Penn Plax Cascade Canister Filters – Maintenance, Media Order, Noise Levels, Other
While there are many filter threads and articles that already exist, I thought I’d 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. It’s 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 – I’ve 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 I’ve 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 why’s of each filtration.
Also I’ve 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)