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Anyone experienced with Seachem Tidal HOB filters (55/75/110)?


tk_yt
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Hello!

I am looking to add a HOB filter to my tank, it's a 40 gallon breeder that is planted.  It's got 2 sponge filters on either corner already, but I wanted some additional filtration, and was looking at HOB filters.

I was about to get the AquaClear filter, when I came across the Seachem Tidal filters, which has the filter in front that can be submerged.  I actually prefer that so wanted to research more about it.  However, in all my searches, I did not find answers to these questions:

1.  For a 40 gallon tank, would a tidal 110 be better since I'll be able to put more media in it, or should I go with the default recommended size of using the Tidal 55?

2.  I see that the tidal filter has the skimmer intake, which I will not be able to add a sponge to like I can with the bottom intake.  Would the slits be too big in the tidal 110 that a neon tetra could be sucked in?  I have 10 neons in there right now and am worried about them getting sucked in

 

Thanks!

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The "tank recommendations" on filters are not very accurate. They base these off a "rule" that your filter gph needs to be 5x your tank capacity. In following this rule, I always ended up buying filters that put out more flow than I wanted in my tank. The advice I received on this forum is that this rule is not accurate. I would try to find videos on people using the filter you are considering to get an idea of the flow they put out.

Customizing the filter media in the 55 will easily provide more biological and mechanical filtration than 2 sponge filters IMO.

As for the neons getting sucked in, I wouldn't be too concerned. Unless the fish is able to swim inside the intake, they are strong enough to swim free of any suction. Hope my comments help a little bit!

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4 hours ago, tk_yt said:

2.  I see that the tidal filter has the skimmer intake, which I will not be able to add a sponge to like I can with the bottom intake.  Would the slits be too big in the tidal 110 that a neon tetra could be sucked in?  I have 10 neons in there right now and am worried about them getting sucked in

I have the 35 which is the same but missing the downward tube.  If you pop the motor out (really easy) you can fill the void  behind the "skimmer" section with sponge (I used the coop sponge) to prefilter and keep fish, fry, and shrimp out. 

I've heard a lot of people say you can't prefilter this HOB but I think its because they lack imagination :).  You just have to do it differently.

 

EDIT: Here's seachem's instructions for disassembly of the 75 and 110.  after step 4 you should have access to the skimmer area where you can cram whatever you want in there to either close it off entirely or pre-filter it.  Its the same but 1 step faster for the 35 and hopefully the same for the 55.

https://seachem.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360022536073-FAQ-How-do-I-remove-the-impeller-of-the-Tidal-75-and-Tidal-110-filters-

Edited by CT_
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I've long been a fan of the Aquaclear filters, but I also like the look of the Seachem Tidal by Sicce. For a 40g, I go with the Tidal 55. In spite of all of the lore, legends, and myths, good filtration is about how well we filter water, not how much or how fast we push water through media. Besides, filters only make water clearer, not any cleaner or more pure as trapped detritus continues to decay and pollute the water. 🙂

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Got a few of them not too long ago. Very happy with them so far. I have always liked the bio-wheel on the Marineland and was hesitant to try something else. 

The only ding I'd give it is the smallest one (35) doesn't have an intake tube. It was too shallow for my needs. It's set aside right now. 

Very easy to clean and more room in the compartment. Easy to adjust the flow. I wouldn't say it was a homerun changing them, but I don't regret it. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello @JohnT!  I should have replied to this thread after all the feedback that I received here.

So actually in the end, I went with a canister filter.  What happened was, I purchased the Tidal 55 from amazon, and then kept thinking about whether or not I'd get enough filtration and water flow in the tank, so then I also purchased an Oase Filtosmart 200 canister filter at the same time.

When they both arrived, I took a look at both filters, and decided that I liked the additional space I get from the canister filter (and the fact I could hide the canister under the tank), so I never actually ended up installing the Tidal 55.  Sorry I couldn't really give you a review of my experience of it since I didn't use it.

I do enjoy the canister filter that I am using very much.  It's very easy to remove the hoses and runs really quiet.  I ended up putting in a ton of seachem matrix for the bio filter, and also coarse sponge layered with fine sponge and Seachem Purigen, and the water is really nice and clear.  

P.S., just because I found no information about this anywhere on the net.  I have a betta fish so I was initially concerned about too much flow from a canister filter.  I ended up getting a Glass lily pipe (shape of the pipe is named "Poppy"), and that worked amazing.  My betta was stressed with the common lily pipe, and when I changed it to Poppy, she swims very happily in the tank without any issues.

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I thought I would love the tidal series but I hate them.  Over priced and too small to do much.   I hate the surface skimming. It makes feeding really hit or miss and becomes one extra thing to deal with.   I don't like aquaclear either but they are decent filters.  I have a 40 breeder and I feel my Aquaclear 50 is too small.  I also have to medium size sponge filters on either side.  

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I personally love my tidals and think they offer many benefits such as the self priming, solid removable media basket and heater holder. I think the skimmer is more of a gimmick than anything personally. They also have a massive top section in the event it “overloads” it won’t cause a mess or worse drain your tank and flood your house.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/23/2021 at 8:40 PM, Prochaska said:

I personally love my tidals and think they offer many benefits such as the self priming, solid removable media basket and heater holder. I think the skimmer is more of a gimmick than anything personally. They also have a massive top section in the event it “overloads” it won’t cause a mess or worse drain your tank and flood your house.

I just got my hands on a new tidal 75. I currently run a aquaclear 50 on my 29 gal community tank.  I have no complaints about the aquaclear other than sometime my flow gets reduced due to the sponges clogging or the impeller needing cleaning but that's easily rectified.  Your point about avoiding overflow is a very good one. I'm sitting here looking at it and I can't think of anyway this thing could  drain my tank or flood my house. Where as my aquaclear could (in theory) clog so bad that it causes overlfow.  My tank is on a dresser up against a wall. It water or anything else gets back there I have no access to recover it or even dry things out. So it's always been a concern.  

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  • 10 months later...

I apologize if this is not the right place to post this but it seemed relevant to the Tidal's so I thought I'd post here first. 

I have a newly set up 75 gallon tank and am using the Tidal 75 and a Hygger double sponge filter that works based off of an air pump. It seems to me that the Tidal 75 doesn't have that much suction to it. If I sit and watch it, there is all manner of bits that just float right by the intake regardless of what level I have it set to or whether I run any media or not. Should I have "upsized" the filter? 

I seem to recall that when I had this tank set up back in 2015, I used an AquaClear 110 and that worked really well as long as I rinsed my media every couple of weeks. However, that tank was filled with African Cichlids and this one is more of a community tank with a 2 Nickle sized angles, 2 dwarf gourami's and a dozen or so pearl danios. 

Also, I am not that fond of the surface skimmer feature, same as other reviewers.

Should I look at returning this to Amazon and getting either an Aquaclear 110 or the larger Tidal? 

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or input. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

A few months ago, I switched from an Aquaclear HOB to a Tidal 35, to give it a trial run. I really liked the idea of the powerhead being in the tank, so less issue with the filter restarting properly after a power outage. Unfortunately, I'm NOT happy with it. Not only is the filter compartment funky shaped, which makes it a bugger and a half to cut filter sponges to the right shape and size, it requires floss (which I never had to use in my Aquaclear) to remove floating particulate from the water. Overall, it's ended up requiring a lot more maintenance than my Aquaclear ever did. At this point, I'm giving serious thought to going back to the Aquaclear. We have few enough power outages, I'd rather deal with THAT issue than the constant need for maintenance I'm having with the Tidal.

BTW, on the surface skimmer - I haven't found that to be an issue at all. That feature is not very powerful. I've watched shrimp swim right up to and past it without any difficulty. They don't get sucked in. The spaces in the skimmer aren't big enough for even small fish to get sucked in either. Tiny fry might, but my cherries and male Endler's truly have no problem. I've even seen pygmy cories swim right past it without issue.

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On 2/24/2021 at 3:37 PM, tk_yt said:

1.  For a 40 gallon tank, would a tidal 110 be better since I'll be able to put more media in it, or should I go with the default recommended size of using the Tidal 55?

2.  I see that the tidal filter has the skimmer intake, which I will not be able to add a sponge to like I can with the bottom intake.  Would the slits be too big in the tidal 110 that a neon tetra could be sucked in?  I have 10 neons in there right now and am worried about them getting sucked in

On my 75G I run two tidal 75s. The 110 works if you run it the length of the tank.

On a 29G I run a Tidal 55. On a 40 I would run a single tidal 75.

 

The intake on the tidal is almost exclusively the skimmer and the pump area. Yes it has a drop tube to the bottom of the tank but that is so cut off that it's about 10-15% of your intake pressure. I had green tiger barbs, they are flat bodied and I lost at least 5-8 because of the skimmer. It absolutely is an issue. If you're genuinely worried, your best bet is to use some black silicone and to fill the slots in. That will force the intake to other regions and to use.the down tube as your inflow. Something like this is what I would highly recommend. (Seachem really needs to just release a v2.0)

Option 1. Help protect the fish with nylon / quilting mesh so when they sleep they don't get sucked in.

Option 2. Fix it.

 

On 3/5/2022 at 8:32 AM, rdflash0788 said:

I have a newly set up 75 gallon tank and am using the Tidal 75 and a Hygger double sponge filter that works based off of an air pump. It seems to me that the Tidal 75 doesn't have that much suction to it. If I sit and watch it, there is all manner of bits that just float right by the intake regardless of what level I have it set to or whether I run any media or not. Should I have "upsized" the filter? 

See above. Let me know if you need any further help.

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On 3/24/2022 at 8:38 AM, Dawn T said:

BTW, on the surface skimmer - I haven't found that to be an issue at all. That feature is not very powerful. I've watched shrimp swim right up to and past it without any difficulty. They don't get sucked in. The spaces in the skimmer aren't big enough for even small fish to get sucked in either. Tiny fry might, but my cherries and male Endler's truly have no problem. I've even seen pygmy cories swim right past it without issue.

you can actually stuff sponge behind the skimmer's slats if you take the power head out.  It's a much cleaner look.  I also blocked all of my tidal 35 inlets with sponge but missed one slat by accident.  every time I cleaned out my HOB i'd pull at least 10 baby to juvenile sized shrimp out. with it.  They definitely get in there but it doesn't seem to hurt them.

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On 3/24/2022 at 8:38 AM, Dawn T said:

The spaces in the skimmer aren't big enough for even small fish to get sucked in either. Tiny fry might, but my cherries and male Endler's truly have no problem. I've even seen pygmy cories swim right past it without issue.

I bought some smal petricola catfish and had the Tidal 35 running. They ran and hid into the filter. All five of them. The Tidal 35 is the only one I wouldn't recommend. I like them otherwise and like having the pump in the aquarium. Aquaclears always rattled on me. 

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On 3/30/2022 at 8:33 PM, AquariumThoughts said:

Aquaclears always rattled on me. 

I've honestly never had that problem. The Top Fin HOBs, on the other hand, constantly rattled on me. Drove me crazy. I had used ACs years back but ended up with TF brand HOBs when I got back into the hobby after a long break. Didn't take me long to get rid of the TFs and buy some ACs. If not for the priming issue after a power outage, I'd consider them perfect. 😁

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