Use of Lasers in Controlling Pest Algae and Corals

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

  1. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    Looking good. On another issue, the 3/4" diameter tube doesn't appear to be effective. Not because of the angle of refraction of the light through the water, but because the water in the tube moves too much. It looks like the most effective way to hold a shield may well be to put a clear glass lens at the end of the tube to keep the water out and to affix the shield to the end of the tube (with a hole cut out for the tube).

    CJ
     

  2. CreatiVe2

    CreatiVe2 Member

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    Great posts tom! FYI guys i have the 1.2W Lazerer.com that tom linked a couple of posts back, and it is VERY high quality!! I would stay in the 445nm (blue) wavelength for these lasers, only because the W:$ ratio is very acceptable. just check out the price of a green laser at half of the power.

    I got 2 sets of battery's and charger from batteryjunction.com with a set of glasses, all shipped was less than 200$ - PLEASE dont ever buy from wicked lasers. i bought from them the last time they were a good business about 6 years ago. Ever since the arctic came, its been junk. Sorry to burst your bubble.


    Also, i would like to not that my laser host is waterproof, and works WONDERS under the water, and i am able to have a higher duty cycle because of the additional cooling.
    I will post videos as soon as i can get a good angle on a laser kill :) Maybe i will trim my GSP ;D

    remember - ALWAYS WEAR PROTECTIVE GLASSES! for the Wavelength of your laser.
     
  3. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about your project CJ and tried a slightly different approeach...

    Creating a "conduit" that when lasing from above the tank, would shield the beam and all endpoint viewing angles, except those of the user.
    I'm using Mylar sheeting, rolled into cone shape that will burn through when lasered directly in air, is seemingly cooled enough by the water to prevent burning (at least in my testing so far with 1800mW of 445nm.) In addition, any laser striking the Mylar in actual use would be glancing, likely unfocused and would largely be reflected thereby imparting much less energy.

    [​IMG]

    You simply wrap the end of the laser in the Mylar on an angle so a cone shape is produced. This provides a larger area to shield the beam endpoint and minimized the chance of the beam striking the walls of the cone.

    [​IMG]

    A bit of tape secures the cone and affixes it ot the laser (the taped section does not get wet.)

    [​IMG]

    I cut out a section of the end of the cone allowing easy viewing (by the user) of the beam endpoint while shielding all other angles. This cut-out also allows air to escape making it more stable and easier to stay "on-target".

    [​IMG]

    It's still too early to say if this will be a viable option. I do note that while it works, I don't get as "clean" and endpoint when shooting through the surface vs. shooting through the tank walls. This is likely due to reflections from the surface of the water.
    It's a bit clunky, but does appear to provide protection benefits in a simple and inexpensive manner including,
    • Protection from livestock seeing or potentially crossing the beam
    • Protection from viewing the beam endpoint from most angles
    • Elimination of most reflection risks
    Time and more testing will tell...
     
  4. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! - Looking forward to seeing the underwater option :)

    I'm not sure I agree with 445nm being the best wavelength. It looks like 405nm has a couple of significant benefits namely the ability to focus to a much finer endpoint (445nm endpoint is actually a line rather than a dot), further concentrating the cutting/burning power. It appears that a 405nm runnning at 900mW would be as effective as a 445nm at 1800mW. This would be safer and more cost effective.

    I'm working on obtaining a 405nm build now - testing to follow...
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011
  5. bige

    bige Well-Known Member

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    This stuff is changing while I read! What do you use the lasers for other than pest removal?
     
  6. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    I agree - I'm learning more every day. My research focuses exclusively on their use in marine aquaria. I think there are a number of uses including pest removal, control of invasive/fast growing corals, perhaps even fragging of soft corals. I'm not sure what other use (other than novelty) there would be for these. At these power settings they are far to dangerous for most other uses... I noticed today that I could easily, deeply carve my initials into the live rock in my tank.

    Clearly nothing to play around with...
     
  7. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    Laserer seems to be a good choice. How are you protecting your livestock?

    That seems pretty similar to what I'm doing, just with different material. I think I've found a good solution, but need to do some more experimenting before I'm sure.

    Sounds like a new business- personalized live rock!

    CJ
     
  8. Stpatrick

    Stpatrick Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff....
     
  9. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    For anyone questioning the potential damage a 1000mW laser can do - Here's a story about a laser hobbyist inadvertently struck in the eye by a 1 watt 445 nm, blue laser (less powerful than what many are using in aquaria.) Even though the laser struck his eye for only about a second (as it rolled off a table), it resulted in burns to his retina requiring surgery (at the time time this was written, the outcome of surgery was still pending.)

    To give you a sense of the damage to his eye - Here's an image of a healthy retina...

    [​IMG]

    Here's the image of the retina damaged by the laser...

    [​IMG]

    Had he been wearing appropriate eye protection, no damage would have resulted.
     
  10. cdness

    cdness 2006 - Present Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    For sure a cool new idea for controlling pests but not something for the one who doesn't like safety protection. Lasers are for sure dangerous. If they can burn a pest off a rock, through glass and water, I think it is kinda a DUH moment for protection.
     
  11. Gitsoe

    Gitsoe Well-Known Member

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    How strong does the Laser have to be in order to kill aptaisia?
    Dont know anything about lasers but i know My uncle has one that's green and can light matches and pop balloons, I'm sure it's not as powerful as yours but i wonder if it would work?
     
  12. Reloadeddevil

    Reloadeddevil Well-Known Member

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    C' c
     
  13. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    This weekend, I started building a "proof of concept" model for a wand that can be used to protect people and livestock from many of the dangers of using a laser in the aquarium.

    [​IMG]

    It uses some common parts and is fairly easy to make. The pieces from bottom to top-

    • the laser;
    • a 1" PVC coupling;
    • a piece of flat PVC cut using a 1" hole saw and with a 1/2" hole cut in the middle. This will allow you to focus the laser without having to first remove it from the holder;
    • a 3/4" piece of PVC cut to length;
    • a clear piece of acrylic cut using a 1" hole saw; and,
    • a safety glass lens with a 1" hole cut in it.
    The only issue I really had making this was trying to use a hole saw without a center drill bit to drill a clean piece of acrylic. Also, the only silicone I had at home had dried up, so I picked some up this morning and have glued everything together. Now I just need to wait for it to dry!

    CJ ​
     
  14. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    My first trial yesterday didn't work out that well. I hadn't sealed the end well enough with silicone and water got in. I added some additional silicone last night and tried it out again today.

    The second trial was much better. It works very well as a proof of concept. I could get right next to what I wanted to lase without the water interfering with the beam, the shield blocks out most of the light, and I was able to focus the laser with it in use. There are a couple of things, however, that could be improved. I would like to put on a wider shield to stop as many reflections as practical and I need to experiment some with the shield material until I can find one that is effective enough to shield the light, but still let enough through so that you can see the end of the beam with your safety glasses on.

    CJ
     
  15. JackoChang

    JackoChang Well-Known Member

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    Why not incorporate the lenses into the shield?
     
  16. olaggie01

    olaggie01 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone in Austin have a laser that they would like to zap a bunch of Aiptasia?

    Chris
     
  17. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    In what way? If you are talking about making the clear acrylic lens and the yellow/orange shield into one piece, that would probably be great if I wanted to produce these, but would be cost prohibitive for a DIY project.

    CJ
     
  18. jelly

    jelly Well-Known Member

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    if your using a sheild that is made to protect agenst that laser then y would you need to use a different material for the sheild. i can see makein it bigger but y a different tint. or am i not understanding what your trying to do
     
  19. JackoChang

    JackoChang Well-Known Member

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    No idea, just tossing out an idea.
     
  20. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    Nice work CJ - I especially like the focus knob.

    I'm still searching for a bulk supplier of the laser safety material in pipe or sheet form that could be molded into larger, easier to use shapes.

    PS. I'm sure you already checked this but, make sure that silicone is reef safe. Many have added anti-fungal ingredients that can be be hazardous to tank inhabitants.
     
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