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Hey guys! First time posting for some guidance and hopefully a solution to what could be a problem. When I was setting up a water feature for my first paludarium build, I was told by other hobbiest that polycrylic was good choice for water sealing styrofoam rocks that would be submerged in water. I followed it with some research suggesting that it was safe so I followed the directions to the letter on the can and basically let it cure for over a week after giving it 5 coats (Since then it’s been about two weeks.) Another week rolls by after placing my land foundation in the tank with silicone and letting that cure properly;Last night I set up the tank to begin the cycle for 24 hours and didn’t notice anything unusual until I woke up this morning to find some areas that are exposed to water are turning white. I’m not sure if I just leeched something into the water or if that’s normal. I read once cured that it would be inert to water but now I’m not sure. I’m going to take the water to be tested since I don’t have a kit myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

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Is that the Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish product you used? If so, it is meant to be used for wood products that are indoor use only and not for outdoor use.

My guess is that the moisture is causing the milky appearance of the product. I had finished an outdoor park bench with wood slats and used the above brush on product with 3 coats, following the instructions and within 6 months outdoors the finish turned milky and started to flake in spots.

I think you would need to use a product such as Polygem's Zoopoxy sealer and coating Epoxy products which is used in zoo exhibits, moist and underwater use.
 
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