Step 1: Choose Location
The very first step is to choose a low current location that is conducive to undersea life, reproduction and feeding.
In 1985, a 60-foot tuna-fishing vessel of Mexican origin was anchored close to the beach in Playa Hermosa. A fire broke out aboard causing considerable damage and the boat sank. In 2002, fishermen living in Playa Hermosa knew the location of boat and helped discover the wreck and the remains of the fishing vessel. The wreck has a N-S direction. To the south is a drum with nets and ropes completely covered with vegetation and corals, at the center is the engine and various mechanical parts of the arms. At the other end, the north, one can see a metal cube of about 100 cubic feet that is most likely a fuel tank. The wreck lies about 400 meters west from the beach, facing the parking lot of the first entrance to Playa Hermosa. It sits at a depth roughly 20 to 30 feet depending on the tide. 12 fish habitats consisting of the igloo block structure are located around the wreck..
While the CondoFish project in Playa Hermosa Costa Rica obtained full government approval for the project, this may or may not be relevant in other international locations. Costa Rica is a very ecologically conscious country and anything regarding natural resources or wildlife requires approval and constant surveillance.
Step 2: Test Reef Design Outside of Water
While you may have a good idea of what your design will be. We highly suggest testing your design outside of the water. This will save valuable building time underwater.
The following steps will show the design that the Playa Hermosa Artificial Reef Project used. It seems to be good design to start with. After a 3 month period, an explosion of aquatic life has occured in the in and around our "fish condos".
Step 3: Move Materials to Site
Step 4: Build Your Base
Step 5: Add Levels 2, 3, and 4
Step 6: Add the 5th Level and the Center Support
Add the 5th level and the center support. The 2nd image is a cutaway shot to show a better view of the center support.
Step 7: Monitor, Maintain and Protect
Now, monitor maintain and protect. We make weekly visits to the site and constantly think of way to make things better. Pending approval, we'll be building more structures and requiring more and more support.