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Old 11-15-2013, 02:22 PM   #1
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Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters Maintenance, Media Order, Noise Levels, Other

While there are many filter threads and articles that already exist, I thought Id post the order of the media specific to this filter, and an ideal maintenance schedule (along with a couple of sidebars of my experience with this specific filter and, equally important, my experience with Penn Plax customer service).

First, and really a sidebar to this thread, this is a great filter. It keeps the water very clean, and is very quiet. It is not dead silent. If you listen for it, you will hear it. Its about the loudness of a refrigerator. Heat from your furnace registers is louder. Your brain blocks out sounds like a humming refrigerator, a ticking clock, etc., and your brain will block out the sound of your filter as well.

Customer service is great Ive been speaking with a Rebecca at Penn Plax, very nice, has returned my phone calls and e-mails. I had an issue with the impeller of my filter, and she replaced the impeller no questions.

The main reason Ive created this thread is this the instructions the filter came with are wrong. It notes to put the biological filtration (Coarse Sponge) on top (or last in line of filtration). While the order is up to you, below is what I have chosen based on talks with Rebecca and other existing articles. This is, at the least, a great starting point for you. It will provide the best filtration based on the whys of each filtration.

Also Ive included *ideal* maintenance frequencies to keep your water clean.

This applies to the Cascade 700 in particular, and the media it comes with. This is also based on a freshwater tropical community tank with a couple of plants.

TOP OF CANISTER (filtration ends here)
1) Carbon (chemical) - Replace ever 4-6 weeks
2) Filter Floss (mechanical) - Replace every 4-6 weeks
3) Coarse Sponge (biological, mechanical) - Rinse every 4 weeks with removed tank water
4) Filter Floss (mechanical) - Replace every 4-6 weeks
BOTTOM OF CANISTER (filtration starts here)

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Old 11-15-2013, 03:11 PM   #2
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I use the cascade 1500 on my discus tank and it does keep the water very clean. But yes it does have a little hum. I also agree that the customer service is wonderful. I had an O-ring stretch out and they sent me one free of charge right away. However, this is how I put my media in (input-> bio sponge-> floss-> floss-> chemi pure elite-> floss-> output) I keep the last floss in the filter when I do a cleaning on the filter. I keep it until it deteriorates. I rinse all of the media in water from the tank (siphoned out for a WC) then only replace the two middle flosses and chemi pure if needed.
125 malawi cichlid, 110 Discus, 75 reef, 30 reef, 27 reef, 4 planted
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canister, canister filter, canister filters, filter, filters, level, maintenance, media, noise, penn plax cascade, ten

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