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Old 04-28-2007, 10:37 AM   #1
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Is polystyrene aquarium safe?

I found a background made for terrariums made of polystyrene. I was wondering if this would be safe to use in an aquarium setting? At most half would be covered in water because I want to set up a water/land system. If this is not aquarium safe does anyone have any other 3D background sites?

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Old 04-28-2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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I would stay away from terrarium backgrounds. They are mostly for above water purposes.

There are polystyrens backgrounds available at many LFSs that are intended for underwater use.

I don't know what the difference is in their coatings, but I'd rather not take the chance on the finish flaking or leaching.
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Old 04-29-2007, 02:24 PM   #3
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correct me if Im wrong, but dont backgrounds adhere to the back outside of the tank rather than inside?
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Old 04-29-2007, 03:56 PM   #4
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The polystyrene itself should be stable under normal environments. A few solvents, such as chloroform or toluene, will dissolve it...but if that's happening in your tank there are going to be bigger issues.

There may not be any difference in paint/treatments between aquarium and terrarium use, other than the designs they use. The biggest treatment terrarium stuff gets is antifungal compounds on driftwood, and I don't see why they'd have to do that with a background. But the paint/dye may not be stable underwater long term, so I think the safest advice would be to get one specifically labeled for aquariums as mentioned.

Personally I think I'd try to call the manufacturer, often there's a phone number listed on the package for questions or comments. It may take a lot of being forwarded randomly to people who have no idea, but if you can get a straight answer from them you may be able to use it without worries
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Old 04-29-2007, 11:55 PM   #5
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I thik the background we are talking about is 3D and goes on the inside of the tnak for a more real look. I don't think its aquarium safe though
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aquarium safe, safe

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