Cascade 1000 Canister Filter Review (Penn Plax) | Aquascape Addiction

Cascade 1000 Canister Filter Review (Penn Plax)

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Thinking of buying the Cascade 1000 Canister Filter? Our detailed review covers everything you need to know to help you make a decision if it's the best option for you.

Cascade 1000 Canister Filter Review (Penn Plax)

One of the hardest parts of maintaining a fish tank is keeping the water clean. To do that you of course need a top notch water filtration system, something like the Cascade 1000 Canister Filter.

Finding the right water filter for your aquarium can be kind of overwhelming, especially when you are new to owning fish. You might not know what kind of filter you need or which filter is best for you. (You can check the current price of the Cascade 1000 at Amazon here).

Our Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filter 1000 Review

Well we’re here to help and we are going to do that by talking about a fantastic aquarium filter that will work for pretty much anybody. This filter has everything you need to keep your fish tank clean and healthy and here is our detailed review and opinion;

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What You Need A Good Filter For

Having a water filter in any aquarium that you have is extremely important. Any water filter that you get has to be able to filter out fish waste, extra food, as well as chemicals and other toxins in the water. Perhaps most important of all is that it can filter out built up compounds such as ammonia and nitrate. Any and all of those things can end up damaging or even killing both your plants and your fish.

Different Types Of Aquarium Filters

There are 3 different types of aquarium filters and each do slightly different things. We want to discuss the 3 different types because the Cascade canister filter 1000 actually features all of them, so we want you to know what each one actually does.

1. Mechanical Filtering

This kind of filtering involves removing solid pieces and other particulate matter from the water. The process is pretty simple because all that goes on is that the water gets pushed through a material that filters out the particles. The media or material that the filter is made of can include foam, earth, pads, filter floss, and a few other things too. These filters are crucial for removing material waste, however they can’t get rid of non-solid waste, plus they need to be cleaned a lot too.

2. Chemical Filtering

The process here is somewhat similar to mechanical filtering in that the water passes through a filter. However in this case it is a chemical media made of various compounds that target unwanted toxins and other chemical build ups in the fish tank.

There are various different kinds of chemical filters that target various compounds and are designed to remove specific chemicals from the water. These go a very long way in improving the water quality because they have the ability to remove things like ammonia. The problem with these is that they do not remove solid waste from the water.

3. Biological Filtering

Biological filtering is pretty straightforward, yet quite complex too. These kinds of filters house a number of different bacteria which take the waste produced by both the fish and plants and turns them into nutrients that feed your aquarium in a healthy way. In other words, these filters use the nitrogen cycle to their advantage and that is a great thing indeed.

How To Set Up The Cascade 1000 Canister Filter

Setting up the Filter is really straight forward and doesn’t take too much time at all. Just follow the simple steps outlined below and you will be good to go.

Step 1

For this step, simply attach both the intake and the outtake nozzles to their respective attachment points on the canister filter. The hoses are labeled using color so it isn’t hard to distinguish them from each other. All you have to do is screw them on.

Step 2

Now you need to attach the 2 hoses to the nozzles that come included. Screw the clamp shut tight to ensure that they are locked into place. It doesn’t matter which hose you attach to which nozzle because both of the hoses are identical. You need to make sure that there is a tight fit or else air will get into the intake filter.

Step 3

Now you need to attach the intake tube to the hard intake tube and remember to do it on the short side. On a side note, the intake tube will be color coded in purple. Once again make sure to fasten the clamp as tight as possible in order to ensure a tight fit.

Step 4

The next step is very simple and all you need to do for it is to fasten the intake cover onto the long end of the intake hard tube.

Step 5

Now it’s time for you to take the black colored tube which is the output tube and attach it to the hard output tube. Remember to fasten the clamp very tight to make for a good fit and tight seal.

Step 6

For this step just attach the spray bar of the output cover to the shorter side of the output hard tube.

Step 7

Now you can attach the suction cups to the output spray bar. Don’t cover any of the output holes when putting the suction cups on because that will create some problems. You also need to attach some suction cups to the intake tubes, depending on where you want it located in the tank.

Step 8

Before you can use this water filtration system for the first time, you need to prime it. Do this by making sure that the valves on both nozzles are in the open position, which means that the valve and the tube are facing the same way. The find the button that says pump on it and pump some water into the canister.

Step 9

Plug in the filter to the outlet and turn it on.

What Comes Included In The Box

Since you do have to put some pieces together, make sure that your box has all of the necessary pieces in it. Your Cascade 1000 Filter should come with;

  • An Output Cover
  • An Intake Cover
  • An Intake Tube
  • An Outtake Tube
  • 8 Suction Cups
  • 4 Spray Bars
  • 2 Hoses
  • 2 Nozzles
  • The Canister
  • Media Baskets


We are huge fans of the Cascade 100 because this particular water filtration system is that it will give you the clearest water that you have ever seen. This thing is really easy to use and maintain, but it also uses some really state of the art technology as well.

Better yet is the fact that it can be used for both freshwater aquariums and salt water tanks too, making it very versatile indeed. That is a great feature that not all that many water filtration systems have.

We are also really impressed by the great multi-dimensional cleaning capabilities of the Cascade 1000. What we mean by this is that it combines biological and chemical cleaning methods with mechanical filtration tools too.

The way the Cascade 1000 Canister Filter actually cleans the water is by utilizing a high grade floss pad to get all the big chunks and all other particulate matter. At the same time, any chemical imbalances or toxins in the water are removed by the activated carbon media.

This is an awesome water filter and is ideal for medium to large sized aquariums. This bad boy can pump out over 265 gallons of water every single hour, which is pretty impressive. Just as good is that it can fit any fish tank that can hold up to 100 gallons of water. To match that output it has a massive sponge surface that is extremely coarse which makes it a great bio-filter.

Just as impressive is the way in which the sponge encourages the natural growth of bacteria. These bacteria work to remove fish waste, harmful toxins like ammonia and excess nitrates, plus it cleans up extra food too.

The whole filter includes 2 separate tray filtration systems that both rest in the external shell. One tray performs the mechanical water cleaning duties while the second tray does the chemical cleaning. We also really like the fact that the tray holders are made out of high quality plastic because it makes them really light and easy to work with, yet they are also very strong and resilient.

Next, this filter also has a very durable motor pump that brings water from the aquarium into the filter. You can be pretty sure that this pump won’t give out. It’s also a really advanced pumping system because the motor head has 2 pipes that work like dual regulators in order to control the water’s flow rate.

Included are also a solid O-ring and 4 clamps which make for a really tight fit on the tray holder and hold everything together really well. This is a really great filter that comes in at an amazing value, especially when compared to other top brands that are of the same quality.

With this filter you are getting a high quality item for a fraction of the price that the competitors sell them for. Not to mention that everything you need to get going is included in one small package.

Cascade 1000 Pros & Cons

As with every product out there, there are some good things to say and some bad things too. Luckily for the Cascade 1000 Canister Filter, there are many more good things to say than bad.


  • This system is very quiet.
  • This is a very rugged and sturdy item; not easy to tip over.
  • Affordable and generally cheaper than most other high quality filters.
  • Has quick disconnect tubing.
  • Adjustable flow rate nozzles.
  • Has a very strong motor.
  • Can fit up to a 100 gallon fish tank.
  • Can pump up to 265 gallons per hour.
  • Uses 3 different kinds of filtration methods.


  • Setting this item up is difficult and takes time.
  • Needs to be primes before use.
  • The media trays are fairly small.
  • Does not come with extra media.

Penn Plax Cascade 1000 Conclusion

Needless to say we really like the Cascade 1000 Canister Filter because it brings to us the best of mechanical, biological, and chemical filtering to keep your aquarium as clean as it can be. It has a great motor, works for ages, and is fantastic for a fairly large fish tank. Perhaps the best part about this filter is that it works for both salt and freshwater aquariums, plus it is one of the more affordable filters out there.

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