Aquatics can terraform 3 extra tiles and colonize water worlds.
They dont have acces to Brindles Observatory (+1 planet wonder), but have acces to the Central Mine (+1 Raw Production - planetary unique).
They use different research improvements:
- carbon: Xeno Research Lab line -> 5/7,5/10/12,5% + 2,5 % per LVL
- aquatic: Learning Center line -> 5/7/12,5/20/30% +1% per LVL
So Carbons have better research early on (because of the higher adjacency bonus), but Aquatics have the better late game research.
Aquatics also have better farms and better morale buildings and one additional pop growth building (which was useless before, but might be useful in patch 2.2.1)
I think Aquatics are way better then Carbons. There are only a few situations (map setups) in which Carbons would be better (very small maps or very few planets).