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Old 06-06-2008, 12:28 AM   #1
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Default What tanks to buy

I was wondering what everyone thinks about owning your own tanks. Do you own steel or Aluminum? It seems to me that renting tanks can be the way to go. A couple bucks more than the fill cost. I am sure if you are mixing gas you want your own, But for me the newb renting seems to be the way to go.

And on another note. Remember I'm a newb to this and read as much as I can. What level of PADI certification is needed to get 21% EAN tanks?? I thought normal air we breath is 21% Oxygen 1% Misc and the rest Nitrogen. Is this because 21% EAN is certified amounts?? I think I answered my own question. But in OWS this was not talked about.

This is almost as bad as owning a boat. It is always something you need to buy. Bad part is I really like that the Wife enjoys it. Just buying everything for 2 has hurt the girl friend money. I sure do miss her!!!!!!:angel:banghead:angel:shedevil
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:49 AM   #2
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

Everyday air that you walk around and breath is nitrox. EAN 21% is air. God made a nitrox atmosphere for us to breathe, it's just not a good mix for diving if you want to stay down there without serious deco obligations.

I own my own steel tanks and I'd have it no other way. I can get custom mixes and if for some reason a hot diving weekend shows up and there are no rentals of EAN (%higher than 21), then there's no worries, I can surely get some fills. Also, have you ever been out to a dive site and then not get to use your second or third rental tank? Most places charge you for the rental of the tank based on you leaving the shop with it, not on your ability to get underwater and reduce pressure in said tank. If you own the tanks, no worries, you are out nothing as you can just put it in the house and use it next weekend or whenever you dive again.

Also, I prefer steel over aluminum for the buoyancy charateristics. I've finally shed all the weight from my weight belt even in my 2 piece farmer john. There's more capacity in a steel tank as well and no short fill concerns as the lower pressure steel tanks at 2640 psi has many cubic feet more air than an 80 at 3000 and most of the time you'll find your steel tank to contain more a "few" more psi than the 2,640 you expected.

Get some Steel 95's or 108's and I bet you'll never feel the need to be a tank rental guy ever again. Fritz, Jim and the bunch will surely hook you up. You'll be needing them for the upcoming Guns and Hoses, I'll bet?

Just my opinion, yours may vary.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:55 AM   #3
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

I agree with everything Chris said... except which tanks to buy.

If you're going to go with steel (which would be my preference) check out the steel 119's that MBT is now selling. They are about the same physical dimension as an LP steel 95, but are rated for a higher pressure, allowing more cu. ft. of air without going with a bigger/heavier tank.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

Steel tanks are the best in my opinion. I have a set of steel low pressure 112's. I double them up for cave/tech diving and leave them apart for everything else.

The hold a good deal of air and are better on the bouyancy. They sink. A Aluminum tank will float when empty. You can reduce the amount of weight on your weight belt. With the doubles I dont need any at all. I may slip a pound or two into a pocket to drop if necessary but if cave diving dont use any.

(no need to drop weights in a cave.....lol)
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

Hey reel! I went thru the "wich tank to buy dilema" a while ago, and heres what I came up with, and am very happy.

NUmber one, steel. As said, yes, they are heavier to cary to the boat, but the overall weight of your "rig", bc, tank, weights, will be the same. 6 more pounds or so in the tank means 6 less pounds or so of lead.

Now, I am sure everybody has a different opinion, but LP (low pressure) Heres why. And it was the guys at MBT that made me aware of this when I was determined to get HP tanks. If you get HP tanks, you are not going to be able to walk in, get yuor fill quickly, and scoot. Not if you want the full 3400 and some odd psi. Getting up to those pressures creates a lot of heat, and when they fill em to that, they need to let em cool down, which during that time the psi also drops, then top em again, and maybe a 3rd time to get you with that much psi.

I bought 2 steel LP108's from MBT, and I love em. They are about the same height as an aluminum 80, so your not getting slapped in the back of your knees from a long tank hanging down.

As far as justifing price, it will depend on how much you dive, and if your content with 80's, which most times is all that will be available for rental. I know you just outlaid some cash on other gear, nothing says you have to buy tanks NOW. You can laways wait a bit.

And a little extra cubic feet of air goes along way towards your bottom time. Heres why.

With an 80 cubic foot, if you follow the "rules" and head towards the surface when you have 1000 psi left, that equals about 27 cubic feet of air left in your tank. Lets say by the time you check your reg and inflators, get in the water, swim to the anchor rope, wait for others to drop in, then get down to the wreck, you burned 300 psi and are at 2700 psi once on the bottom. That is 8 cubic feet of air you used to get down. That means yuo only have a total of 45 cubic feet of air for your actual fun part of the dive, your bottom time.

Now, if you have a 120cubic foot tank, take out the 27 and 8 cubic feet for getting down and up, you know have 85 cubic feet for your bottom time! Even though you didnt double the size of your tank to a 160 cubic foot, you did almost double your pleasure...double your fun!

Check your PM's bout a little other info on LP 108's

Also, your right, 21% "nitrox" or "EAN" is just plain air. You can get your Nitrox cert any time now that you got your OWC.

Hope we can go diving when your here man!
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:26 AM   #6
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

Quote:
Clay-Doh (6/6/2008)

Now, I am sure everybody has a different opinion, but LP (low pressure) Heres why. And it was the guys at MBT that made me aware of this when I was determined to get HP tanks. If you get HP tanks, you are not going to be able to walk in, get yuor fill quickly, and scoot. Not if you want the full 3400 and some odd psi. Getting up to those pressures creates a lot of heat, and when they fill em to that, they need to let em cool down, which during that time the psi also drops, then top em again, and maybe a 3rd time to get you with that much psi.
This is good information, and precisely why I recommend checking out the steel 119's. If you get an LP fill in it (due to time constraints, or whatever), you'll still have 95 cu ft., or thereabouts. If you're going to drop off the tanks, or don't mind waiting around a little longer for a fill, then you get the full 119 cu. ft., but you're only lugging around a tank the size of an LP 95.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

Quote:
FelixH (6/10/2008)
Quote:
Clay-Doh (6/6/2008)

Now, I am sure everybody has a different opinion, but LP (low pressure) Heres why. And it was the guys at MBT that made me aware of this when I was determined to get HP tanks. If you get HP tanks, you are not going to be able to walk in, get yuor fill quickly, and scoot. Not if you want the full 3400 and some odd psi. Getting up to those pressures creates a lot of heat, and when they fill em to that, they need to let em cool down, which during that time the psi also drops, then top em again, and maybe a 3rd time to get you with that much psi.
This is good information, and precisely why I recommend checking out the steel 119's. If you get an LP fill in it (due to time constraints, or whatever), you'll still have 95 cu ft., or thereabouts. If you're going to drop off the tanks, or don't mind waiting around a little longer for a fill, then you get the full 119 cu. ft., but you're only lugging around a tank the size of an LP 95.


I was trying to keep him outta trouble Felix. Hell, you know I got hp 130's! :shedevil
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:09 PM   #8
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

Quote:
theangrydolphin (6/10/2008)

I was trying to keep him outta trouble Felix. Hell, you know I got hp 130's! :shedevil
Capacity is good!! Big Rich has some LP 130's he let me borrow a couple of times... LOTS of gas!!
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:05 PM   #9
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

I prefer AL100s and I own 3. They hold a lot of air, cost a lot less than steel (about 1/2), and can be jammed, just like steel (I normally have mine filled to 3500 cold). They are very slightly buoyant when empty. They don't rust either.

Harry
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Old 06-15-2008, 08:21 AM   #10
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Default RE: What tanks to buy

Steel all the way. No doubt about it. I've dove with just about every tank I can think of from big to small, aluminum to steel, high pressure to low pressure, and what works for me is an LP (low pressure: 2400psi) steel 95 or 108. I have a pair of both, and depending on what dive I'm doing I'll use either. I usually keep a richer mix (36%) in my 95's for shallower dives, and a leaner mix (30%) in my 108's for deeper dives. The major benefits of steel are the ability to overfill, and the bouyancy characterisitics. I wear a back plate, wing, and harness BC, and with a steel 95 or 108 I don't have to wear any weight with up to a 7mm wetsuit. It gives me PLENTY of gas to do anything I want (my last dive on the Oriskany yesterday was to a max depth of 130ft, and my bottom time was 67 minutes.) Aluminum tanks become positively buoyant at the end of a dive (the bigger the tank the more positively buoyant they become) and you have to overweight yourselfat the beginning of a dive so that you are not floating away at the end of the dive. I don't like that characteristic of aluminum tanks. The 2 major draw backs to steel are 1.) cost and 2.) the potential for rust. The cost is about 1.5 to 2 times more than an aluminum tank (but well worth it in my opinion.) As far as rust goes, get a galvanized exterior finish on the tank and it will last forever. The interior is a different story. If you get water into the interior of a steel bottle and leave it there, you can throw the bottle away. That's pretty easy to prevent though as long as you don't run out of air while under water (which will be pretty difficult to do with 108 cubic ft +).So in my opinion, the benefits far outway the cost. If you are going to buy tanks buy steel. If you are thinking about buying aluminum, keep renting until you can afford steel. Just my opinion.
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