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80 CF Aluminum as Pony Bottle?

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by 73diver, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. 73diver

    73diver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    OK I will admit 'wrong doing' up front. I went to a resort and did a bunch of group diving but I also did a bunch of solo diving. My solo dive training training stressed that redundant air be used. I had a second regulator but the only tanks available were aluminum 80's. That just seemed like too big a tank to take as a pony. I took my pictures and kept the depth modest and didn't tell anybody (until now). Around home I typically use a 40CF pony which is barely noticeable. I was wondering what experiences others have had using an aluminum 80 as a pony. Such as 'too big', 'PITA', 'nearly neutral no problem', etc. Thanks.
  2. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
  3. Roman_66

    Roman_66 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Allen, TX, USA
    I used Al-80 as pony and additional air (I am big air consumer) during my last trip to Honduras.
    It is big only on boat, I put 4lb on it and after this just didn't pay attention on additional Al-80 during dives.
    Next week I am going to Islamorada, FL and plan to use the same here.
  4. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    I agree, a pair of AL80's is great for side mount, even on pretty fish recreational dives. Just use half of each tank on dive one, and the rest on dive two.


    Way back in the day, we were advised to limit our max depth to twice the depth to which we could free dive. The idea being that provided we were within the NDLs, we could always make a free ascent to the surface in the event of total gas loss.

    Now, when water skills in general are lower and many scuba divers go directly to scuba with no time spent freediving ("skindiving" back in the day), a pony seems to be more or less mandatory for solo diving.
    tbone1004 likes this.
  5. sunnyboy

    sunnyboy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
    Ditto. Just took mine today in fact. With sidemount you hardly notice it's there.

    p.s. yea, I know my avatar is me with a Prism Topaz rebreather, but today's dive was blowing bubbles with a 100cf (hp) tank as primary. I took the 80 as a stage mostly to test the trim on open circuit (new armadillo ccr butt plate setup). I always sidemount either a AL-40 or an AL-80 with the rebreather as bailout.
  6. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    We have a local dive we like to make that has a long run time. My wife and I each back mount an HP 100 and we bring an AL80 rigged to sling like a pony that we each use at different time to augment our back gas. We usually clip it off diagonally. If you are intending to use the air on a regular basis I suggest including up to 4 pounds of lead in your rigging. Otherwise when it goes buoyant it can be a little annoying.

    Any managed air can be good air.

  7. FishLovingStudent

    FishLovingStudent Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: PNW
    I dive sidemounted AL80s on a regular basis and one tank SM on rare occasions. One time a buddy and I slung AL80s with backmounted AL80s. Barely noticed it but not sure if I would do it again haha
  8. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    I prefer something smaller than an 80, but I have used everything from a 30 up to an 80 depending on what is available, as long as you have enough gas to surface from the max depth you plan to go to.
  9. johnnywulff

    johnnywulff Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Venezuela
    I agree , train to use was available on the dive site, especially if you travel, I personally rent 80cf sidemount every Sunday solo diving , the same applies for the type of valve left or right, this way you will be comfort any time.
  10. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines

    'nuff said....

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