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Are acrylics safe?

This is a discussion on Are acrylics safe? within the General Discussion forums, part of the Vivaria, Enclosures & Product Reviews category; I have been perusing threads on creating semi-aquatic tanks for several days now, but am still uncertain about the safety ...

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Old 27th October 2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are acrylics safe?

I have been perusing threads on creating semi-aquatic tanks for several days now, but am still uncertain about the safety of using acrylic paints. Are run-of-the-mill acrylics safe for caudates above and/or below water? Certain colours, perhaps? It would be nice to know before I start sticking my newest subjects in a potentially poisoned tank. And, perhaps some non-toxic alternatives.
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Old 28th October 2010   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are acrylics safe?

The acrylic vehicle itself is inert and fish-safe. Many pigments are toxic, especially those containing heavy metals. There's a good list here: From the studio: Toxicity of Pigments

The list is for artist's acrylic paints. Craft paints may be likely to contain heavy metals (due to cost), but are also less likely to list the actual pigments in the paint.

I don't know if pigments in acrylic paint would leech out when submersed. It's probably not a bad idea to go over any painted surface with a clear coat of polyurethane or epoxy.
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Old 6th November 2010   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are acrylics safe?

Thank you very, very much. It is disgusting what is allowed in products these days.

I followed your advice; after painting, I gave the tank a good five or six coatings of poly spray. Overkill, maybe, but it is better than dead animals. I may send that link to a few friends.
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