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Homemade reef...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

ickledevil

take a breath and relax..
Apr 26, 2001
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Well me and a dive buddy have been toying with this idea for some time since one of our favourite spots was dredged to make way for a yacht school... Of course we have all heard of this happening on a larger scale but how effective/feasible do you think it could be on a small scale.. say a few old washing machines and the like sunk at a secret unmarked spot...? How long would you expect it to take before the sea life took hold and would there be advantages to baiting it, or moving wreckage from surrounding area to concentrate it in one point? Any ideas gratefully recieved.
Joe
p.s Planning on a south coast of the UK, main targets.. shellfish, bass, mullet and flatties.
 
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Oldsarge

Deeper Blue Budget Bwana
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Forum Mentor
Jan 13, 2004
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Originally posted by ickledevil
Well me and a dive buddy have been toying with this idea for some time since one of our favourite spots was dredged to make way for a yacht school...

Now that's bad . . . as if there weren't enough poofters running around in blue peacoats and yachting caps already!

Of course we have all heard of this happening on a larger scale but how effective/feasible do you think it could be on a small scale.. say a few old washing machines and the like sunk at a secret unmarked spot...?

Well, washing machines are awfully light gauge steel. I'm concerned that they would rust out in a few years. How about things like engine blocks or cinder block?

How long would you expect it to take before the sea life took hold and would there be advantages to baiting it, or moving wreckage from surrounding area to concentrate it in one point? Any ideas gratefully recieved.
Joe
p.s Planning on a south coast of the UK, main targets.. shellfish, bass, mullet and flatties.

As I recall reading, sea growth begins to show up well within six months and you start to really see the effect of the reef with a year . . . depending on the temperature, salinity, fertility of the water, etc., etc. Baiting, IMO, wouldn't really be necessary though a bit of patience would. Moving "structure" that was already colonized and supporting marine life would likely get you in serious deep smelly with the local authorities. It sure would here.
 

jensen

Deeper Blue Hunter
Aug 19, 2003
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Hey Joe

I like the Idea. BUT BUT BUT you have to make sure you dosent harm the enviroment. Yes Yes i know you wont.
Why not, artificial reefs in smaller scale can be just as good habitats as larger ones. JUST a bit SMALLER:D .

This must have been don somewhere on this round thing we all live on.
I remember as a kid. We placed rocks and similar things in small creeks, to make shelter and feeding grounds to trouts. Damn it was working.

Here we put "worn out" christmas trees into fresh water lakes. For breeding rounds for Perch. AND IT WORKS.


Joe
 
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Alison

Offline
Mar 6, 2004
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I remember reading in a mag (Triton as it was [now Diver] just to show my age) about 30 years ago about some guys who tied a whole load of disused tyres together to make a reef, as I remember it was very succesfull. :)
 
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Oldsarge

Deeper Blue Budget Bwana
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Jan 13, 2004
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Yeah! I remember reading about rubber tires. They have lots of nooks and crannies for the marine growth to catch hold of, don't rust, last just forever and make for caves that the fish can hide in. Their only drawback is a tendency to wander in storms and such. So they need extra weight, again I like cinderblock, and chaining, not roping, together. Should work a treat.
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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If I had a $ for every fish I'd shot on a home made artificial reef, which included some washing machines, I could almost take a trip to the Red Sea. However, there are a host of potential problems to be solved.

1. Unless very heavy, engine blocks etc, stuff tends to drift away in storms. You need either very heavy stuff, good anchors or protected waters. Tires, for example, will take off and disappear only to wash up on the nearest beach. Very bad for your rep if anybody connects you with such an event. Also anchors don't work on tires in open water. Trust me on this one.

2. Lots of stuff has nasty environmental effects. Motors have oil, heavy metals, etc.

3. Stuff like washing machines and car bodies have such thin steel that they corrode away very quickly. You have to keep adding to the reef every year.

Negatives aside, I grew up diving in a culture where every charterboat skipper spent a portion of the off season adding to his flock of private spots, aka artificial reefs. They really work, if you are willing to put a lot of work into it.

Small ones work fine, but the bigger, the more vertical relief, and the more cracks and crannies, the better.

Time varies with the species, but genenally they start working immediately and keep getting more attractive for at least a year as more stuff grows on them.

Finally, keeping it private is the real secret. Small spots won't take much preasure, from you or anyone else.

Good luck with your project.

Connor
 
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portinfer

Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
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Joe - maybe the yachties could provide you with a boat or two to sink ?! I hear that five or six in a line make for a nice reef !

Least they could do.

When I was younger we'd always toy with the idea of making a reef from scrapped cars, just drive them down to position on a really low tide and arrange - the idea was to make a suitable reef for surfing... never happened though.
 

ickledevil

take a breath and relax..
Apr 26, 2001
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Cheers for all the encouragement, finding heavy and large structures for the reef is not a problem, i work in waste management... so loads around! Making sure it doesnt have a negative effect will take longer but my background is in environmental science so sure i'll work it out. As for location.. its been decided on is almost always very sheltered and believe me very secret and private and as such will stay, just working on final plans and deciding how big, how much and just well how!
Cheers Joe
 

Stevie T

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2003
78
7
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Hi Ickledevil,

Just got back to posting after some time off due to work etc, anyway been spending some time catching up on the topics and came across this one.

I appreciate you want to keep this location quiet, but it sounds very familiar i.e. new yachting club, dredging and above all sheltered waters :)

It would'nt happen to be somewhere pretty close to me would it by any chance?

If we are talking the same area, then I am more than happy to PM you some other good reefs local to it.

Cheers

Steve
 

ickledevil

take a breath and relax..
Apr 26, 2001
629
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Hehehe,
Wondered how long it would be until someone clocked on to where it was, i think you know exactly! you have a PM
 

aesop

Deeper Blue Addict
Mar 2, 2006
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If a reef starts developing anywhere from 6 months to a year, why is that many, not all shipwrecks are barely covered? Many of the ships have been there well over a year and seem to have almost nothing on them.
 
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Oldsarge

Deeper Blue Budget Bwana
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 13, 2004
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How fast the marine growth develops depends on water temperature, nutrients in the water, what kind of paint covers the ship, etc., etc. Suffice to say that at least in California, sunken ships (deliberately or otherwise) have a long history of being prime fishing/spearfishing spots as are long windrows of concrete blocks, huge boulders, tire mounds and anything else that adds structure to an otherwise bare sea bottom.
 

tylerz

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2002
733
114
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Interesting, missed this thread...

I have had a similar intention for a couple years now. Where I live there is an old drum floating out in the inlet, chained off to 50m, each link about 6-8 x 3 inches. If one didn't look extremely closely at the right location, there is almost no sign that it is a chain. The thing is covered in life beyond my wildest dream of what would exist on a chain. A series of depth ranges result in different ecology. Here are photos of what I refer to:
http://www.quietdeep.com/scripts/site/event.php?qdEventPageNum=1

Now, it occurred to me that this could be repeated with purposeful intent. However, it is the only instance in the area of such a magnificent artificial reef. There are many other scraps and pillars around the area, but all of them have barely anything growing on them.

The following is specific to my climate but I am sure has parallels to all climates.

What I would say I have learned from the areas around here (chain, narrows, open coast, shallows, depth, kelp beds, etc...), is life flourishes with lots of water movement and good solid things that support anchoring in such places. Those are the fundamentals, but in no way guarantee a high chance that a reef will form. There are many places that appear to have all the same conditions as another, one having a flourishing diversity of life, and another not.

So, what encourages one area to flourish? I think part of it is just the luck of the draw, in the sense that life got a foothold for long enough prior to other carniverous creature or occurrences impeding it. The next most significant feature is interrupting water flow. In the short-term I think reefs grow more rapidly if the artificial reef is concentrated, without much surface area. This may allow eggs, sperm, and larva to have a higher chance of being "caught" and held long enough to become secured and continue their process of growth as a part of the reef. A good range of depth supports the reef growing from whichever depth tends to provide the most suitable environment for the reef to start. Many variables could dictate which depth is going to more easily support the growth, and once one area begins to blossom, that life attracts more life which will work its way up and down from that point.

This is why I think the chain has done so well. The links have holes in the center, making a great location for anchored life to grasp food funneling through. The depth is a huge range, supporting the complete diversity of reef inclined animals. The chain sits relatively far from shore with significant daily water movement with the tides. As well, carnivores of the reef life for the most part have no ability to reach the chain; they would have to be inclined to wander down to 50m, stumbling across the chain, and then proceeding to scale it. And further travelling up the chain, they have the possibility of encountering reef life that deters them, or eats them. ;)

Cheers,

Tyler
 
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aesop

Deeper Blue Addict
Mar 2, 2006
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Interesting. Sounds like you either have to be a scientist or be fairly lucky.
 

Hypersquid1

Ride The Lightning
Jun 15, 2005
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my dad knows a guy that has been winning all of the local fishing tournaments on the lake we have up here, and when asked what his secret was he said "theres fish out there, theyre just in deeper water. you need something to attract the fish. i went out into the woods and cut down a few trees, then i hauled them to the lake and towed them out with my boat and dredged them. after i marked them with my gps, i returned in a few weeks and they were crawling with bass." the same should definately apply to bigger bodies of water. from what i have heard, the shell of a refrigerator is good. so are hoods of cars, any sort of metal piping, engine blocks, big flywheels from 18 wheelers, basically any sort of junk you can find. tires would be a no no as they can contain lead. try going to the local boneyard and see what you can dig up.
 
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aesop

Deeper Blue Addict
Mar 2, 2006
165
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Well, all that stuff may work, but it's not good for the ocean(besides the trees). I don't think that throwing "any sort of junk" into the ocean is justified just because it creates habitat for reef critters. If you were to follow the link above(not saying you didn't), you would find that boulders work just as well, or better. When I finally get in the water and find my "secret spot", I'll be using boulders, if there isn't a reef there already.

BTW, the link I am referring to is [SIZE=-1]the [/SIZE]http://www.nova.edu/ocean/ncri/projects/index.html one. Scroll to biological assesment of artificial reef materials and you will see what I'm talking about.

Cheers[SIZE=-1]
[/SIZE]
 
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miles

BORN WILD!!!
Supporter
Jun 13, 2003
1,486
392
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Hiya

Before you start building yopur own reefs, just make sure about the legality of it in your area. In certain countries, its illegal and you have to receive permission from the relevant authorities. This applies to artificial reefs as well as FAD's.

What could happen is that a boat could possible ride into your reef, cuasing damage to the vessel and endangering its crew. Since it won't be on any charts or plotters, it could pose a navigational hazard. Furthermore, you're probably be held liable for the damages or worse, and can find yourself in deep trouble.

Always worth finding out first!!

Regards
miles

ps. and keep those co-ordinates TOP SECRET!!:D:D:D
 
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