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Laser for frying pest anemones in a reef aquarium

rcmike

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Hey guys, I have always been interested in lasers but now I really want one. I have a reef aquarium and for those of you that don't know aiptasia anemones are a real pest. They multiply to plague proportions sometimes and sting desirable corals. I found a thread on a reef website where some people are using 1W or above and shining them through the tank and water and frying the anemones. Any thoughts on this? I know of the general laser warnings about using goggles and such but is there a chance of it damaging the glass aquarium in the process? The focal point would be at least 4 or 5 inches behind the front glass. It would be shining through 3/4" glass and less than a foot of water at most. BTW, here is a video to show what I'm talking about. Looks pretty fun doesn't it. :p


Here is the thread. a real aiptasia laser - Reef Central Online Community Any thoughts on how to make this most effective?
 

TheTeslaWarrior

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glass will just pass most of the light unless you are using a co2 laser (or other far infrared wavelength laser).

however, the 50W co2 at my school won't cut all the way through glass like that. so unless you are going to use a LOT of power, you don't have to worry.
 
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rcmike

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Cool, I was pretty sure it wouldn't be a problem but just wanted to make sure. A few people have been doing it but these are aquarium people and not laser people. I have been looking at the $139 Survival Laser 1-1.3W bundle. Seems like good quality for the price. One of the guys is using a 1W Survival Laser with good success.
 

DrSid

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With 1W of blue there should be no problem at all. This wavelength also travels rather well in water.
What you must be aware is the reflection of the glass for the safety reasons, also the glass should be as clean as possible.
Also your fish should wear some goggles ..
Btw. wouldn't it be easier to just pick the anemone with some kind of tool ? Why burn them ?
 
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rcmike

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I know about the reflection concerns and will be wearing goggles and doing everything possible to ensure the reflections don't reflect back towards my eyes. The safety of the fish is a concern but from what I have heard they pretty much stay away. I haven't heard of any eye damage to them but I am sure it is possible.

The problem with these anemones is that if any part of them is left then they can grow back. They also frequently have their base in a hole in the rock and if they are touched they retract quickly into the rock. There are several ways to control them but most of them are hit or miss. Several fish and some shrimp are known to eat them but some of the fish have a poor survival rate and the individual fish or shrimp may or may not like to eat them. There are also products you can put on them and they ingest it and it kills them. People have had mixed results with that as well. Sometimes it causes them to split and multiply.

Besides, I am sure people in this forum would agree, a laser would be much more fun. :D
 

cchase231

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With 1W of blue there should be no problem at all. This wavelength also travels rather well in water.
What you must be aware is the reflection of the glass for the safety reasons, also the glass should be as clean as possible.
Also your fish should wear some goggles ..
Btw. wouldn't it be easier to just pick the anemone with some kind of tool ? Why burn them ?
They are notoriously hard to kill and physically dismembering them can lead to an asexual population explosion, kind of like chopping up a worm. They are extremely ugly and can kill other corals and even small fish. People have gone so far as to take out rocks and take a blow torch to them just to get rid of these pests. Using a laser offers an effective and kind of fun solution, the problem is most of us aquarium geeks know very little about lasers. I have been looking into this solution as well, but don't want to buy 5 different lasers to see which one works best. Any thoughts on what a minimum power needed and best wavelength?
 

CalmSeasQuest

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I think there are potentially multiple uses for Lasers in Reef-keeping. Keeping in check pests such as Aiptasia/Mojano, GSP, Xenia and perhaps even nuisance blue green algae such as Volonia and Bryopsis.

I had no idea that >1W lasers were available at reasonable prices - I've just ordered Survival Laser's 1800mW / 445 nm for testing - I'm excited to see the results.
 
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madog

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I think there are potentially multiple uses for Lasers in Reef-keeping. Keeping in check pests such as Aiptasia/Mojano, GSP, Xenia and perhaps even nuisance blue green algae such as Volonia and Bryopsis.

I had no idea that >1W lasers were available at reasonable prices - I've just ordered Survival Laser's 1800mW / 445 nm for testing - I'm excited to see the results.
You have made a good choice for these needs.
 

DrSid

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I'd say blue or green and as powerful as possible. Since 1W blues are cheap and available, it would be best shot these days.
 

rcmike

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I'd say blue or green and as powerful as possible. Since 1W blues are cheap and available, it would be best shot these days.
That is why I went with what I did. The price difference is pretty big when you get bigger.
 

Flaminpyro

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Finally a real purpose for the 1w blue laser other than fun :D

Now it's a real TOOL !

A 1W should do the trick, just be very careful of reflections off the tank glass.

please keep us informed as to how well it works for you :D
 

Ablaze

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I imagine that if you do this very many times your aquarium fish will go almost blind. Perhaps in an aquarium being blind wouldn't be such a disadvantage.. but if they were my pets I would get a piece of dark plastic to put into the water so the fish couldn't see the laser.

Reflections off the glass can also cause eye damage to anyone in the room at that power, so either do this when no one will accidentally walk into the room or have safety glasses for everyone in the house.

Additionally, never shine a laser at moving vehicles, airplanes, or police.
 

CalmSeasQuest

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I imagine that if you do this very many times your aquarium fish will go almost blind. Perhaps in an aquarium being blind wouldn't be such a disadvantage.. but if they were my pets I would get a piece of dark plastic to put into the water so the fish couldn't see the laser.
Interesting thought...

I understood the concern and immediate damage regarding shining the laser directly in the fishes eye (or allowing a reflection to do the same.) Are you suggesting the fishes eyesight could be damaged simply by viewing the impact point?

I hadn't considered the potential of fish being harmed by simply "viewing" beam/endpont. In the few videos I've seen, the item being lased appeared to absorb the vast majority of the light. There appeared to be very little light reflected. That said, as some have many thousands of dollars invested in livestock - It would be simple enough to use a piece of PVC to shield the area being lased if this were a concern.
 
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CalmSeasQuest

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Finally a real purpose for the 1w blue laser other than fun :D

Now it's a real TOOL !

A 1W should do the trick, just be very careful of reflections off the tank glass.

please keep us informed as to how well it works for you :D
Not only a tool, but if effective, a solution to multiple problems that have plagued marine aquarists for many years. :yh:
 
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Ablaze

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Interesting thought...

I understood the concern and immediate damage regarding shining the laser directly in the fishes eye (or allowing a reflection to do the same.) Are you suggesting the fishes eyesight could be damaged simply by viewing the impact point?
Yes, a 1W laser will cause eye damage just from viewing the impact point.
 

HaloBlu

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