Aluminium or Steel? What size? Brand?
These are common questions when looking at purchasing dive tanks. Rest assured there are some simple answers to get you started. There are some simple considerations to understand. We outline some of the differences below while remembering nothing is better than speaking to a dive professional at NZ Sea Adventures in Wellington to organise the right cylinder for your situation.
Catalina Aluminium Dive Tanks
Aluminium tanks are an affordable option and a simple answer for just about any recreational diver. There are smaller sizes for other types of diving requirements. When doing simple one tank dives you’ll be pleased with an 11L Catalina Dive cylinder. Aluminium cylinders are very robust and rust is not a problem. Aluminium 11L cylinders are also an excellent option for Sidemount Divers as they are lighter and more streamlined.
FABER Steel Dive Tanks
Steel tanks offer a greater range of sizes, again there are smaller tank sizes for different configurations. For Recreational diving, the popular FABER dive cylinders made from high quality steel come in sizes 10L, 12L and a whopping 15L dive tank. A smaller Steel tank (the 10L say) is quite light and much smaller than even the 11L Aluminium. Steel Cylinders have less bulk because Steel is Stronger than Aluminium. The 12L tanks are a happy medium for a diver from an average height upwards where as the 15L offer a considerable amount of extra air.
The weight of a dive cylinder varies between material used and size also. An 11L Catalina Aluminium cylinder weighs 14.2kg’s when empty where as a 15L steel FABER cylinder weighs 16.9kg’s. Now remembering these are the empty “tare” weight of these cylinders. The extra air in a 15L Steel tank will also add to the weight difference. As we know, weight affects buoyancy and also your trim.. See: Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty
Consider what types of diving you are looking at doing. Single tank recreational diving, Sidemount diving or Twin tank diving for a start. Technical diving add’s a greater variety of requirements. Options will benefit each configuration a different way for particular divers so a reminder to talk to your dive professional at NZ Sea Adventures. We are happy to help and have a great range to compliment your diving requirements.