Interactive Kotie

Kotie's General Scuba Diving FAQ - Answers to all your scuba diving questions

Hi there. I would like to share a bit of my scuba diving knowledge so you can be as smart as me.
Here are the main categories of questions: Or, if you prefer, you can talk to me directly.

General Scuba Questions

Are aluminum tanks better than steel tanks?

Better is in the eye of the beholder. Aluminum tanks have lower maintance and are cheaper, but the positive bouyance characteristics of Aluminum tanks is much to be desired. Steel tanks have higher maintance, are more expensive, but they do not have positve bouyant characteristics when low on air.

Do you know where i can find safe temperature for tank storage?

For long term storage, at least 500 psi in the garage or closet should be fine as long as tempatures dont exceed 100 degrees. Keep away from gas furnes and water heater.

How do i become a master scuba diver?

By completing any five specialty certifications and submitting an application for the master scuba diver rating.

How do you clear a mask?

Allow some water to enter your mask by pulling it away from your face then purge your mask by keeping pressure along the top of your forehead and exhaled through your nose. The water will be forced out of the bottom of the mask.

How do you control your breathing underwater?

The best way to control your breathing underwater is to use a well maintained easy to breathe regulator. Do not forget slow deep breaths.

How fast can you descend?

As fast as you would like as you would like. Just make sure you are comfortable.

How long can i dive with a tank?

This depends on your tank pressure, volume, the depth of your dive, the workload, the water temperature and your personal breathing rate. But let's say that many people could dive at a depth of 60 feet with a standard aluminum tank filled to 3000psi for half an hour.

How long should a person stay underwater?

As long gas supply is sufficient and you are within your decompression limits and stay warm enough.

How much air can a tank hold?

This varies on the tank. It can be anywhere from 2250 to 4350 pounds per square inch

How much does pressure change in 33 feet?

29.4 psi

Is it better to have a full or adjustable strap fin?

A full foot fin is a lighter weight fin and easier to travel with. An adjustable fin pushes more water and when you get out of them your booties protect your feet from hot sand and rocks.

Is it safe to dive less then 24 hours before or after a plane flight?

It is always a good idea to wait 24 hours prior to flying. You can dive as much as you would like after a flight.

The ultra high pressure tank will hold how much compressed air?

4350 psi

What are fins?

The diver’s fins are simply extensions of your feet. The purpose of the fin is to increase the foots effective propelling surface, enabling the diver to move more efficiently and with greater thrust through the water.

What camera should i buy?

Of course, I am partial to digital cameras, but to view a complete selection of choices, Click Here

What company makes the best b.c.s?

Buoyancy compensators come in two basic styles. Jacket vest and back inflation. Jacket vest means that the BC inflates all around your body. The advantage is that many people trained on this style and feel comfortable with it. Also, it will be easier to float upright at the surface of the water. Every other advantage goes to Back Inflation. It will feel less restrictive when inflated. There will be less stuff in front of you when you are doing underwater activities such as photography. There are many terrific BCs from which to choose.

What company makes the best boots?

There are many terrific boots to choose from.

What company makes the best gauge?

The key feature to consider when purchasing a gauge is how much work you are willing to do versus what the gauge can do for you. A gauge can tell you when to ascend and at what rate. It can tell you when your tank pressure is becoming low.

What company makes the best snorkels?

Many people think the most important quality of a snorkel is that it keeps water completely out of your mouth. Others think the main purpose is as a breathing tube until you get your regulator in your mouth, then they wish it would vanish. There are completely dry snorkels and even small, folding snorkels available nowadays.

What do you wear under a wetsuit?

You don’t have to wear anything. But if you’d like you can wear a lycra suit, dive skin or swimsuit.

What does pelagic mean?

Pelagic refers to animals that that live in the open sea, but not near the shoreline or on ocean bottom.

What is a bezel?

A movable ring on a compass or watch, that is inscribed with index marks. The ring may be rotated in 1 direction only and is used to mark direction or elapsed time.

What is a console?

Devices that are designed to hold assorted gauges and insturments around or inline with the submersible pressure gauge.

What is a controlled emergency swimming ascent?

In the unlikely event that a diver runs out of air, they may ascend directly to the surface at a rate of one foot per second while exhaling gently.

What is a decompression dive?

Any dive deep enough or long enough to require controlled decompression. For example any dive which requires decompression stops.

What is a decompression stop?

The designated depth and time which a diver must stop and wait during the ascent from a decompression dive. The depth and time are specified by the decompression tables in use.

What is a dive master?

A Dive Master is an enrty level scuba leadership certification. Dive Masters are in charge of all Scuba diving operations.

What is a integrated weight system?

Systems in which weight is combined with the backpack and buoyancy compensator.

What is a scooter?

They are underwater propulsion devices. They are excellent for underwater inspection, search and recovery operations, and exploration. Scooters give you the ability to navigate around the perimeter of a large object, dive sites from shore that were previously unreachable, or visit multiple sites during the same dive.

What is a sherwood wisdom?

The Sherwood Wisdom is their state of the art diving computer which calculates your safe air time for diving standard or enriched air. One cool feature is the HP quick disconnect which allows you to easily remove your computer from your first stage for transport.

What is a signaling device?

Gives the diver the ability to signal on the surface using a horn, mirror, whistle, or even a safety sausage.

What is a skin suit?

A skin suit is the same thing as a wetsuit.

What is a snorkel keeper?

A device to attach a snorkel to a mask.

What is a west coast lobster's, (panulirus interruptus) favorite meal?

Mussels are the favorite meal of Panulirus Interruptus, commonly called, the West Coast lobster.

What is an alternate air source?

An additional second stage regulator which provides air to a diver's buddy in an emergency.

What is an ascent rate?

This is the speed when a diver leaves the bottom and ascends to the surface at the end of the dive.

What is an urchin?

A spiny creature that lives in oceans all over the world.

What is bottom time?

The time between descending below the surface to the beginning of the ascent.

What is california diving news?

California Diving News is a monthly publication by Saint Brendan Corporation, that is dedicated to California scuba diving. The editor is Dale Sheckler.

What is cave diving?

Cave diving is a type of technical diving where you explore natural or artificial caves under the sea.

What is celing?

As related to diving, a minimum to which a diver may ascend without risk of decompression sickness, that is displayed by a dive computer.

What is deco time?

Why do you refuse to use your tables? I suggest using a dive computer since you cannot take me with you. Click here for some great choices.

What is is owned and operated by SCUBA DIVING Instructors who have served the needs of scuba divers for over a decade. Their dive center has been featured in magazines, newspapers and on television. is proud to have received numerous awards including Forbes' Best of Web, for two years running, and the prestigious Golden Web Award for website excellence. Their website offers thousands of products by scuba diving's most popular manufacturers. Everything they sell comes with a full manufacturers' warranty. When you shop with them, your satisfaction is guaranteed. Their scuba diving instructors assemble your gear before delivering it to you, and also perform repairs in their service and repair facility. As a Better Business Bureau (BBB) member, they have supplied some of the diving equipment needs of Rodale's Scuba Lab, NASA, NASCAR, NOAA, Woods Hole Marine Institute, Sea World - Orlando, Aquarium of the Bay - San Francisco, and dozens of other aquariums including New York and Chicago. Their website and retail Dive Center are a favorite with dozens of high profile celebrities who have purchased their gear and learned to scuba dive with them. Since the inception of their website in 1996, they have operated the world's largest and most visited retail scuba diving equipment website. You can reach them by phone (800.34.SCUBA), bulletin board, or email. Their professionally trained instructors are seasoned vets with years of diving experience who are there to serve your diving needs. You can visit them at

What is escuba? is a free online resource for information on dive travel, directories, health and safety and other diving topics. It is operated by scuba diving instructors, from the webmasters to the research team, everyone involved is an active diver.

What is free diving?

Free diving consists of holding your breath and descending. Some examples of free diving include spear fishing, photography, and snorkeling.

What is my order status?

You can check your order status for any order that you have placed with online at

What is sophistry?

To argue in a plausible but misleading way.

What is spear fishing?

It is either done free diving or scuba diving where you hunt for fish with a spear gun.

What is the bends?

Another name for decompression sickness.

What is the best place to dive?

I really like Laguna Beach, California, it is full of reefs and great beach dives.

What is the best technique on breathing?

The best technique on breathing underwater is slow, deep continous breaths.

What is the conrad limbaugh award?

This award is the highest, most prestigious award presented by the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department. It represents outstanding support and teaching excellence for their underwater programs.

What is the max depth for open water diver?

The maximum safe sport diving depth is 130 feet.

What is the maximum ascent rate?

The slower the better but no faster than 60 feet per minute and don't forget your safety stop.

What is the maximum depth i can dive on nitrox?

This is based on training and the percent of oxygen in your mixture. Consult your Nitrox training manual.

What is the maximum depth i can dive with air only?

The generally accepted maximum depth on air is 218 feet.

What is the most important rule of scuba diving?

Never hold your breath.

What is the primary cause of acute hypothermia?

Reduction of body temperature as a result of environmental exposure to cold. Some hypothermia is the result of most dives unless the diver's suit is suitably warm.

What is the scuba show?

This is an annual scuba show convention, the largest dive expo in the western United States. The show is held in Long Beach, California. This year's show is on June 21 and 22. It has been called "The Diving Event of the Year".

What is wave height?

The distance measured from the crest to the trough of a wave.

What is wreck diving?

Wreck diving is a type of recreational diving where shipwrecks are explored.

What is your contact info?

You can email me at

What is your e mail address?

Try sending mail to me Kotie at

What percent of air is nitrogen?

78 percent of air we breath is nitrogen.

Whats a good scuba diving website?

I prefer

Where can i buy scuba equipment? offers thousands of products by scuba diving's most popular manufacturers. Everything they sell comes with a full manufacturers' warranty. When you shop with them, your satisfaction is guaranteed. Their scuba diving instructors assemble your gear before delivering it to you. They can also perform equipment repairs in their service and repair facility.

Where can i find underwater communications?

You can view underwater communications by click here

Where can i read about dive flag?

Just remember the Dive Flag is not an official Coast Guard Flag. Rules and Regulations vary from state to state.

Where should i store my tank?

For long term storage, at least 500 psi in the garage or closet should be fine as long as tempatures dont exceed 100 degrees. Keep away from gas furnes and water heater.

Which shark is the fastest swimmer?

The mako shark is the fastest swimmming shark.

Who is oceanic?

Oceanic products are designed, manufactured, and tested in one of the industy's most advanced facilities at their own 100,000 square foot facility located in California. Everything they make is made in the USA.

Will nitrox prolong your dive time?

Yes, nitrox extends your no decompression limit quite a bit.

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