Why Get Nitrox Certified?
Have you heard about diving with “Nitrox”? Do you know what Nitrox is or why it’s PADI’s most popular Specialty course? There are many myths about Nitrox so here we take a look at what it is and why we use it. We teach the Nitrox course in both Murex Manado and Murex Bangka and it takes just half a day.
Find out all there us to know about Nitrox here – the facts revealed!
What is Nitrox?
The gas which we breath when diving is air, exactly the same as what you are breathing now. Air consists of approximately 21% oxygen and 79% Nitrogen.
Nitrox (which is also referred to as enriched air Nitrox, enriched air, EAN or EANX) has a higher percentage of oxygen than air. The most common blends contain either 32% oxygen or 36% oxygen but any blend is possible (up to a maximum of 40%).
Why Increase the Oxygen Level?
The benefits of diving with Nitrox are not caused by the increased level of oxygen, they come from the level of Nitrogen being decreased as a result. For example, if diving with 32% oxygen your blend contains only 68% nitrogen and if diving with 36% oxygen your blend has just 62% Nitrogen – compared to air which has 79%.
What are the Benefits?
Reducing the level of nitrogen is the key factor to diving with Nitrox because it is the build up of nitrogen in your body which governs your maximum allowable bottom time (no stop time on your computer). Your body can only absorb certain levels of nitrogen safely. If you exceed these levels, gas bubbles may form within your body, causing decompression sickness. By decreasing the level of nitrogen in your tank you slow down the rate at which nitrogen accumulates in your body.
This slower build up of Nitrogen is good news for divers as it means that they can spend longer at depth before the Nitrogen level in their body reaches the point where they need to start ascending.
The table below shows the maximum allowable bottom time at differing depths when using air compared to using Nitrox 32% and Nitrox 36% – the differences are impressive – now you can see why this is the most popular PADI Specialty course in the world!
|Depth||Max. Bottom Time Using Air||Max. Bottom Time Using Nitrox 32%||Max. Bottom Time Using Nitrox 36%|
|18 meters||56 minutes||95 minutes||125 minutes|
|22 meters||37 minutes||60 minutes||70 minutes|
Can I Dive Deeper?
One of the biggest myths about Nitrox diving is that you can dive deeper – it’s not true! When using Nitrox it’s all about getting longer bottom times. When oxygen is breathed under pressure (when you are diving) it can become toxic with depth. This means that as you increase the percentage of oxygen in your blend, your maximum depth becomes less. The table below shows maximum depths when diving with air, Nitrox 32% and Nitrox 36%.
|Gas Blend||Max Depth|
|Nitrox 32%||34 meters|
|Nitrox 36%||29 meters|
As the maximum depth for Advanced Open Water Divers is 30 meters and the majority of the world’s best dive sites, including those here in North Sulawesi, lay between 25 meters and upwards, depth limitation is not an issue – but longer bottom time is! More time to see the incredible marine life that we have here and enjoy being underwater.
Are there Health & Safety Benefits to diving with Nitrox?
If you dive with Nitrox and use your computer or plan you dive according to using air then you will have a much less lower accumulation of nitrogen in your body than what is allowed for. Also, when diving with Nitrox, as you have accumulated less nitrogen you need less time to release it between dives which means shorter surface intervals are required.
Some divers have reported feeling “less tired” after diving with Nitrox but there is no solid medical evidence on this yet.
What does the Nitrox Course Entail?
This is PADI’s most popular program for good reasons – more time to spend with the fishes! The course can be taken through PADI eLearning at home and then you’ll only need to complete a small practical component here which includes learning how to analyze the contents of your tank and signing off for it. This program is a non-diving program but we’ll also include 2 free tanks of Nitrox for anyone taking their course with us!
If you don’t take e-Learning you’ll need to set aside half a day for completing the theory and practical components here at Murex. The price for the full course is IDR 2,500,000 (approximately US $175).
Is it Worth It?
YES! You’ll be able to stay longer at your chosen depth than on air, many liveaboards only take Nitrox divers, you’ll be able to maximize your time underwater and have potentially shorter surface intervals – please note that we always have a minimum one hour surface interval but with less nitrogen to unload you are increasing your safety margin. Finally, when diving in remote destinations, some dive insurance companies require diving with Nitrox.
Nitrox in North Sulawesi
When you are diving here at Murex Dive Resorts, whether you are diving from Murex Manado, Murex Bangka or Lembeh Resort you’ll find that Nitrox diving is a useful addition to your skills. In Bunaken, some of the dive sites are 100’s of meters deep but we choose to dive to a maximum depth of around 25 meters. In Bangka most of our sites peter out at around the same depth. The best corals lay upwards of 25 meters (as more light is available) and the more time you get to spend here, the more you will see!
So are you ready to get Nitrox certified? To take the program online, sign up for PADI eLearning OR make a reservation to take the course in resort on firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a quick program, a lot of fun, a good reminder of diving theory and one which opens up numerous opportunities in the future!
Do you want to see all that North Sulawesi has to offer in one incredible trip? Join us on a Passport to Paradise and dive Bunaken -> Bangka -> Lembeh in one phenomenal holiday. Experience the staggering walls and stunning corals of the Bunaken Marine Park, immerse yourself in a world of color at Bangka Island and dive the world’s best muck in Lembeh. With boat diving transfers from resort to resort you won’t have any wasted transfer days, no gear drying and no packing – just get up and dive, dive, dive!
For more information or to book your place: email@example.com
We look forward to welcoming you to North Sulawesi again soon.