Have you ever wondered about the tanks with the distinctive green and yellow band you may have seen on the dive boats? or have you ever wanted to know more about becoming a certified nitrox diver? Let Scubafish dispel the myths and mystery surrounding nitrox, and explain the benefit and ease of certification!
Nitrox – what is it?
Nitrox, also known as Enriched Air Nitrox, could be described as air that has been “enriched” to contain more than the 21% Oxygen we breathe on land, or in a normal scuba cylinder. In a Nitrox blend the oxygen content can range from 21-40% Oxygen (for recreational no-decompression diving). The most common blends are 32% and 36% Oxygen.
Nitrox – what are the benefits?
Since the amount of oxygen (O2) in the gas is higher, this means there is a lower amount of nitrogen than in a normal air tanks – therefore divers using Nitrox tanks are exposed to less nitrogen. It is the nitrogen that we absorb whilst diving that can lead to decompression illness, and that dictates our no decompression limits (the maximum amount of time we can spend at a specific depth)
Enriched air does not allow you to dive deeper – but, within the recreational 18 – 30 m range, your no stop time or time at specific depths is significantly extended, adding considerably to your available dive time. For instance, if we compare the NoD (No decompression limits) from the air and nitrox RDP’s (Recreational Dive Planners or tables) at 18 metres:
- On Air – 56 mins
- Nitrox 32% – 95 mins
- Nitrox 36% – 125 mins
In essence a nitrox diver would finish with less dissolved, absorbed nitrogen their tissues than if they’d dived on air, also allowing for shorter surface intervals (great when there are manta rays or whalesharks down below!)
What does the Nitrox Course involve?
The PADI Enriched Air Diver Course is a 1 day stand alone Specialty Course, or add on to your day’s fun diving, open to anyone with Open Water certification or above (aged 12 years or more).
There is a short video (which can even be watched on the boat), a knowledge review and short quiz to complete, explaining a little more about how the higher oxygen content poses some easily managed risks related to fire and o2 toxicity. Scubafish are also happy to offer the PADI eLearning Nitrox Course if you prefer to have completed the small amount of theory involved prior to your arrival.
Your instructor teaches you to analyze the oxygen content of your tank before you use it and there is then a maximum operating depth you will be able to determine for that blend, and you complete an enriched air Fill Log for each tank.
Scubafish teach the newest version of the course using dive computers – so there are no tricky tables to work with these days! Even better there are no skills during the 2 required dives themselves!
This is PADI’s most popular Specialty Course, and a favourite of ours here at Scubafish. Nitrox is especially beneficial for:
- Deeper sites – such as Hin Daeng & Hin Muang, and the King Cruiser Wreck
- Older divers
- Liveaboard diving – repetitive dives over multiple days
For just 5,900 THB you can add this option on to your day’s diving, a particularly popular option for divers out at Hin Daeng & Hin Muang!
Should you be interested in any furtehr information, or wish to sign up the please contact us by clicking this link.