Using Laser Beams to Kill Aiptasia


Those pesky pest anemones have been invading our aquariums for decades, and around every corner some inventive hobbyist has though of new ways to kill the little buggers. Aquarium keepers started by manually trying to remove the anemones, but quickly tiring of pulling rocks from their aquariums and scrubbing them clean only to have the pests return they started injecting them with various products. Kalkwasser paste, lemon juice and hot water then became the weapons of choice, but hobbyists were still looking for fun ways to inflict pain. After all, the anemones have been killing corals and blanketing the aquarium, so why not get some revenge and enjoy it. Eventually, killing Aiptasia became a little high-tech. Aquarium keepers began electrocuting them, and now they’re painting them with laser beams. In the video above, Reef Central member “Ron Reefman” shines a high powered tactical laser at a lone Aiptasia anemone. After a few seconds, the anemone reacts by closing up. Getting blasted with even more beams, it eventually closes up and seems to wither away.

Despite the complete coolness factor of this device, a couple of things need to be pointed out. For starters, the light is very dangerous and can cause damage to the eyes. Do not point the laser at your fish or your friends, and be sure to wear some eye protection. The other thing to take note of is the price. A laser this powerful typically runs in the $200-400 range, and some even get into the thousands. They are not illegal to own as far as we know (might be state dependent), but they are dangerous nonetheless.


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