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Home > Fish > DIY Aquarium Stands: 14 Easy Plans With Instructions

DIY Aquarium Stands: 14 Easy Plans With Instructions

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Any serious aquarium enthusiast knows the struggle of getting a good aquarium setup. Once you move beyond small desk tanks, aquariums start to get heavy fast—and finding a stand that can support your tank can be expensive.

Luckily, DIY options can help bring a stable, high-quality stand within reach of any aquarium owner. With some creativity and the right materials, your tank stand will hold up to a heavy tank with ease. Building your own stand also lets you decide the style that’s right for you, with tons of options for every level of work.


The 14 DIY Aquarium Stands

1. 30-Gallon Aquarium Stand by Alberta Aquatica

DIY Aquarium Stand
Image Credit: Alberta Aquatica
Materials: Molding, stain, wood, screws, nails
Tools: Hammer, drill, tape measure, saw
Difficulty: Intermediate

The simple aquarium stand by Alberta Aquatica is ideal for a 30-gallon aquarium with a footprint of 24” x 12”. Besides the ease of making, the low cost of this aquarium stand is another attractive factor. All you need is a few tools and materials to make this stand for your aquarium. Despite being low effort-intensive and budget-friendly, the stand has a solid build and can withstand the weight of a heavy aquarium since it uses maple plywood for the top, front, and sides.

2. Reef Addicts Steel Frame Aquarium Stand

DIY Tank stands
Image Credit: Reef Addicts
Materials: Paint, sandpaper, metal file, metal
Tools: Welding equipment, tape measure
Difficulty: Expert

If you don’t mind welding or are already an expert, you can put together this steel stand by Reef Addicts on a free day. The tank is ideal for heavy aquariums that might be unsafe to put on a wooden frame. Besides the instructions, the best thing about this Reef Addicts tutorial is that the author also explains considerations to keep in mind when making a steel stand. He also discusses some mistakes he made so that you can avoid them during your DIY project.

3. BrouHaha Wooden Aquarium Stand

DIY Aquarium Stand 2
Image By:
Materials: Molding, wood, screws
Tools: Router, drill, saw, sander, biscuit joiner
Difficulty: Intermediate

BrouHaha has a quick and easy tutorial to make an aquarium stand with the following specifications: 40 gallons, 36-1/2″ x 15-1/2″ x 17″. Kiln-dried 2x4s make the square frame for the tank to sit on. The author explains their choice by saying they opted for an expensive wood since they were worried about shrinkage. Since kiln-dried wood does not warp as much as cheap wood, it’s ideal for this project.

4. Aquanerd DIY Aquarium Stand

DIY Aquarium Stand 3
Image By: AquaNerd
Materials: Pine wood, oak plywood, wood screws, finishing nails
Tools: Drill bit, cordless drill, table saw, jig saw
Difficulty: Expert

With its dimensions measuring 48″L x 24″D x 16″T, the DIY aquarium stand by Aquanerd is suitable for an 80-gallon aquarium. The white Kilz paint on the inside of the stand gives it a classic look, while the pine wood and oak plywood make it sturdy and durable. Most DIYers get the base measurements and assembly wrong, which is why the stand ends up being unstable. However, the author has explained the instructions for the base pretty well in this tutorial. Also, you can modify the upper part’s measurement to customize it to your tank’s size.

5. Bowfront DIY Aquarium Stand by Mr. Saltotlo

DIY Aquarium Stand 4
Image By: MrSaltoto EduCasts
Materials: Glue, hammer, nails
Tools: Drill, clamps, saw, hole saw
Difficulty: Expert

Since bowfront aquarium stands are quite expensive, it’s understandable to make one of your own if you have the right expertise for the job. The DIY aquarium stand tutorial by Mr. Saltolo requires quite a bit of gluing and clamping. So, it will take a couple of days to complete since you’ll have to wait for the glue to dry before using the tank. The author has also added holes at the base of the stand’s canopy support so that they could push the cords and tubes running the tank. Do note that if you have an unconventionally shaped aquarium, you should be prepared to buy a planer to cut the wood into any rectangular shape you want.

6. DIY Aquarium Stand by Virtual Amy

DIY Strong, Inexpensive Aquarium Stand
Image Credit: virtuallyamy
Materials: Cinder blocks, pre-cut wood, paint
Tools: Glue, paintbrush
Difficulty: Beginner

The small aquarium stand tutorial by Virtual Amy is the best option for people who don’t have advanced woodworking skills or a large budget. All you need for this tutorial are a few cinder blocks, pre-cut plywood, and some glue. The downside to this simple design is that the aquarium’s wires will be exposed at the back. You can take other approaches to cover them, such as adding a painted panel at the back or using fabric to make a curtain.

Some people might have concerns about the sturdiness of this stand, but Amy says that if you use flat boards and have a level floor, there’s nothing to worry about. Her 29- and 55-gallon aquariums do not rock or wobble on this stand and are more stable than her previous store-bought stands.

7. DIY Aquarium Cinder Block Stand (55-Gallon) by Pink Aspen Projects

DIY Aquarium Cinder Block Stand
Image Credit: pinkaspen

Materials: Cinder blocks, plywood, 2×8 boards, sandpaper, latex paint
Tools: Measuring tape, yardstick, level
Difficulty: Easy

If woodworking isn’t your jam, there are still options for building a sturdy aquarium stand. This tutorial shows how to build an easy stand for a 55-gallon aquarium out of cinder blocks and wood without the hassle of complicated tools for woodworking. (Just make sure to have the store cut your wood to length when you buy it.) The cinder blocks will stand up to hundreds of pounds of weight, making it perfect for a 55-gallon tank. This stand also gives you a simple shelf for storage underneath.

8. Adjustable Aquarium Stand (75-gallon) by Instructables

DIY Adjustable Aquarium Stand
Image Credit: instructables

Materials: Plywood, pine boards, wood glue, paint, conditioner, stain, polyurethane, LED lights, power supply, clips, cabinet door micro switch, screws, flush hinges, cabinet knob, dowel
Tools: Planer/Caliper, table saw, sander, biscuit jointer, miter saw, cordless drill, clamps, measuring tapes, painting supplies, crimper
Difficulty: Advanced

If you’ve already got your shop of tools and have worked with wood in the past, this detailed article walks you through the process of making a true work of art. It has an innovative design that lets the weight of the aquarium be distributed on an inner shell so that the beautiful outer cabinet can be customized as needed. Although the downloadable plans are for a 75-gallon aquarium, the tutorial shows you the whole process from design to completion so that you can adapt it to any size of the tank. The finished product is attractive from all angles, with built-in lights, a storage cabinet, and a covered power strip.

9. 30-gallon Aquarium Cabinet Stand from Woodshop Diaries

DIY 30-gallon Aquarium Cabinet Stand
Image Credit: Woodshop Diaries

Materials: Plywood, wood boards, cove molding, crown molding, base molding, hinges, knobs, pocket hole screws, brad nails, wood glue, wood putty
Tools: miter saw, kreg jig, drill, circular saw, nail gun
Difficulty: Advanced

These detailed plans are designed for a 30-gallon aquarium, making it perfect if you’re moving up from a desk-sized aquarium but not quite up for a huge tank. The finished product is just beautiful—a solid wood piece of furniture with a spacious interior cabinet for storage.

Although you’ll definitely want some experience to make this stand, the instructions are detailed and helpful, with both schematics and photos of every step of the process and a detailed material list with all the measurements you’ll need.

10. Cheap Rack for Multiple Tanks (Up to 30 Gallons) by The King of DIY

Materials: 2×4 boards, #8 wood screws, wood glue
Tools: Saw, drill
Difficulty: Moderate

If you have several small aquarium tanks, this YouTube tutorial might be right for you. Building a multi-level stand will help you care for several tanks of fish with less floor space, and a simple construction of 2x4s and screws will help your stand take the weight. This tutorial is a little more freeform, without specific measurements given, so you can adapt it to any size of tank up to 30 gallons.

11. Multi-Size Aquarium Stand from Central Florida Aquarium Society

Materials: 2x4s, plywood, wood glue, deck screws, paint/stain, hinges (optional), drawer pulls (optional)
Tools: Drill, measuring tools, paintbrush
Difficulty: Moderate

This basic stand tutorial is perfect if you have an oddly shaped tank, since it gives you all the formulas to adjust to your own stand size. It’s a relatively easy build, making it suitable for someone with a moderate amount of experience, and the clear plans show how to build a sturdy stand that will put all the weight on the vertical supports. The example stand is for a tank that is 75 gallons, so this plan can hold a pretty hefty tank without modification.

12. Herringbone Aquarium Cabinet by The Sociable Home

Materials: 2x4s, plywood sheets, stir sticks, stains, wood glue, polyurethane, pocket hole screws, bun feet, hinges, handles, epoxy, molding
Tools: Paint bucket, pocket hole jig, drill, level, table saw, straight edge guide, miter saw, planer, jointer, jig saw
Difficulty: Advanced

This gorgeous stand is an advanced project, but the work is well worth it. The detailed instructions include basic plan diagrams and a full walkthrough, with a full PDF plan available to purchase. The tools and materials are described in detail, including each color of stain needed, so that you can recreate it perfectly or adjust to your own needs. This stand also incorporates some really clever design tricks, like using paint stirrers to make the herringbone design on the doors and sides of the stand.

13. DIY Aquarium Stand with Sheeting from wikiHow

Materials: 2x4s, screws, wood glue, wood sheeting
Tools: Drill, sandpaper
Difficulty: Moderate

Building a simple aquarium stand to measure is easy with this tutorial. Although it requires some basic math to calculate the dimension of your stand, it has clear diagrams and easy step-by-step instructions that make it less intimidating than it looks! Each step is clearly detailed so that even an ambitious beginner can follow along. This isn’t sized for any tank in particular, so it can be adapted to the size and height you need.

8. Cinder Block Multi-level Rack by Aquarium Co-Op

Materials: Cinder blocks, 2x4s
Tools: Measuring tape
Difficulty: Easy

This multi-level rack is perfect for a big setup. With no tools needed except for a measuring tape, this rack comes together quickly and easily, at a much lower cost than a commercial rack. The rack in the example has two levels that hold eight 20-gallon tanks or four 55-gallon tanks. If you have multiple fish tanks and need an easy option that can hold a lot of weight, this is the tutorial for you.

14. Concrete Block/Wood Frame Stand by The Fish Beast

Materials: Cinder blocks, 2x4s, spray paint, wood glue, plywood, screws, foam
Tools: Drill
Difficulty: Easy

A happy medium between a basic cinder block stand and a full woodworking project, this tutorial shows you how to build a solid wood frame to rest on top of a cinder block base. The finished stand is professional-looking and solid, with only half the work of building a basic wooden stand from scratch. It is perfect for a first woodworking project, and if you get your 2x4s cut to length at the shop, the only tool you really need is a drill.


Last Thoughts

Aquarium setups can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. And while it’s important to have a stand that supports your tank’s weight, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on a store-bought stand.

Whether you put in dozens of hours building a gorgeous aquarium cabinet from scratch or you just want to build a basic stand from wood and cinder blocks, there’s a perfect DIY plan out there for you.

Featured Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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