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Product Review: Penn-Plax cascade Power Filter

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by jm1212, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. jm1212

    jm1212 Pterophyllum scalare

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    Jul 22, 2006
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    Cascade Power Filter 150

    Link to product description

    Price range
    $16-$32 for Cascade 80-300

    The price is very low, especially considering the features and competing filters. There is a flow adjustment on all models, which is easy to use and works great. Also, there are two separate types of cartridges that you can get; one is just a sponge with a plastic insert to fit in the filter, and the other is a cartridge like other filters with floss and carbon. The floss/carbon cartridges are literally stuffed full of carbon. There is also a nice "Bio-Falls" insert that works much like a bio wheel would. The intake telesopes, which is good for taller tanks.

    You get what you pay for. Performance is great in the beginning, but begins to wane as the filter ages, and pretty significantly at that. Base model does not have any sort of cover like competing models do, and no "Bio-Falls" insert. The intake may telescope, but it still only reaches midway down the tank. Models such as Penguins reach much farther down even on much taller tanks than my 20H.

    Star rating (1-5 with 5 being the best)
    This filter would have scored higher if the flow had not tapered off so much. The flow right now is leisurely at best, even when empty. This is a tank with gravel also, so sand will not have degraded the impeller.

    How long have you used the product?
    4 years

    Some may say that the age of the filter is an aspect of its drop in flow, but I know of many accounts of AquaClear, Penguin, Emperor, and Mag 350's that have been running for much longer and have seen no issues with flow.

    Build quality and value for your money.
    Build quality in terms of structure is great; all of the plastics are very high quality and are very solid. All of the parts fit together great, and I like the one piece lid. Other aspects of build quality such as sustainability are lacking though. The filter just isnt performing as it did. Its a good thing I have a second filter, a UGF, on the tank as well.

    The value is great initially; the price is excitingly low, especially for the features that come along with the filter. You get what you pay for though, so if you are considering this filter for a display tank, look at a comparable Penguin of AquaClear model.

    Other comments
    Despite the loss in filtering capacity that I observed, this filter would be great for a temporary/emergency filter or a filter for a QT/fry tank. Not really the best permanent filter for a display tank, but I would not hesitate in getting one for a backup in case one of my main filters died or i needed an emergency QT or fry tank, or even if i wanted to use this as an accessory filter to cycle new tanks.

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