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8 Best Aquarium Stands 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks
Fish need a lot to keep them happy and healthy. They need a lot of water with high oxygen content. You’ll need pumps, filters, protein skimmers, and a place to keep the food. It’s strongly recommended that you have a heater in the tank, with a thermometer close by.
Some more elaborate aquariums require an entire sump system to be the best habitats they can be. Sumps can be as big as the fish tank itself, but a good deal more unsightly. In order to keep their aquariums looking good and working properly, owners almost always display them in specialized aquarium stands.
There’s a lot of variation between aquarium stands. Some are big, some small. Some are enclosed while some have more openings. Some are made of entirely different materials. It’s enough to bewilder you, so we decided to help.
In this article, you’ll find reviews of eight top aquarium stands. We’ve also written up a buyer’s guide so you can shop for a stand with confidence.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Ameriwood Home Flipper Aquarium Stand||
|Best Value||All Glass Aquarium Stand||
|Premium Choice||Aqua Culture Deluxe Aquarium Stand||
|Imagitarium Brooklyn Metal Tank Stand||
|Hagen Fluval Flex Stand||
The 8 Best Aquarium Stands – Reviews 2021
1. Ameriwood Home Flipper Aquarium Stand – Best Overall
The Ameriwood Home Flipper stands out from the pack by virtue of a few deceptively simple features. The best selling point is the 10/20 flip. If you have a 10-gallon tank, you can flip this stand over to rest its 20-gallon side on the ground; if you have a 20-gallon tank, you can do the opposite. This flexibility makes it a great choice for irregularly shaped aquariums.
The internal storage spaces work the same in both directions: one cavity on top, one on the bottom, and a large ported cabinet in the middle. The whole thing is made from laminated MDF and particleboard, with a black woodgrain finish which looks great from any distance.
We tested it by seeing how much we could fit inside the cupboard. While we weren’t able to fit a working sump in there, we did have more than enough space for fish food, bacterial water conditioner, pH testing strips, and nets.
Assembly is required for this stand, but it’s not hard to put together. The only real problem is that the black finish isn’t water-resistant – it bleeds when it gets wet, which is a baffling design choice for a fish tank stand.
2. All Glass Aquarium Stand – Best Value
Keeping fish can be an expensive hobby, so we wanted to highlight the All Glass Aquarium 15 Column stand, one of the best aquarium stands for the money. It’s only suitable for aquariums that are taller than they are wide – look at pictures before you buy it because it won’t fit a lot of traditional aquarium styles or sizes.
The 15 Column’s appeal rests on three things: it’s affordable, it’s easy to set up, and it includes a lot of storage space. While the storage is somewhat awkwardly shaped, there’s no denying this stand’s cabinet is large and easy to access. Due to its knockdown style, building it is a breeze, but the simple parts come together into a sturdy, functional whole.
We were able to fit a whole support system for a freshwater tank inside this stand, including a pump, filter, heater, and bubbler. There are ample holes to run wires and pipes through, and plenty of space left over for food and other consumable supplies.
Two other drawbacks to beware of: the parts sometimes sustain damage in transit, and the stand isn’t soundproof, so you’ll be able to hear any loud accessories you might have.
3. Aqua Culture Deluxe Aquarium Stand – Premium Choice
Our picks for the #1 and #2 aquarium stands on the market right now are both appropriate for smaller tanks, between 10 and 20 gallons. However, we know a lot of you reading have bigger fish to take care of. For aquarium keepers looking for a stand for a 55-gallon tank, the Aqua Culture Deluxe Aquarium Stand is the way to go.
The appeal of this stand is obvious just from looking at it. It’s got a massive storage space fronted by two reversible panels that can show either solid black or wood grain. Along with being large, it’s also sturdy, able to hold a 55-gallon tank full of water on top and its whole support system inside.
Like most aquarium stands, the Aqua Culture Deluxe is “some assembly required,” but it can be put together in under an hour with the same tools you’d use to build IKEA furniture. The wood is treated with a water-resistant finish that doesn’t run when damp.
Outside of the price, the biggest downside of the Aqua Culture Deluxe is that it’s made of particleboard, which can be damaged by saltwater. For this much money, we’d have preferred solid wood.
4. Imagitarium Brooklyn Metal Tank Stand
Next up, let’s look at something a little bit different. Imagitarium’s Brooklyn Metal Tank Stand is made of solid steel and capable of holding up to a 40-gallon tank, including water, substrate, and equipment. The modern, industrial-chic design will lend your aquarium a unique look.
It’s not just aesthetic, though, as the steel construction grants other advantages. The steel frame is extremely durable, with a higher-than-average weight capacity – it’s rated for 40 gallons, but in our tests, it managed 60. It also features adjustable feet so you can make sure the top is level before putting your aquarium on it. Assembling the steel structure is a quick, one-person job.
Unfortunately, Brooklyn’s biggest assets – its unusual aesthetic and sturdy construction – are also its biggest weaknesses. There are no shelves or storage space included here, and those of you seeking to hide unsightly tank maintenance equipment will be disappointed. If you want any extra features on this stand, you’ll have to add them yourself.
Still, though the Brooklyn is unconventional, it’s worth checking out. If you’ve been disappointed in the past by shoddy particle-board stands, it’s about as far from those as you can get.
5. Hagen AHG15015 Fluval Flex Stand
If you found the Imagitarium Brooklyn at #4 too far from the mean, the Hagen Fluval Flex Stand pushes the envelope just a bit less. Built out of particleboard and painted with a black finish, the Fluval Flex features two open shelves bounded by graceful S-curves. It can hold aquariums up to 15 gallons, including substrate, plant life, and equipment.
The shelves aren’t exactly concealed, so if you have a large pump or filter to hide away, you’ll still need to find someplace else to put it. However, it’s not too difficult to use props and creative arrangements to make the entire tower look good.
We were able to set it up in under half an hour, and really enjoyed both the look and the low footprint – it’s about the size of an end table and can fit easily into any room in your home.
The risk with this stand, and the reason it’s not higher, is the way it ships. The pieces are packaged with almost no padding and frequently arrive chipped and scratched. Hagen and Fluval are big names in pet supplies and aquatics respectively, so it’s disappointing that they don’t understand the importance of packaging.
6. Flipper Wildwood Aquarium Stand
The Flipper Wildwood 20-Gallon Aquarium Stand takes us back to basics with a rustic design. Its particleboard construction is finished with brown and gray wood veneer and accented with strategically-placed metal, for a striking stripped-down appearance that matches any farmhouse-style room.
Lest you suspect this stand is just another crass attempt to capitalize on the shabby chic trend (we assure you we did too), it’s also incredibly tough, fully capable of holding a full 20-gallon tank with all the trimmings. The doors open onto two shelves, either of which could hold a small sump filtration system and both of which have large openings you can run hoses through without difficulty.
As great as this stand is, though, we’re not certain it’s worth the steep price. It’s sturdy and spacious, but at the end of the day, it’s still a relatively small piece of furniture that isn’t even made of real wood.
There are a couple of other downsides, too. Setup is difficult compared to its competitors on this list, with many of the components’ holes aligning in frustratingly non-obvious ways. The individual pieces are also prone to coming out of the box already damaged.
7. Coralife Designer Biocube Stand
None of the aquarium stands on this list are bad, but some are riskier than others. That perfectly describes the Coralife Designer Biocube Stand, an aquarium stand that aims for an ambitious target it doesn’t quite hit.
The Biocube Stand is tall and narrow, best for tanks up to 15 gallons. It’s sturdy enough to hold a filled tank up to 40 gallons, but the shape isn’t conducive to much over a tall 15. Specifically, it’s meant to hold Coralife’s Biocube aquariums – and while those match it nicely in both looks and function, fish tanks from other brands work just as well.
Like the Hagen Fluvel stand at #5, this stand has two shelves, but in this case, they’re shut behind a transparent door. The internal shelf is adjustable, which makes it easy to store bulkier tools and supplies on the bottom.
The problem, as with several other stands we like, is the way the Biocube Stand ships. The packaging is woefully insufficient. It arrives damaged in way too many cases, with the door, handle, and wood panels being the most common problem parts. Until we’re sure it won’t arrive trashed, we can’t recommend you buy this stand.
If you want to make a fish tank a centerpiece of your home, adding an aquarium stand is non-optional. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll teach you the most important steps to follow, so you can ensure the stand you buy will be the right one for both you and your fish.
Step 1: Decide what kind of stand you want
You’ve got a few choices here, organized from least to most effort.
As you can see, there’s no one perfect way to ensure you’ll get the right aquarium stand. That’s why it’s so important that you read reviews of any stand you plan to buy, and if you can, talk to other people who have bought the same one before.
Step 2: Get the measurements right
We probably don’t need to tell you that you should get a stand that’s big enough to hold your aquarium, but there are other measurements you should attend to as well.
Step 3: Check the materials
Almost all aquarium stands are made out of particleboard, plywood, and/or steel. Each has its advantages and drawbacks.
We hope our reviews have shed some light on these indispensable aquarium accessories. Far from just being expendable furniture, aquarium stands can’t be separated from aquariums themselves. If you want your aquarium to be both a habitat and an art piece, you can’t do without one.
The Ameriwood Home Flipper is our favorite aquarium stand. On top of the incredible convenience of being able to flip it to fit your aquarium, it’s also user-friendly, well-built, and boasts a capacious interior. It’s annoying that you can’t get it wet without the finish running, but there’s no such thing as a perfect product.
If you’re on a budget, the All Glass Aquarium 15 Column will blow your expectations out of the water. You’ll go from wondering why you need an aquarium stand shaped like a grandfather clock to wondering how you ever used anything else.
If neither of those work out for you, don’t be afraid to use your newfound knowledge to do some comparison shopping of your own. Good luck, and as always, tell us all about it in the comments!
For more info on Aquarium gear, check out these posts:
- Best Aquarium Backgrounds
- Best Aquarium Plants to Reduce Nitrates
- Best Aquarium Silicone
- Best Aquarium Sands
Featured Image: Ameriwood Home Flipper Aquarium Stand, Amazon
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 8 Best Aquarium Stands – Reviews 2021
- Buyer’s Guide