Use of Lasers in Controlling Pest Algae and Corals

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

  1. cheetofingers

    cheetofingers Well-Known Member

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    That video is awesome. The most interesting part is watching the zoas surrounding the lasered aiptasia recede in unison.
     

  2. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Yep forum link is fine. :)
     
  3. CreatiVe2

    CreatiVe2 Member

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    :) thanks. I hope to make a new video SHORTLY with my new 1.2W waterproof laser

    quick note: none of my 'pests' have come back since "treating" them :)

    although some are hard to get in the rockwork, so i buried the 'deeper' ones with joes juice after they were melted.
     
  4. swannyson7

    swannyson7 Moderator/Acro Aficianado R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award CTARS Member Moderator Emeritus

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    LOL, I see CJO is already on there trying to buy one, as are a few other reefers looking to experiment
     
  5. jpguppy

    jpguppy Member

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    Would it not be possible to use a slightly lower power laser for a more extended period of time? i.e. a 1W to reduce some of the dangers to others?
     
  6. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    Parts are on there way.. should be here Monday or Tuesday :)

    I don't have any direct experience yet, but I would think that you could do what you said. However, there will be a point where you won't have enough power for it to be useful and it would likely still be powerful enough to have all of the same dangers.

    If you are looking at doing this, please have and wear proper eye protection for everyone in the area.

    The biggest issue to me is that there doesn't seem to be a good way to protect the fish. If they are looking in the wrong direction at the wrong time, you might blind them. I've been thinking about trying to come up with a shield made from one of the protective glasses that you could connect to the end of the laser with a long tube. This would help you aim it and would also help to protect your fish.

    CJ
     
  7. bige

    bige Well-Known Member

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    Thats real cool. Does it work above water or does it go under water?
     
  8. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    A 1 watt laser poses a similar threat, perhaps even more as using a lower power laser will require more lase time to effect the same result. As duty cycles can be less than a minute, you might be forced to re-aim and re-lase a target that a higher power laser would have taken out in a single lase, thereby increasing the risk of reflection. More lase time also increases the risk of injuring livestock in the tank as just looking at the laser end-point can lead to eye damage.

    I think more power is better, as long as the proper safeguards are in place for the user, the livestock and any observers (including other pets.)
     
  9. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    +1, I agree this is a real risk. I thought about the safety glass material, but it is seems very expensive and would be hard to fabricate into a cylinder. I think an even simpler solution would be to use a short section of PVC or acrylic pipe, place on the end of a rod. This would allow a single person to place the protective cylinder over the area being lased to shield it from any livestock.
     
  10. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    There are waterproof "hosts" (the term for the casing that holds the laser diode and components), but it works very well through the glass or acrylic.
     
  11. caudill187

    caudill187 Well-Known Member

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    crazy. Watch out ugly green palys and mushrooms :xd:
     
  12. secretreefer

    secretreefer **MAD PHANTOM SCIENTIST** Photo of the Month Award

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    so i could zap thru my acrylic tank without damaging it?
     
  13. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    What I was actually envisioning was a section of opaque plastic pipe that would fit over the end of the focus knob or host. Attached to the other side would be a larger piece of the translucent laser shield. This could only be used from the top of the tank and the pipe and shield would be put in the aquarium adjacent to whatever was being lased.

    CJ
     
  14. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    As long as it is clear acrylic and was clean. Also, you need to be VERY cautious about any reflections from the acylic as they can also cause instantaneous blindness.

    CJ
     
  15. CreatiVe2

    CreatiVe2 Member

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    Hey guys, i am the OP of the aiptasia laser video, and want to make sure that all of you know that these power lasers (even green) REQUIRE the appropriate Eye wear, and please refer to the threads/links below that have been continuing the discussion of these high power lasers. (also thx for the links above) I wish you all the best! and please remember to do your research before purchasing! i just recently received a waterproof 1.2W 445nm (blue) laser from LAZERER :: Trustful Asian Laser Source - Power Certificate for all Laser Pointer | Red Green Blue Laser Module| - great site! and fast shipping from hong kong. I am also a member on Laser Pointer Forums - Discuss Lasers & Laser Pointers and if you are thinking of purchasing one of these class IV lasers, i would HIGHLY recommend joining or at least browsing so you can understand the laser hobby a little better. Survival Laser Home also has 'kits' that you can build to your specification.

    Threads


    Laser for frying pest anemones in a reef aquarium - Page 2 - Laser Pointer Forums - Discuss Lasers & Laser Pointers



    WARNINGS - YOU MUST READ

    http://unitednuclear.com/Insert_For_Class_4_Handheld_Lasers.pdf

    High-energy visible light - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2011
  16. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    I took some time to think through what types of general hazards and precautions might apply to anyone considering the use of lasers in aquaria. This is just a rough, first draft that will hopefully serve as a springboard for more discussion and refinement of a set of "best practices"

    I also feel a disclaimer is appropriate...

    Lasers are dangerous. I am not a laser technician, scientist, specialist or expert. I have no formal education in the use of lasers. I am simply a marine hobbyist researching the use of lasers in aquaria. There is no guarantee as to accuracy. These are not instructions or guidelines, but rather talking points intended to spark further discussion on the subject. Use this information at your own risk.

    This is a work in progress - Please feel free to comment or add anything you beleive should also be included...


    Best practices for the use of lasers in aquaria (first draft)



    Secure the Area
    The lase area should be closed off from any transient traffic to prevent someone from unknowingly entering the area without appropriate eye protection. Any doors should be closed and locked. Any windows should be covered or blinds closed to prevent the escape of reflected laser energy.
    Only the laser operator and those required in the process should be allowed in the area. All pets should be removed from the area and prevented for reentering while the laser is in use.

    Protective Gear
    A high power laser beam striking your eye, or the eye of an observer can result in instant and permanent blindness. Even viewing the beam endpoint without eye protection will cause eye damage. The user and everyone within the viewing or potential reflection areas must be equipped with appropriate eye protection specifically designed for the wavelength laser being used. Sunglasses do not protect against laser light. Laser eye protection is designed to protect against unintentional reflections and endpoint viewing. It is not designed to protect from a laser beam being directed toward the eye. Never look directly at a laser beam or allow it to directly strike your eye. Long sleeves and Nitrile gloves offer an additional layer of protection for the operator.

    Identify and Eliminate Reflection Hazards
    Using high power lasers in glass and acrylic tanks is virtually guaranteed to create potentially hazardous beam reflections. These beam reflections can cause serious injury. This danger is amplified by the fact that use of the appropriate safety goggles will prevent you from seeing most beam reflections. Positioning the laser at right angles (directly perpendicular) to the tank glass or acrylic should be avoided as unseen laser energy will be reflected directly toward the user. Burns to exposed tissue can occur within seconds.To prevent injury, a low power targeting laser (such as a laser pointer) in a different spectrum that can be seen when using the safety goggles should be utilized to identify any reflections before firing the high power laser.

    Identify Backstops
    The laser beam will penetrate clean glass or acrylic with virtually no heat being transmitted to the tank material. The beam will quickly (almost instantly) pierce though the targeted item and impact anything behind it. Extreme caution must be exercised to prevent injury to any livestock located behind the targeted item. Painted or dark glass or acrylic surfaces may become heated during lasing.

    Reduce Water Flow
    Pumps should be turned off during lasering. This limits the cooling effect of water passing over the target thereby increasing the effectiveness of the laser and reducing the firing duration required to achieve the intended results. It also simplifies targeting as the intended pest is motionless.

    Protecting Tank Inhabitants
    Failure to protect tank inhabitants from repeated viewing the beam endpoint will likely result in blindness to your livestock. Ideally, all livestock should be removed and held in quarantine in a tank protected (covered) from stray laser light until laser treatment is completed. Alternative methods(s) to protect livestock from encountering the beam or end-point include,
    • Physical Barriers - Use of physical barriers to prevent inhabitants from accessing an area being lased and to prevent any laser energy (beam pass-through or reflections) from entering any areas containing livestock.
    • Endpoint Shield - If physically blocking off the area being lased is impractical due to tank features, an end-point shield should be used to prevent inhabitants from viewing the end-beam. In this case, extreme diligence is required to extinguish the beam should any inhabitants approach. This is likely, due to curiosity over the “sizzling” sound created by the operating laser. The endpoint shield can be created by simply as a short section of opaque acrylic (such as painted or frosted.) PVC should not be used as it emits toxins when heated.
    Potential Impact to Water Quality
    Use of a lasers to eradicate certain marine pests may result in the release of undetermined levels of toxins into the water column. It is believed that the intense heat may break down some of the compounds (such as Palytoxins.) Depending on the type and number of pests being destroyed and the size of the tank, the user should be prepared to use fresh carbon and or execute a water change to reduce any toxins produced.

    Securing the Laser When Not in Use
    When not in use the laser should be treated and stored as a firearm. When not is use it should be secured in a lockable case with batteries removed. The locked case should be stored out of the reach of children.


    Thanks to those that have already provided comments and additonal items to include - It's rough, but it's a start -Thoughts?
     
  17. Cubbies

    Cubbies Eye Candy + Wrasses= :) R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Wow! This is absolutely mind blowing to me! I never even thought of that. The price wouldn't even matter. It would definitely pay off on its own. Keep the updates coming, this is awesome!
     
  18. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking on this some more and it would be hard to implement because of the refractive properties of the water. You'd either have to have a wide tube (4" plus) or one that bends at the same angle as the refraction, which doesn't seem very plausible.

    CJ
     
  19. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    There has been some discussion about lasers potentially posing a risk to acrylic tanks. An owner of a laser cutting shop issued a warning that they use lasers to cut acrylic. I am not concerned about this for several reasons,
    • I've been testing lasers on both glass and acrylic tanks with an 1800mW 445nm laser (the highest power output laser used so far in these applications) and have noted no damage or temperature rise whatsoever.
    • Even if there was some initial temp increase (which I do not beleive), the cooling effect of water flowing over the materials surface would seemingly minimize it.
    • There is a significant difference between our visible light lasers and the IR lasers designed for cutting (not to mention <2 watts vs 150 watts.)
    • I posted these concerns in the LaserPointerForum - To date, no concerns were expressed and comment was made that the IR laser is designed for cutting acrylic.
    • Lastly, but perhaps most importantly - another laser user conducted testing usning an IR thermometer on both glass and acrylic and and determined there was no increase in temperature during use of the laser.
    I've also ordered an IR thermometer to be able to do some additional testing including,
    • Temperature rise at the beam endpoint
    • Temperature rise in the areas immediately surrounding the target
    • Effect on colored surface such as black acrylic or painted backgrounds
    • Effect on joints (either silicone or fused acrylic.) Due to increased opacity, some laser energy may be absorbed thus caution should be maintained to avoid impacting any joints or seams.
    • Impact of water flow on beam endpoint temperatures
    My most significant concern are the joints and seams. While it's unlikely that anyone would intentionally attempt to laser through a corner or seam as it wouldnt be effective - there is the possibility of reflections doing so.

    More research is needed to determine if this is a valid concern and if so, any long term effects.
     
  20. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    I agree CJ - I'm thinking a flexible boot (like the end of a tiny plunger) that would enclose the working end of the laser and fit tightly against the glass surface containing any reflection from outside the tank. A small, cylindrical shield on the end of a rod would cover the endpoint. I've not yet tried shooting from the water's surface. I have a camera box that might work well at removing surface reflections.
     
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