How to Buy a SCUBA Tank

How to Buy a SCUBA Tank
SCUBA tanks provide the air you need in an unfriendly environment. If you live close to the water, owning your own tank is a great convenience. Choosing a tank that fits your gear and your diving style will make your diving more comfortable and pleasurable.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Dive training and certification
  • Dive training and certification
Step 1
Choose an aluminum or steel tank. Aluminum tanks cost less, but they have a tendency to be more positive in their buoyancy, which results in needing more weight when diving. Steel tanks are more expensive, lighter to a comparable aluminum tank, but more negatively buoyant. A steel tank also will last longer than an aluminum tank.
Step 2
Decide whether you want a high-pressure or low-pressure tank. High-pressure tanks can take a fill of up to 3,400 psi, while low-pressure tanks top off at 3,000 psi.
Step 3
Determine the capacity of the tank you want. Tank volume is measured by cubic feet. To make the best volume choice, you will need to know your air consumption. You will have learned different ways to calculate air consumption and time at depth problems in your certification class. Tank volumes can run from 65 to 180 cubic feet. As you add capacity, you also are adding weight to the tank.
Step 4
Choose the physical size of the tank you will be buying. Generally, tanks will run either 7-1/4 inches or 8 inches in diameter. Tank lengths can run from a short 17 inches to 28 or even 30 inches. Shorter tanks fit better for shorter torsos. The size of the tank also will depend on capacity.
Step 5
Select the color and coating on your tank. Brighter colors will make your tank more visible to your dive buddies. Coatings help protect your tank from saltwater corrosion.

Tips & Warnings

Consider buying a tank boot that allows you to stand your tank up, a tank sleeve to protect your tank and a tank banger signaling device.
Never purchase a used tank that hasn't been visually inspected and hydrostatically tested.


Article Written By Andy McVeigh

Andy McVeigh lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys paddling, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving and photography. McVeigh is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and is currently working on his MBA.

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