Use of Lasers in Controlling Pest Algae and Corals

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

  1. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Super Duper Member R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids 2016 Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    This..is..awesome!

    tagging along, for sure!
     

  2. Me z

    Me z Well-Known Member

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    mine was just shipped today and they said can be 14-20 business days to recieve. That means soonest im lookin at is the 30th of this month.
     
  3. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    Ordered 12/15/11, shipping notice 12/21/11, received 1/11/12

    I'll get the batteries charged, but it will be a few days before I'll be able to do any testing.
     
  4. EpicWin

    EpicWin Well-Known Member

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    any updates on performance?
     
  5. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had time to do much with the 1.2W waterproof 445nm. It came in on-spec (per the power certificate) and I've got it soaking in saltwater to remove any oils left over from manufacture and to make sure it's absolutely waterproof before submerging it in my tank.

    I did briefly test it underwater, and at first glance I am not impressed. It seems it will be very difficult to maintain a tight enough focus for optimal use as a burning tool. I will withhold judgement until I can do some actual in-tank testing, but based on what I'm seeing, I suspect that working from outside the tank with the 1.8mW 445nm will be far more effective.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  6. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update.

    CJ
     
  7. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    I had a few moments this morning to test the underwater 1.2W. Initially my prior problems reappeared, being unable to obtain a fine enough focus point to achieve burning - then it dawned on me. Air was trapped in the hood containing the lenses. Once I inverted the laser underwater allowing the air to escape, it functioned just fine. I observed the following,

    • Although the lower power output is noticeable, I think it is mostly offset by being able to place the laser much closer to the target and by avoiding any power loss due to reflections off the tank walls.
    • The cooling power of the water if significant. This laser has a 60 second duty cycle. When used outside the tank, the laser would be very warm to the touch after a minute of lasing. When used submerged, the duty cycle seemingly becomes irrelevant (at least as far as thermal management - there may be some advantage in allowing the batteries to recover) as I detected no temperature increase despite many minutes of continual lasing.
    • When used underwater, it seems the battery capacity will become the new duty cycle. As this host uses smaller 16340 cells, I noticed a significant power drop off after ~5 minutes of use.
    So far, it looks like the underwater option is viable and likely a safer option as potential reflections are minimized. Because you're able to work much closer to the target, you're able to use your hand to at least partially sheild the beam endpoint from the tank's inhabitants.
     
  8. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    That sounds promising for those things that you can get close to. Be sure to rinse it off with RO/DI water so that you don't get any spots on the lens!

    CJ
     
  9. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    Wash and dry prior to returning to their locked case :)
     
  10. CJO

    CJO Well-Known Member

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    Have you had any luck with the OD4 acrylic you ordered?

    CJ
     
  11. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    None - the firm I ordered from has "lost" 2 orders and hasn't responded to my latest email inquiries. I don't think they have it in stock. I'm going to have to find another source.
     
  12. bige

    bige Well-Known Member

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    Did you try it on xenia and gsp? I like the ability to put the laser closer to the target. Seems much safer.
     
  13. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    My "focus" has been on Xenia as all else has been relatively simple to eradicate. Xenia is proving to be the greatest challenge. It typically takes multiple sessions over the course of a few days to completley kill it. You basically have to lase it until it's little more than a "blob" to prevent it from regrowing.

    It does work, it just takes longer than every other pest I've tested. Listed in order of ease of eradication (easiest to most difficult)...

    Hydroids
    Aiptasia
    GSP
    Mojano
    Xenia

    I have also found it useful in "pruning" SPS to eliminate encroachment and the resulting chemical warfare (especially Montis.)
     
  14. Murfman

    Murfman Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Has anyone tried eradicating nuisance palys or zoas?
     
  15. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    I have not targeted Zs or Ps, but I see no reason why it would not be effective. The general rules seems to be that lighter colored - larger mass items will take longer to eradicate. Any coral or pest I can imagine could be destroyed by a laser. It's simply a matter of how much lase time would be required.

    It might be easier to think of it like this...a laser focuses light energy up to 100,000 times, thus the 1.8W laser I'm using is the equivalent of up to ~180,000 watts of energy being delivered to the pin-point focus point. The energy is so focused, you can completely "vaporize" an Aiptasia polyp nestled in the middle of a desirable colony with little or no damage to corals in the immediate area (assuming your hand is steady enough.)

    It is also effective against Valonia and denser/darker colored algaes such as red turf. The very fine, "wispy" algaes such as hair and bryopsis are more resistant due to how effective water is at cooling. Even they can be destroyed, (especially in small patches) but it takes much longer and would not be practical for large amounts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  16. 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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    Just ordered a 1.2w 445nm with an underwater host. Tremble in fear, aiptasia... :xd:
     
  17. CalmSeasQuest

    CalmSeasQuest Well-Known Member

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    Congrats! I'm sure you also ordered eye protection right? ;)
     
  18. 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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    yessir!
     
  19. whyzee429

    whyzee429 Well-Known Member

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    My 200mW 650nm (red) loves smoking flatworms lol....although the use a proper flatworm meds worked way better!
     
  20. fsu1dolfan

    fsu1dolfan Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Glad to see there are some good results with lasers. This seems like a really great tool for all kinds of things of course with the right safety precautions. I have been following this thread for a little while and guess the 1.2w underwater lasers are pretty good. Which type did you get Tom and Swanny. I see there are a few different types. Also what kind of goggles did you guys get? I see they have a few types at lazerer.com...how do they compare to the eagle ones from that video?

    Is there a difference in using 445 or 405? Have you tested the 405 yet?

    As for the tank inhabiants, anything yet for their protection besides removing them. Is the underwater verison better since it is closer to the aiptasia limiting the amount of exposure for the fish?

    Sorry for all the questions...but as my interest grows i want to make sure i know what i am doing if i decide to try a laser out.

    BTW Tom thanks for all the great information already out there from you!
     
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