4 Fish Tank Stand Options: Man opening his white fish tank stand in his house to access the aquarium equipment

4 Fish Tank Stand Options (+ Important Things to Consider)

If you’ve just purchased a good-sized aquarium with all of the equipment you’ll need to fill it, maintain it, and keep your new fish happy and healthy, you may be wondering if you need to spend any more money on a special aquarium stand. 

Aquarists can choose 4 fish tank stand options: 

  • Repurpose 
  • Purchase
  • Customize 
  • DIY 

While you will need to place the aquarium on something, whether or not you purchase a dedicated aquarium stand will be primarily determined by your budget. Regardless of tank size, there are a few important things all aquarists need to consider as they choose the best fish tank stand for their aquarium. 

Why Are Fish Tank Stands Important? 

Fish tank stands are important because they support the weight of the fish tank and serve as a storage area for filters, pumps, and other aquarium equipment. Furthermore, stands help keep your fish tank level, which is critical for preserving water quality and preventing leaks. When selecting a fish tank stand, make sure it is the proper size for your tank and built of durable materials. 

4 Fish Tank Stand Options 

A fish tank stand is a piece of furniture that is large and sturdy enough to hold your aquarium while also housing the necessary equipment and materials to care for your fish and tank. The size, form, and materials utilized in the stand will be determined by the tank’s size and quality, as well as the budget and aesthetics. In essence, four possibilities are available: 


Repurpose your fish tank stand by using an existing or low-cost cabinet that is robust enough to hold your aquarium’s weight. 


The most simple fish tank stand option is just to purchase one. Choose a stand that fits your budget and is specialized for your aquarium needs. 


Have a stand created and customized just for you. It is likely to be a more expensive option when compared to a recycled desk or cabinet, but it may better match your aquarium’s requirements. 


Get creative and DIY your own fish tank stand. Because of its strength and water resistance, cabinet-grade plywood is a popular material for fish tank supports. 

4 Fish Tank Stand Options: Man crouching in front of his opened, white fish tank stand in his house to access the aquarium equipment

Things to Consider 

Before diving into repurposing, purchasing, customizing, or DIYing your fish tank stand, there are a few important things to consider: 

Aquarium Weights 

The exact weight of the aquarium will be determined by the material selected. Glass tanks weigh twice as much as acrylic tanks. A 20-gallon glass aquarium weighs more than 25 pounds when empty, but an acrylic tank weighs half of that. The actual issue emerges when the tank is filled with substratedécor, water, and fish, regardless of the material used to construct it. 

Just check out this heavy-lifting video of KaveMan Aquatics setting up a new 150-gallon tank with fish: 

Water Is Heavy 

Water is heavy! Water adds more than 8 pounds per gallon to your aquarium. When filled with water and pebbles, the weight of a 20-gallon glass tank rises from 25 pounds to well over 200 pounds. Needless to say, unless you have a little tank, the little bookcase against the wall is probably not a viable option for an aquarium stand – which takes us to the next thing to consider. 

Full Bottom Support 

When choosing a stand for your aquarium, weight is not the sole consideration. Different aquarium materials need different sorts of support, which should be considered while selecting a stand. Although acrylic is less in weight, because it is flexible, it requires support over the full bottom area of the tank. Glass, on the other hand, is heavier but will not buckle. 

As a result, a glass tank only requires support on the aquarium’s outside borders. When working with a very big tank, however, complete support is recommended for any style of aquarium. Keep these differences in mind when choosing a fish tank stand. 

Even Support

Another important safety consideration is that the tank be level and equally supported. If one of the tank’s edges overhangs the stand, or if the entire tank is not level, additional stress will be concentrated on a single seam. The added pressure might cause the seam to collapse over time, resulting in leaks – we definitely don’t want that! Always check that the tank is level and that no part of it is overhanging the support. 


Consider the necessity to access equipment in and around the aquarium, in addition to the issue of weight and bottom support. Regardless of which option you choose, keep in mind that you’ll need some room behind the tank for wires, filters, and other equipment. If a canister filter or other external equipment is utilized, it must be placed near the aquarium. A stand often has a room beneath the tank for concealing equipment and storing related aquarium items such as fish food and medication.

1-on-1 Coaching by KaveMan Aquatics 

Tanks under 20 gallons, as a general rule, can be put on a robust desk or a well-secured solid shelf. When building up aquariums larger than that, a dedicated aquarium stand should be considered. 

1 1 Coaching Homepage

Take your aquarium to the next level with personalized 1-on-1 coaching from KaveMan Aquatics

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