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What Can I Use as a Fish Tank Stand? – 5 Options

what can i use as a fish tank stand

First-time aquarium hobbyists often find themselves asking this question, “what can I use as a fish tank stand?” Although it might seem silly at first, it is a valid concern. And the short answer to that is any furniture that can support an aquarium’s weight can qualify as a fish tank stand.

Please continue reading to learn about the detailed answer to this question and be mesmerized by several unique ideas for fish tank stand units.

Table of Contents

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Fish Tank Stand

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Deciding on a fish tank stand requires considering some factors, including the following.

1. Fish tank weight

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The principal idea behind using an aquarium stand is to ensure an adequate fish tank support structure. The fish tank stand must accommodate the aquarium’s full weight.

To have a rough estimate of your fish tank weight, you’ll have to consider its size, material, and what decorations you have in the tank. Typically, acrylic fish tanks weigh about 50% less than glass aquariums.

2. Aquarium bottom support

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Acrylic fish tanks require full-bottom support because they tend to buckle under the water’s weight. Meanwhile, glass aquariums only need perimeter support. However, full-bottom support is necessary for large aquariums, regardless of the material.

3. Full bottom coverage

The aquarium’s bottom should sit squarely on the fish tank table stand or any other furniture. No section must extend (or overhang) beyond the stand’s edges. The surface must also be uniform and parallel to the floor.

4. Equipment accessibility and supply storage

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The aquarium stand should have adequate space for accessories and supplies, including filters, fish tank equipment, and accessories. It should also have ample clearances to accommodate power cords.

What You Can Use as a Fish Tank Stand

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With the fish tank stand considerations out of the way, you are now ready to choose the best support structure for your aquarium.

1. Repurpose old furniture

One of the most sensible approaches to making an aquarium stand is repurposing old and no-longer-used furniture. Examples of furniture suitable for fish tank units include wooden cabinets, display shelves, or sturdy four-legged tables.

Ensure the old furniture is strong and can accommodate the aquarium’s weight. Moreover, it should not have any sign of rot or decay. Otherwise, you risk damaging your aquarium if you persist in putting it on dilapidated furniture.

We also recommend using low-priced wooden furniture (not a thousand-dollar vintage) that you will not feel sorry for turning into an aquarium stand should it get water-damaged.

An old corner table should make for a classic small fish tank stand. And if you are planning to ditch an old bookshelf or TV stand, you might want to consider repurposing it as fish tank shelves for Bettas.

Here are some suggestions for you for a budget aquarium stand.

  • Wooden tables – The perfect choice for a fish tank stand, wooden tables are sturdy, stable, and durable.
    We recommend picking Willow, Teak, or Oak because they can accommodate a fully-setup aquarium effortlessly. Please ensure the fish tank does not leak to safeguard the wooden table’s integrity.
  • TV stands – Most TV stands feature plywood, which should be okay for holding small-sized aquariums. Your TV stand should be sturdier if you have a big fish tank (>40 gallons).
  • Steel and iron tables – These pieces of furniture can support a 55-gallon tank effortlessly. However, we recommend adding a cushion at the steel table’s top to protect the aquarium’s bottom.
  • Dressers – This fish tank-stand alternative is perfect for aquariums in the bedroom. However, please limit it to a 15-gallon aquarium.
  • Coffee tables – Most aquarists do not recommend these furnishings unless you only want a fish bowl on it. If your tank is bigger, check to see whether a grownup can sit on the tabletop. If not, it’s best to scratch this idea.

2. Pros & cons

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Pros
  • More practical than other fish tank stand options
  • Allows some degree of customization
  • Sturdy and durable if chosen well
Cons
  • Could be too small or not strong enough to support fish tanks

Customize a Fish Tank Stand

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Here is an excellent choice for aquarists who want a fish tank with stand specific to their needs. Although aquariums come in standard sizes and dimensions, some hobbyists might require a different style because of space limitations.

For example, most aquariums are rectangular. However, some aquarists might prefer a unique fish tank shape to fit into a predetermined spot in the home. Few furniture types can accommodate such a need. Hence, you can either build a fish tank yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

One of the best fish tank shelf ideas is a multiple aquarium stand, which can accommodate several tanks simultaneously. However, it must be sturdy and well-built enough to accommodate numerous aquariums across several rows or levels.

We recommend researching DIY fish tank stand design ideas that fit your needs. You can choose the sturdiest materials for the project, such as cabinet-grade plywood, metal, or a combination of both.

Add storage compartments for your fish tank supplies and accessories. You can also decorate the fish tank stand to complement your home’s décor.

Pros & cons

Pros
  • Perfect fit for any fish tank needs
  • Ideal for aquarists with limited space requirements
  • Personalization options
Cons
  • Pricier than commercially available fish tank stands if done professionally
  • Elbow grease and fish tank construction knowledge required if DIY style

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can regular furniture hold a fish tank?

Yes, using furniture as aquarium stand is possible, provided it is sturdy, accommodating the fish tank’s filled weight without wobbling. Its surface should also be flat, even, and large enough to cover the aquarium’s full bottom without producing any aquarium overhang.

A four-legged table with sturdy support or a wooden cabinet without signs of deterioration can accommodate a fish tank. Repurposing old and no-longer-used furniture is a practical approach to support a fish tank.

How to make your own aquarium stand?

You can build a fish tank stand to accommodate your aquarium’s specifications, including gross weight and dimensions. Here are the steps:

  1. Cut fourteen 2×4 wood beams to serve as the aquarium stand’s frame (width and length) and legs (height). The specific dimensions will depend on how large you want the stand to be.
  2. Secure support beams to the fish tank stand frame. You need two frames for this project (top and bottom).
  3. Connect the top frame to the bottom frame with the wooden legs.
  4. Cover the top frame with plywood.
  5. Cover the sides, front, and back with wood sheeting.
  6. Sand the surface and apply paint.

What is the best material for aquarium stand?

Metal and solid wood are the best materials for a modern fish tank stand. Most aquarists use cabinet-grade plywood because it is durable, stable, and strong, which are necessary attributes for supporting aquariums.

Conclusion

Four general answers can shed light on the question, “what can I use as a fish tank stand?” Most aquarists would repurpose old but sturdy and durable furniture to support their fish tanks, adding a few finishing touches to improve its aesthetics.

If you deem furniture to be too valuable for an aquarium stand, you could always build one or commission a professional. Lastly, buying a fish tank stand is convenient. However, steer clear of uber-cheap stands with MDF or particleboard construction because they might not last long.

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