Tidal Vs Aquaclear; which one is better?


So, I’ve got a junky SunSun HOB on my 29 I’ve been meaning to replace. The other day it quite working entirely and took some fiddling with to get to to start trickling again.

I want a nice new filter, but I don’t know what to get.

I need it as quiet as possible. If it’s not silent, it can’t be on at night (I share a bedroom with my sister and she hates background noise while sleeping).

It need to pack enough punch to filter a planted Goldie tank and It needs to house plenty of media.

I’m looking at the tidal and the aqua clear trying to pick the best fit. I had a 30 year old Aquaclear that is noise as heck, but I would hope the newer ones would be different.

I also have duckweed in the tank and I don’t know if that makes the surface skimmer on the tidal a con or not.

Anyways, what are y’all’s opinions? Are there other filters I should be looking at besides the tidal and the Aquaclear?

forewarning, I don’t have room for a canister filter at the moment, so it will have to be a HOB.


I've read both ways. I got an AquaClear before I knew of Tidal (I'm still a n00b). When I learned of tidal, I got a little remorse/envy - maybe I should have bought that instead? So I took a bit of an interest checking them out. The key points as it seems:

bigger media tray, easier to mod, can fit more/more surface areasmaller media tray, less room needed behind tank. more difficult to mod due to shape.
motor outside - differing reports if it will restart after power failuremotor inside, will restart after power failure
somewhat adjustable flowmore flexible adjustable flow
removable media clipfully removable media tray that clips onto the lid to catch water/dripping

There is debate about AquaClear noise. Mine was noisy at first, but is now dead quiet. If noise is a concern, then buy it from somewhere that will take it in return if it's too loud. If you can, though, give it some time per my experience.

It would seem both of them push enough to run water through the overflow channel. The AquaClear will overflow into the filter off the right side, but I've found if I can't eliminate that by turning the flow down, then my media is probably clogged and dirty.

The surface skimmer of the Tidal is questionable. It's a concern if you have babies or small shrimp. Not sure how effective it is, however I can't help but to wonder if it would take care of my surface film issue. Is it an issue? Is it really a problem? Don't know.

So, while I only have direct experience with AquaClear, I do know a bit about points of comparison. Put a sponge prefilter on, and I don't think you can go wrong either way.
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I used to run a Tidal 75 (and a canister) on my 75 gallon. I now run 2 AC 110s.

The ACs definitely run louder than the Tidals, but in my opinion the AC provides better filtration.
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noise is about the same.

the duckweed could be a problem for the skimmer.

you might look into the Tetra internal filters, i have a couple of 20i, very quiet. I used to run a pair of 20i on my 29g, then a pair of Aquaclear 50, then a single Tidal 110.


you should replace the factory filter cartridge with a handful of polyfil and a bag of ceramic media (from your old AQ filter)
I have owned tetra whispers, and yes they are quiet, but they are also cheap. I’ve had impeller problems with them, I’ve had them randomly die on me, etc. I’ve been trying to get by with cheap filters for to long and have just given up and want to buy something nicer, but I need it as quiet as possible, otherwise sis won’t let me run it at night.

I really like the aqua clears as far as filtration goes, I am just trying to figure out what the quietest, nicest option is and what is the best bang for the buck.
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