly and easily prime the filter with just few presses of the easy button primer.

The cascade filter also comes with:

  • An air-tight seal to assure proper flow rate, while maintaining ultra quiet operation.
  • Easy-lift clamps which make it simple to release the vacuum and release the top for changing media or other maintenance.
  • Directional returns to help suspend waste matter so it can be taken in by the filter leaving nothing but clear, clear water.


Other features include spray bar, tubing and directional spout for full customization and filter medium. With these, you’re ready to start using the cascade filter today. The popular cobalt blue will look attractive next to your tank and the sturdy rubber mounted tip-proof rubber base keeps the unit in place.


So there are lots of benefits and positives that comes with using this cascade canister. In fact, the only negative is that the replaceable filter media can be expensive (you can actually make your own). Back to the positives, shall we?

The cascade canister is easy to install.

It comes with necessary accessories to connect to your tank and begin filtering in approximately 30 minutes and see visible improvements in less than a day.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does this come with tubing and installation manual?

Yes, it does. It comes with everything you need - filter media, hoses, clamps, suction cups, installation manual and so on.

2. What is the difference between this unit and the 1000 and 1500 models?

The major difference is size.

3. How many media trays does this come with?

It has two media trays.

4. Does this come with spray bar?

Yes, it does.

5. What is the product warranty? 

Cascade canister filters comes with a 3 year warranty and satisfaction guaranteed.


Choosing a filter is a necessary step in aquarium ownership and there are a lot of great options that will keep your tank water fresh and healthy for a long time coming.

If you are a first time aquarium owner, or you need to strike a balance between factors such as power, price, and ease-of-use, the cascade 700 filter is a good choice to get you started

When purchased online from an electronic store like Amazon, product is 100% new, never used, nothing is broken, and everything works. Buy with confidence!

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