Penn-Plax 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.

Without fail every aquarium needs a filter to keep it clean and looking good. So ensure you get the correct filter for your tank. Without the right filter your aquarium will be susceptible to algal blooms and a build up of debris. The Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter is just the thing you need to keep your aquarium healthy and clean.

The Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filter models are kept in the conversation of great filters thanks to the range of attributes and features that they offer.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter Review


Setup is often the tricky part; while setting up a canister filter for those in the know or who have done it before is a piece of cake, it can seem intimidating for those new to the aquarium scene. 

Instructions for setup often can seem pretty limited, but don’t worry it shouldn’t be too difficult and there’s no need to call someone in to do it for you. Many people who have used this model have claimed to be able to set it up in only 15 minutes. These might be people with previous experience though, so don’t worry if it takes you longer. 

Give the hoses and tubings and extra tighten, and double check the fittings to ensure that you don’t get leaks and that the filter operates correctly when switched on

Priming Time 

An easy push down button helps to keep priming time down and make the process easier and less stressful. With this model you don’t need to siphon water to the filter to kick start it, so no more mouthfuls if aquarium water!! The guidelines given by the manufacturer advise that the button be pressed for between five and ten minutes to ensure that all the air is pumped out to ensure that the filtration process can commence smoothly. 

To check if the filter is connected properly and working correctly watch the bubbles. There might be bubbles when you initially fill the filter as it is going to be pumping out trapped air. If after around three minutes though there are still bubbles it means there might be a problem with a connection, as these bubbles are from air leaking into the system. Simply ensure that all the connections are tight and sealed.


External filters need to be able to offer decent durability for external use. This model of Penn Plax Cascade Canister fits the bill when it comes to durability. While it is constructed from plastic, it is a hard durable plastic which lasts for an extended time period. 

How long the model lasts is also dependent on how much care and maintenance you put into it. To keep the durability and extend life ensure to check and undertake maintenance on it regularly.

Filtration Media 

This is an important part of any canister filter for an aquarium. The idea is to have a product that can actually deliver the best filtration process in the end. It all depends on the filtration media used in the filtration process. 

The model comes with 3 large filter trays, which should be sufficient enough to help with the whole filtration process. No dirt would be able to get past such filtration media.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter

Flow Rate And Capacity 

A decent flow rate is essential to the filtration process and operational capacity. This model can boast a flow rate of roughly 312 gallons per hour. That statistic is very impressive. Due to this large capacity this model can be used on larger aquariums up to 150 gallons as well as smaller ones.

Water circulation and aeration is very important to the health of the animals in your aquarium. A spray bar is included in this filter which helps with circulation and aeration whilst also helping to ensure the filtration process takes as little time as possible.

Easy Of Maintenance

Cleaning the canister filter is vital to ensure consistent performance and to ensure performance levels don’t drop. This model is designed to be easily cleaned and maintained. First thing first, the intake valve should be turned off then the hose can be disconnected to prevent leaks. 

The next step is to unplug the filter from it’s mounting and wash and rinse it in a sink or bucket. But remember to only use the old aquarium water. 

Follow the instructions to open the filter; it should be simple but following the manufacturer’s guidelines will ensure you don’t damage the filter. Simply connect everything back up once you’re done with the maintenance and filtration will commence once again.

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter Setup


At the price it’s going for, the Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter is well amongst​ the top group of affordable canister filters. The pros vastly outweigh the cons. 

The multi-stage filtration ensures a clean and healthy tank. You can equip the filter baskets with different filter media which will catch everything!

This aquarium canister filter is also made of high quality materials. From the tubes and connectors supplied to the outside casing i t feels very solid so you can be sure it is well-made.

Priming is kept simple and easy by the self-priming feature, which is ideal for many aquariums. A spray bar is also included which is important for water circulation.

The only negatives are that the first time priming can be an issue, and it is rated at 27 Watts, so this model does eat up a lot of power. However these shouldn’t be enough to stop you from buying one for your aquarium.

Related product reviews:

Penn Plax Cascade Canister Aquarium Filter








Flow Rate


Filtration Media



  • Filtration Media Included
  • Spray Bar
  • Large Capacity Media Baskets
  • 360 Degree Rotating Flow Valves


  • Some Priming Concerns
  • Some Note Of Bypass Issue

About the author

Authority Aquarium Staff

Authority Aquarium Staff writers are experts and aquarium enthusiasts, our in-house marine biologist fact checks all our content and reviews to bring you the best advice for your aquarium health.

Leave a Comment