We have an Artificial reef dive site – La Casa!!
The planning of the La Casa artificial reef
La Casa artificial reef, started around June 2016 the staff at Dive Timor Lorosae (including Kate and Ivan who now own Dreamers Dive Academy (DDA)) decided to start a new artificial reef project. The aim is to attract life and create a cool new dive site. They got assurance the project would be approved as they already has permissions to “build” in the Tasi Tolu area. They began exploring to find a suitable area. Ideally they needed a reasonably flat but not too deep sandy bottom with some life in the area. Nothing that might be destroyed by structures. In addition, an easy entry and exit point preferably with somewhere to park. Of course not on top of an existing dive site. Once they found the right place they made the plan.
The making of the artificial reef
Our structures are all made of concrete, glass, wood, palm leaves, old aluminium tanks, other metal parts and ceramic. All paint, rust, plastic and other unwanted materials are thoroughly removed before submersion. Originally, the structures resembled household furniture such as bed frame, picnic bench and old stove. Thus the dive site has the nickname “LA CASA”.
The progress of the artificial reef
However with the knowledge of past tries – both successes and failures we know now what materials to focus on using. Metals last longer but wood attracts life. We still try to keep an artistic flare though. We keep adding items. Dreamers Timor Dive Academy is passionate to continue maintenance of existing structures. We keep it clean from unwanted rubbish. We log the progression of life of the reef.
What lives on the artificial reef?
Currently, “LA CASA” has attracted glass fish, batfish, moorish idols, shrimps, nudibranchs, puffer-fish, groupers, sweetlips, triggerfish, frogfish, leaf scorpionfish and other varieties of scorpionfish, lionfish, crinoids and there is plenty of algae, anemone, hydroid, sponge and even some coral growth giving us high hopes for this dive-site’s continuing future!