Use of Lasers in Controlling Pest Algae and Corals

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by CalmSeasQuest, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. saratj1

    saratj1 Well-Known Member

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    I've hit a Bobbitt worm with mine and it just jumps back in its hole, not really effective, takes a few seconds for the laser to do real damage and the worm isn't waiting around for that.
     

  2. jlw

    jlw Member

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    I have been using lasers for a few years on aiptasia. My wife shoots the ones that are easy to get to with Aiptasia X and that is significantly more effective ... definitely requires less patience. But, the buggers that are under a ledge can only be hit with the laser. We have a 90 display & 55 refugium.

    I too, was/am a member of the laser forum and bought a rather expensive laser (plus goggles, charger, + batteries) from one of the builders. I did this because we had gone thru a litany of zappers, "natural" enemies, and chemical cures. As mentioned above, chemical is quite effective if you are shooting down. The electronic zapper ($$) is very effective but does require a direct shot all the way to the foot of the pest.

    "Natural" ... I have spent a lot on shrimp ($) in several orders from different sources and am pretty certain that never worked. Also, have used berghia nudi branches ($$$$). They work extremely well. Unfortunately they only eat aiptasia ... then die. Also, you put them in a tank that has anything that might eat them. Everything eats them ... even some of those dang shrimp that were supposed to go after the aiptasia. Quite interesting how long those shrimp last. Even more interesting that after not seeing any for months and the safe assumption is that they have all died, how they suddenly pop out when adding the nudis! :-(

    Back to the laser, after a year the diode got too weak and needed replacement. Unfortunately that builder no longer responded to any posts or email. It was rated at about 3W and did work well enough so I decided to check out ebay (again). From a Chinese vendor I found a laser advertised at 5W at the right wavelength ... and under $100. It finally shows up. I do not have a means of testing laser power, but it is every bit as powerful and possibly a bit more than the 1st. I have been using it for at least 2 years and just smoked (boiled?) a tenacious aiptasia yesterday. This guy was at the substrate and under a ledge.

    In these past few years of using the lasers there have never been any critter damaging issues. All of the original and usual denizens (Tang, Clowns, chromis, etc) have come close at times for inspection at which times I do shut off the laser (lets not be stupid?!?!). But, no injuries. Success rate with the laser is, and guessing, about 50%. But, those are the nearly impossible to get to targets. Worms are too fast. On the other hand, flat worms on the refugium walls are easy targets.

    Nothing better than hearing the crickle crackle of sizzling vermin. HAHAhahahahahaha

    Last, a few month ago addition to the ref is the matted filefish ($). Ugly fish. But, is noted to have an aiptasia diet. The 1st few weeks was "ehhhh". It disappeared weeks ago. Great more pi$$ed away. It is worthy to note that during this time there are NO aiptasia in the ref. This morning ... there it was! OMG! Lurking deep amongst the plants under a rock ledge. I figured that it had starved despite twice daily feedings for the sand sifter gobie and the dottyback (for bristle worms). It is difficult to tell if you are feeding something that you never see, but have faith. I have resisted adding any fish to the ref, but some are a must for their utility. They don't act as if they are upset by feeling "used".
    But,
     
  3. Ginu

    Ginu Well-Known Member

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    Got a link for this 5W laser from Ebay?
     
  4. mfinn

    mfinn likes zoanthids R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    and can it be focused too for under $100
     
  5. jlw

    jlw Member

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    Yes, I looked it up on ebay and they are still available tho from different vendors and all under $100. Compared to the laser forum, they all sound like a scam but the vendor I bought from came thru. But they no longer sell it.

    Excuse me for being paranoid, but these might be the "pointers" that dumb a-holes are shining at planes. If you have anyone in your home under the age of ... the capability of being exceptionally stupid ... do not buy or at least definitely do not tell anyone with an inability of determining what is beyond stupid and might visit your home. I think they are more dangerous (as far as attracting unwanted attention) than if you bought a fully automatic AR-15.

    Do your own search. Think about the wavelength and add "laser pointer". Look for 5000mw or 5W pointers. If you do not have goggles like OP shows, you must get them. They are cheaper than the laser and quite effective. A smart charger and at least one extra pair of batteries are more than useful.

    Please, don't be stupid.
     
  6. renato120

    renato120 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    If you go to ebay and type 5w laser it shows hundreds of them. Now which one would be good? They are mostly under $100 with the safety glasses included.
     
  7. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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  8. saratj1

    saratj1 Well-Known Member

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    I'd be very skeptical of a 5w laser for less than $100, and another thing to consider is heat, my 1.5w starts getting hot after about 40secs on time, 5w should get hot much quicker so heat dissipation is something to consider as well.
     
  9. renato120

    renato120 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I wonder if they work! There are so many. Mostly from china, free shipping lol.
     
  10. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Do your 1.5 watt is doing a good job? Have you had Aiptasia that you couldn't kill with it?
     
  11. saratj1

    saratj1 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of any that I couldn't kill, but some I've had to hit multiple times before they're gone
     
  12. saratj1

    saratj1 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a video of me zapping some anemones, you can hear them sizzle if you listen closely.
     
  13. slayerhellfire

    slayerhellfire Well-Known Member

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    do you have a link to buy this kit
     
  14. saratj1

    saratj1 Well-Known Member

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  15. arvind

    arvind Well-Known Member

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    Any idea where do get a laser? Searching ebay shows too many of them not sure which one will be effective.
     
  16. jlw

    jlw Member

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    Yes. Skepticism is good when it comes to the purported laser power. I had a 3W laser bought 4 to 5 years ago from a guy on the laser forum. It got weak after 2 years & he did not respond. Paid >$400 (maybe >$500) and included extra batteries and 2 pairs of goggles for that laser wavelength. It was an "ok" buy compared to other laser forum sellers. He had indicated that he had a laser power measuring device (I do not remember what they are called) had posted the measured power level ... something around 3W.

    I naturally shopped on ebay and found the 5W lasers at the correct wavelength for under $100. It showed up the typical 16 days later (from China of course). I am interested all this stuff about laser, power measurement, etc., but there are only so many hours in the day and there are lots other interesting things. The punch line, the new laser has a much better heat sink than the original. It does not get nearly as warm as the 1st one. It also cooks aiptasia more quickly. That is my only affidavit that it has more power than the measured 3W laser pointer. Not saying that I certify either one and only taking the info as reported as well as my results.

    I am uneasy posting links to any lasers. These are the same lasers (wavelength) I have not heard any reports for a while, but you must do your own research. I just more or less described how to determine the optimum wavelength which is most important. Next is power, and most expensive is not necessarily most power. To crudely describe my last purchase (over 2 years ago and still working well) is that it has a several rods around the outside. I like the extra mass for heat dissipation.

    Think I will change my pic
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2016
  17. Mebeknob

    Mebeknob Well-Known Member

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    So I might have missed it, but what wattage and wavelength seems to work best?
    From what I can tell >1W & 400-500nm
     
  18. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Having tried this option with a 5 watt red laser. It doesn't work to well. I requires a lot of treatments on just one Aiptasia to kill it.
    I ened up having better success with peppermint shrimp. Berghia nudibranchs work best if you can remove the rock and place it in a low flow tank like a 10 gallon QT tank.
     
  19. Mebeknob

    Mebeknob Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand you have to have the right combo of power and wavelength for it to really work.

    What is the wavelength of the laser you used?
     
  20. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I used a 5 watt red laser. It's the one that everyone recommend to try. It takes quite a while to kill one also. As you are trying to heat up the aiptasia to kill it.
     
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