Seachem Tidal HOB Filters

Discussion in 'Equipment Reviews' started by FMN716, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    Hi Peeps,

    Gonna do a review on the Seachem Tidal HOB Filters and the mods that I have done to it.

    If you do plan on modifying it take note that bypass will occur, which basically means that some of the water sucked in will not filter.

    If you use the filter out the box with the no modification and no additional media you wont have any issues

    I have done a lot of research regarding this filter so I will share what mods work and what wont from my own testing

    This applies only to the Tidal 55, 75 and 110 the Tidal 35 lack some of the features of its bigger brothers

    Pros
    *Quality Product
    *I like the colour, even that it is big blends in well if you have other black equipment
    *Plastic is not brittle
    *Surface skimmer works well
    *Surface skimmer is adjustable
    *Adjustable pump
    *Self Primer
    *Comes with Seachem Matrix media and bag
    *Includes sponge
    *Adjustable intake tube
    *Not very loud
    *Media Bucket big enough to keep additional media
    *Detachable media bucket
    *Peace of mind that it will not leak
    *Adjustable angle of filter

    Cons
    *Included sponge is very coarse
    *Takes up a bit more space in the tank as the pump is submerged that is why it is self priming
    *Not enough media included
    *Bypass occurs around media bucket as soon as sponge is changed to something less coarse or if additional media is added
    *Bypass occurs around media bucket if you add a sponge behind the surface skimmer
    *Intake tube has large holes easy for fry and shrimp to be sucked up
    *Intake tube has a single hole in the bottom so if you have fine substrate it will be sucked up
    *Blue dial for skimmer is visible in tank
    *Due to bypass media gets dirty quick
    *Should of included some kind of gasket to eliminate bypass issue
    *Can clog up quick and will require a clean often
    *Unless you create a gasket you will never be able to stop bypass if you are adding extra media of if you mod it
    *Provided sponge should have been cut a tad bigger as bypass around sponge can occur
    *Filter ports on bucket lift sponge a bit, which could cause bypass
    *The adjuster to change the angle of the filter works up until a certain point
    *The adjuster to change the angle is very small and say if you has to put this filter in a tank that has thin glass and it was in the center the glass might crack
    *Included heater clip is for very thin heaters
    *I still find particles in the water with or without the mods


    I will update a little bit later with the mods and the problem areas.

    Would I buy this filter again ?

    No not for the price, although is does make a good backup filter

    As a Seachem product this is quite disappointing

    Hope this helps someone
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
    A new day likes this.
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  3. Pezulu

    Pezulu Moderator Comp Coordinator

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    Thanks for the review.
    I used a Tidal 55 for about 2 years, and I discarded it and replaced it with a Cascade 200 HOB on the 3ft tank that is was installed in.
    My issues with the Tidal were much the same as yours.

    I couldn't use the tank for shrimp or breeding, as the intake was too large to accept a sponge over the intake.
    The surface skimmer worked well, but would suck any floating plants in.
    The filter had to be cleaned at least once a week, and often more than once a week.
    I added an additional sponge that I cut to size over the course sponge.
    A bit of additional Seachem Matrix caused water bypass.
    The Tidal has less Matrix than the Cascade 150 or 200 HOB.
     
  4. WernerP

    WernerP

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    I have the tidal 110. It's by far the best hang on back I've used. I agree that the price is steep. I've had mine for close to 3 years now and it still works perfectly.
     
  5. Amakawa

    Amakawa

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    Have tidal 75 and the 55 best HOB by far, i have a AQ 30 and it is terrible, dont see why people like them so much
     
  6. Blade

    Blade

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    I have 3 Tidals, 2 x 110 and a 75, the 75 is on my Boyu EA100 with an Aquaclear 110 and hardly clean them as I am over filtering on that tank, I will be using one of the Tidal 110 on my 4ft I am busy finishing up which will also have a Plax Cascade 1500 cannister filer on it, the third is a back up. I also have a Plax Casscade 300 HOB which hasn't given a days problems either.
     
  7. Pezulu

    Pezulu Moderator Comp Coordinator

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    It seems it is either a love or hate relationship with these Seachem filters.
    I liked mine, but unfortunately couldn't use it for what I had intended it for.
     
  8. fux940510

    fux940510

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    I've got a Tidal 55 on my tank. Being the first filter i've owned, i can't compare with anything else, but i found that improving the filtration by using 3 different grades of foam, layer of filter floss and then some Matrix (I basically just doubled what came in the box) has worked really well for me.

    For the prefilter on the intake tube I have one coarse foam piece covering the small bottom hole (u-shaped, viewed side on), which is then held in place by another piece of coarse foam wrapped around it and cable tied in place. I used to have some coarse foam over the surface skimmer, but then realised none of my fish ever went near it and are too big to fit through the gaps anyway. It does kinda negate the prefilter, as most flow does seem to go through the skimmer rather than the intake tube

    Only trouble with the "mods" i've done is that the little blue indicator thing on the lid is permanently up, due to increased resistance from all the filter media. I thoroughly clean out the mechanical media and shake off the biological media in old tank water about once a month, and the water is pretty damn clear.
     
  9. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    Thanks Guys for the replies

    Ok so been playing around did further mods, and I need to correct myself here the surface skimmer cant be closed but the intake tube can, I am guessing the blue dial was to disable the intake tube

    This is what I have done and has been working well for a few days now, but I regret not getting a canister filter :(

    This is the idea of flow from Seachem

    images.jpg

    The below pic is of the Bypass areas, this is when you add extra media to the basket or change the sponge to something with a higher density, the green and red circles and boxes is only to differentiate the different areas but the yellow section which also has the bypass issue is where the indicator is. I am guessing they created bypass areas to avoid overflow and messing on the floor when it gets too dirty

    images.jpg

    He is the media basket not sealed and bypass areas :(

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.31.42 (1).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.31.43.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.31.46.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.31.46 (1).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.31.43 (1).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.31.44.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.31.44 (1).jpeg

    Here is a classic example of bypass

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-20 at 13.37.40.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.19.40.jpeg

    Its very hard to ignore this when you paying R1000 + for this filter
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  10. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    This is my media even with the higher density sponges with no bypass on the top

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.19.45.jpeg

    Was even worse when I had the coarse sponge, its matrix with an extra 250g

    mods to follow...
     
  11. Pezulu

    Pezulu Moderator Comp Coordinator

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    Bypass is not that serious.
    What doesn't go through the filter system the one go, will pass through it with the next cycle.
    At the end of the day the filter works well for its intended purpose, and with proper regular maintenance it will keep the tank sparkling clean.
     
  12. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    To be honest with the mods on my tidal 75 I have done the tank is crystal clear and it has plenty of bio-media too, this is just my review on the filter and some possible improvements that can be made.

    I also forgot to clear something up is that the Tidal 55, 75 and 110 pulls water in from 3 areas

    images (2).jpg
    Red Zone - Surface Skimmer - Cant be disabled
    Blue Zone - Pump Area - I have seen this area work as some of my plant got stuck here
    Green Zone - Intake tube - This can be disabled by using the blue dial in the Blue Area
     
  13. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    ok so onto the Mods.

    I would call these the top 5 beginner mods, objective here is to prevent little fish and shrimp being sucked up by the filter

    1. First off if you using the intake tube try find a filter sponge with a hole on the 1 side only - The hole should be around 22mm. You can try import them as I have been to around 7 big and well known pet shops in JHB and have been unsuccessful finding this but importing one is not an issue.

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-20 at 13.37.08.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.04 (2).jpeg

    Try look for this one, I am not sure if indeed it has only a hole on the 1 side but I think it does.

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-20 at 13.37.09.jpeg

    2. Adding a coarse sponge to the area where the pump is, previously this was the blue area in the pic

    [​IMG]

    Excuse the dirt, I added Seachem Sand and it sucked up some :(

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.08 (1).jpeg

    I cut the sponge around 10mm thick

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.11.jpeg

    Made sure it was a snug fit

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.31.51 (1).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.12.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.13.jpeg

    You will notice that the blue dial is missing that is because I intend on always using my intake tube and it looks really ugly in the tank unless you like the random blue

    3. Next mod is as be the above pic its removing the intake tube restrictor dial, it basicall pulls apart and you can remove it, to get a cleaner look but I suggest you put a sponge as above or some fishies might get sucked up as the hole is biggish

    Here is a pic with it removed

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.09.44 (1).jpeg

    4. Foam on the adjustable angle screw for more angle and a softer than the hard rubber with its plastic

    I had some of this Foam laying around

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 15.24.46.jpeg

    Cut a small piece for extra cushion and more angle

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.10 (1).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-20 at 13.37.18.jpeg

    5. Seachem Purgen in a bag, this stuff is awesome helped with the tanins from my driftwood

    [​IMG]

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.19.36 (1).jpeg

    Please note these mods will not cause bypass, the only time that will happen is when you change the filter sponge or add an additional one in the bucket, over pack the bucket with media or if your media sponge in the bucket is really dirty. If you use the sponge and media that comes with the filter you will not have an issue with bypass, bypass is due to changes made in the media bucket

    I will be doing another post on the more advanced mods which gives me nice water clarity

    Thanks for Viewing
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  14. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    This is my current setup and it works very very well, enjoy !!!

    PS I also have the above 5 mods to make it even better

    Intake Pipe Mod

    So what I experience is that my filter was sucking up some of my fine sand as I couldnt find the 1 hole filter, so I silicone'd a piece of plastic to cover the hole and finding sponges now is really easy as I dont need to worry about finding the 1 hole sponges and I find that no more sand being sucked up so it only sucks from the sides.

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.22 (1).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.23.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.04.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.04 (1).jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.04 (2).jpeg

    Media Bucket Sponge

    The sponge that came with the filter is rather coarse, so I cut a sheet of sponge that is more condense and not as coarse and will catch more particles, the new sponge is also thicker and slightly wider so the seal in the media bucket is much better

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.20.jpeg

    Here is the blue sponge that comes with the filter, the vents on the bucket push it up slightly pics of the bucket and vents can be seen in earlier post

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.20 (1).jpeg

    Here is the over sized sponge

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.19.47 (1).jpeg

    This was what it caught after 2 weeks, take note that had the issue with the sand, really happy though works solid, realistically these filters will need to be cleaned every 3 weeks depending on your tank of coarse

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.19.48 - Copy.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.19.48 (1) - Copy.jpeg

    Sealing the Media Bucket

    Even thou it caught all the debree I was still getting particles in my water and my media got really dirty.

    I found the issue was from the front of the bucket the pic below and the bypass over the top at the rear of the bucket

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So I decided to make a custom bucket filter pads

    1024c027-5f97-4076-87a2-20c3f822e252.jpg
    c8100239-948c-421a-96b6-3795fb68afe4.jpg

    For the back of the filter

    9f1f87ec-b8ce-4e74-bb42-a928fab643da.jpg
    252f620c-4f15-42f2-8138-5febd8348ff6.jpg
    ad2f3e4c-5429-4c88-b590-359cee9b6cb2.jpg

    Just make sure you wash all the new filter pads to remove any fluff and dirt before putting it in your tank

    Next was to add some polyfilter floss in these holes and any holes where a space could be seen

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-20 at 13.37.46.jpeg

    Here is where I installed small floss

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.17.jpeg

    Other Sections that needed sponge

    These sections had bypass now due to the mods that I did so I needed to add some sponge to filter it

    The below is the main port where the water is pushed through to get filtered, and bypass happens here very easily

    [​IMG]

    So I cut a small sponge and secured it under the dial and it hooks on the lip

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.03.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.03 (1).jpeg

    Attachment limit reached lol

     
    Cale24 likes this.
  15. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    Ok last section that needed to be modified

    The area where the maintenance indicator will now flood so you will need to remove it

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-20 at 13.37.19.jpeg

    The below pic is where it will flood

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.02.jpeg

    So I add a little sponge to fix the issue

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.06.jpeg

    Here is the sections where it is now being filtered the water is still flowing just no unfiltered bypass happens

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.20.19.jpeg
    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.09.43.jpeg

    So the end result should look like this, make sure the rear filter pad and floss does not close the vent holes or it will sweat and leak outside of the filter

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 09.19.43 (1).jpeg

    Finally when ever I do filter maintenance I always add a cap full of this, make sure you clean all media in tank water as tap water contains chlorine and it will kill your bacteria.

    I also suggest you dont clean your media on the same day as your water change, however I do clean only the intake filter sponge on that day

    WhatsApp Image 2019-12-23 at 13.32.06 (1).jpeg
     
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  16. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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  17. Cale24

    Cale24

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    Very thorough and thanks for sharing. I'm considering trying out the Tidal 35 on a small tank when they're available locally (cost dependent), although I know its a simpler design to the larger units.
     
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  18. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    What size is your tank. I read somewhere and it really make sense is what ever they say that a filter can handle, half it. So basically a tidal 35 will be great for a tank up to a 17,5 Gallon


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Loved the thread .... but do get the feeling I am watching a person buying a top of the line land rover and making it a landcruiser - so I suppose it depends what side of the fence you are on. (to be clear I am ok with either as long as they get me from point A to point B )

    HOBs - when you are in the market to get one ... I have a simple guide - 1) auto restart after a power out ( most of the cheap small units fail here) 2) power consumption - yes every watt counts 3) size of the POT.

    As so well demonstrated in this thread - you can spend hours tweaking a HOB - maybe even more so than a canister.

    What I really like about a simple HOB setup - they are quick to adjust to the task at hand. Need to polish the water because you just moved plants around - great, out comes the ceramic media off with the pre-filter on the inlet - batting in the pot .. let that cycle. Got a fertz spike .. pull all media except the ceramics add more to the max - leave the prefilter sponge. Need more aeration remove all media max flow. Love tank maintenance, fill it with small amounts of every conceivable media that will clog-up very quickly, reduce your overall flow rate and needs loads of attention - check your HOB is great for that also.

    The absolute bonus - no clips, leaking pipes or any of that why is my floor se wet around the canister after a WC ... HOB really are great.

    One big downside - HOBs do not like eating substrate, since the water always hits the pump first - having a pre-filter will protect your impeller for many many years.

    Later Ferdie
     
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  20. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    Found this review of the Tidal 55, basically confirms that this filter needs to be customized for it to be effective

     
  21. OP
    FMN716

    FMN716 Back in the GAME!!!

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    2 Weeks later

    I did a check as I wanted to see if I must perform a filter clean and seems my efforts trying to reduce have failed :(

    The bio media is dirty again, its quite disappointing, but I do have 1 more thing I want to try

    WhatsApp Image 2020-01-04 at 11.43.33.jpeg

    But as a side note the sponge on the intake is working really well

    WhatsApp Image 2020-01-04 at 11.43.34 (1).jpeg

    First clean using tank water

    WhatsApp Image 2020-01-04 at 11.43.33 (1).jpeg

    Second Clean

    WhatsApp Image 2020-01-04 at 11.43.34.jpeg

    Had to do this 4-5 times to get it 100% but it definately works
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020

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