You are here: Home Blog Zap aiptasia dead with laser beams! (updated with new videos)

Zap aiptasia dead with laser beams! (updated with new videos)

By Leonard Ho - Posted Dec 05, 2011 08:00 AM
Are you looking for the most high tech or dangerous way to kill aiptasia? A Reef2Reef member shares how he kills aiptasia (et al.) using lethally powerful handheld lasers.

Reef2Reef Thread: Use of Lasers in Controlling Pest Algae and Corals

Reef2Reef member CalmSeaQuest has started a thread aiming to become the definitive reference for "best practices for the use of lasers in aquaria."  In his thread, CalmSeaQuest describes how he uses a Class IV 1800mW 445nm (blue) laser to kill a wide range of reef pests: Aiptasia, cyanobacteria, valonia, bryposis, vermetid snails, predatory crabs, and overgrown Xenia and GSP.  In essence, these powerful handheld lasers will rapidly fry/boil virtually anything.

While highly effective at eradicating whatever you target, the use of these lasers is (unsurprisingly) extremely dangerous and must be operated with utmost respect and care.  Class IV lasers will quickly cut through cardboard and will instantly blind people and kill corals and fish with mere incidental contact.  Looking at the beam from any angle may also cause eye damage, including those of your fish.  In his thread, CalmSeaQuest has begun work on establishing safety protocols for anyone looking to try lasers in their reef tanks.

With the high price and inherent dangers of high-output lasers (and possible legality issues), the use of lasers is unlikely to become a mainstream method to control reef pests.  Advanced Aquarist does NOT recommend this practice. Still, we can't help but applaud the responsible and intelligent hobbyists pushing the frontiers of high tech reef techniques.

Here is a video by CreatiVe2 showing the use of laser to zap aiptasia.  CreatiVe2 also participates in the Reef2reef thread.


UPDATE: New videos of lasers in action posted at Reef2Reef


Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


Document Actions
Filed under: , ,
blog comments powered by Disqus


Contribute to our blogs!

Do you have news or discussion topics you want to see blogged?  Let us know!