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How do I keep CO2 levels high for my dive?

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.


Tom Arnold
Oct 11, 2002
I often dive solo (it is either that or not dive at all) :( I therefore keep my dives short and shallow. I have read about people advising to keep CO2 levels high so that the urge to breath is dictated by too much CO2 rather than too little O2. How can I ensure that my CO2 levels are high? Is it just by keeping my breathup to just deep breaths without pushing the exhale so far?
Would appreciate your thoughts... :)
I am also interested in the answer to this question, and the opposite - how to keep CO2 low - not for solo diving (or even diving at all), but for dry statics, to make them more comfortable.
One way is to do this:
During the last 2 minutes before you dive, do the following pattern:
One deep breath
hold at the top 30 seconds
One deep breath
hold at the top 30 seconds
One deep breath
hold at the top 30 seconds
One deep breath
hold at the top 30 seconds
exhale, inhale, pack, go.

This is not foolproof. The only way to adjust your CO2 level without error is to do a static at the surface to a known number of contractions, then follow it with a specific pattern such as the one above. But, that takes much longer.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Thanks Eric, sounds like good advice there. Just one question: do you mean that I should inhale, hold for 30 seconds, do a full exhale and then breathe in again for the next 30 second hold? I guess I should just do relaxed exhales in between them in order to retain CO2.
Thanks again, Tom.
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