Once you have picked out an aquarium, you need to think carefully about selecting a stand for your new tank. Although the smallest tanks can usually be placed directly on a flat surface or atop a non-slip mat, a robust stand is an integral part of a larger aquarium setup. If you’re new to the world of aquariums, picking a suitable stand can be a difficult. Our buying guide is here to help you make sense of stand designs and what model is the best option for you.
Aquarium & Stand Dimensions
The most important thing you will need to consider when selecting a stand is the overall dimensions of your aquarium. This only only means the size of your tank, but also its overall weight when filled with water, substrate and fish. You will also need to take into account the shape of your aquarium.
A stand designed to house a standard rectangular tank is not going to be ideal for a bow-front tank, for example. If your tank is a fairly standard model with simple dimensions, you’ll easily be able to find a ready-made stand that’s fit for purpose. However, if you have ordered a bespoke tank with a more unique profile, you may find it more challenging to find a standard that will provide you with the support you need.
Aquarium stands are made from a variety of common materials, but the most popular include metal, plywood and MDF. If you want a particularly inexpensive option, an MDF stand will probably be your best option. Cabinet-style stands are regularly made from particle board, with reinforced elements making them sturdy enough for use with heavier aquariums. However, you should avoid using particle board stands and cabinets if you are dealing with a saltwater aquarium that requires higher temperatures. Over time, the high levels of humidity can warp such material, weakening its structure and risking collapse.
Plywood is a far better alternative. This high-quality material is usually the standard when it comes to high-end stands and cabinets. The material itself is exceptionally strong, preventing the need for additional supports and struts. It is also the best option if you are looking at purchasing a cabinet stand with doors and integrated storage. The more robust nature of the material also makes it suitable for use with saltwater aquariums and tanks that produce high levels of humidity.
Metal stands are also incredibly common. The main benefit of a metal stand is its incredible load-bearing capabilities. If you have purchases a particularly large and heavy tank, you’ll almost certainly be better off by securing it atop a metal stand. There are some downsides to metal stands, however. They will almost certainly be far heavier than a wooden or MDF stand, so will be more difficult to move around a room prior to placement. Metal stands also tend to be fairly simple in design, with little room for integrated storage.
Stand Style & Design
When it comes to tank stands, you have two main styles available to you. The simplest of these is a standard frame base that will provide you with excellent structural support for housing larger aquariums. This style of stand is usually made from metal, but can also be made of hard-wearing plywood material. The main downside of these stands is that they are very basic in appearance.
They offer little concealment of external hosing and filters, which can prove unsightly, depending on where you aquarium is housed. They also tend to lack much in the way of storage. Many metal stands will incorporate structural struts that can modified with plastic or wooden panels to provide you with shelving, but you will need to consider the maximum load-bearing capacity of your stand prior to carrying out such modifications.
Aquarium cabinets are a better option for those who like to keep organised and keep unsightly hosing and other tank extras out of view. Cabinets come in a variety of sizes and designs, with many options robust enough that they can house tanks of considerable dimensions. Cabinet stands have the benefit of providing you with useful storage, allowing you to keep tank essentials like fish food, maintenance solutions and testing kits close to hand. They also provide you with an easy way to keep hosing and support systems out of view. Depending on the design, a cabinet stand can also be a stylish option, blending in more seamlessly with your existing room décor.
Installation & Adjustment
Any stand you purchase should be easy to put together and disassemble. Make sure any stand you buy comes with all the fixtures you’ll need to carry out a complete installation. You should also check to ensure replacement screws and fasteners can be easily sourced, allowing you to make minor repairs to your aquarium furniture without having to purchase a brand new stand should you run into any trouble.
Aquarium stands with adjustable feet are also a good idea. Not only will this allow you to tailor the overall height of your aquarium, it will also make your life easier if you need to position your tank and stand on awkward flooring, such as carpeted surfaces with a deep pile.
Product Reviews – The Best Fish Tank Stands
Looking for a premium presentation stand for your new aquarium? Below are some of the best fish tank stands currently available, with sizes and designs to suit all aquarium dimensions.
Landen 45W Aquarium Stand and Cabinet for Fish, Terrarium or Reptile Tank, Nano Foam Leveling Mat Included, Contemporary and Simple Design, Wooden Gloss White Painted
If you’re looking for contemporary aesthetics and a sleeker profile, this combined stand and cabinet from Landen is a good option. This cabinet and stand combination is incredibly sturdy, with the heavy-duty design making it a suitable option for larger aquarium. The top of the cabinet features a premium anti-slip mat made from nano foam, which provides your tanks with an exceptionally sturdy base on which to sit.
This cushioned material also prevents particularly heavy tanks from placing undue stress on the cabinet beneath. Another nifty feature of this nano foam mat is that it will help dampen the amount of noise generated by high-performance filters and other aquarium devices.
The minimalist design of this stand and cabinet makes it ideal for those who want to let the contents of their aquarium shine. The base cabinet is very discreet, providing concealed storage for all your fish tank essentials. You can keep all your aquarium must-haves close to hand, including water testing kits, fish food and other items a committed aquarist will need access to on a daily basic. The superior finish of the cabinet also makes maintenance simple, with the wipe-clean exterior allowing you to keep on top of spillages and other mess.
This premium Biocube stand from Coralife is another eye-catching choice for fish owners looking to show off their aquarium in style. This cabinet-style stand features twin panels with tinted acrylic windows. The sleek frames and slimline handles add some modern appeal to this cabinet, making it an ideal addition to modern and minimalist interiors. This cabinet stand also features an interior shelf to provide you with plenty of storage for essentials like testing kits, fish food and substrate.
The back panel of the stand also features cut-out holes so you can route cables for concealed electrical equipment. This cabinet also features robust feet that keep the bottom edge of the cabinet slightly elevated from the ground. This makes it easier to move the stand around slightly, even with an aquarium perched on top, for cleaning and carrying out minor maintenance.
The overall build quality of this aquarium stand is good, with water-resistant materials used throughout. This means you will not have to worry about your stand suffering from warping and other damage when occasionally exposed to water. The doors are also made to a high standard, with durable hinges and acrylic window panels that won’t shatter like glass. One thing to bear in mind about this stand is that it is on the narrow side, with a width of just 20.5 inches. While this will prove large enough for most aquariums, those looking to invest in particularly large tank may find this stand on the small side.
This Aqueon Forge aquarium stand is a good option for those who want something minimal, but not lacking in character. Unlike other stands in this list, this model can support two individual aquariums at any one time. The upper shelf can support larger aquariums, while the lower shelf can also house an additional tank. The durable build quality of this stand also makes it a sensible long-term investment. The steel construction means it will handle excessive loads, even when housing two aquariums with a full stock of fish and heavy layers of substrate. The steel stand also boasts a powder coated finish, making it exceptionally resistant to rust and corrosion.
A particularly welcome detail here is the inclusion of reversible shelf panels. The wooden panels sport one black side and one brown side and can be fitted to reveal the side you prefer. This will come in handy if you are particular about aesthetics, or need to coordinate your fish tank stand with a strict décor scheme. Installation is relatively straightforward, although you’ll want to take extra care that you’re screwing in all fasteners tightly if you intend on using this stand to display two aquariums.
The only real downside to this Aqueon Forge stand is that lacks any storage space. If you are only using the stand to display a single tank, you can use the bottom shelf to store food, filters and other items. However, they will be left exposed and take away from the overall aesthetics of your aquarium display.
If you’re seeking a more traditional looking stand, this impressive model from Aquatic Fundamentals should meet your requirements. Unlike more contemporary designs, this tank stand sports a curved base with filigree-style details. Although it looks fairly delicate, this is a surprisingly sturdy stand. The robust metal construction will comfortably handle a fully-stocked aquarium, while the powder coated finish will ensure moisture exposure will never lead to rusting issues. This stand is also easy to assemble, with the heavy-duty steel frame likely to serve you well for years to come if properly cared for.
Although an affordable and attractive choice, this fish tank stand does have some shortcomings. For starters, there is minimal storage provided by this design. The lower half of the frame does include sectional bars that can be used to support a lower shelf, however anything stored in this section will be left exposed. There is also nothing to conceal hoses and routed cables, which may distract from your aquarium display somewhat. However, if you’re searching for a stylish choice of stand that will add some elegance to your interiors, this Aquatic Fundamentals stand is certainly something to consider.
If you’re planning on putting together a very large aquarium setup, you’ll need a stand that can cope with it. This metal tank stand from Brooklyn Imagitarium is definitely fit for purpose. In fact, this heavy-duty stand can cope with 40-gallon tank setups with ease. Made from solid steel with a stripped-back construction, this stand has been designed to provide reliable support for big aquariums for a long time. The robust design also looks great, with the vertical and horizontal support bars bringing a modern and minimalist aesthetic.
Once assembled, this stand can also be adjusted slightly. The feet can be adjusted with ease, allowing you to level your stand perfectly before adding your tank to the top. There are some things to bear in mind before purchasing this stand, however. Because of its minimal design, it can only really be used as is if you are looking to display a tank that perfectly matches its dimensions.
If you plan on using it with a smaller tank, you’ll need to add a flat support layer on top of the frame to prevent accidental slips and spills. There is also limited storage space provided here. The underside of the stand can of course be used to house filters and other larger items, but they will not be concealed. Despite all of this, this tank stand scores high marks for stylish aesthetics, versatility and superior support.
This Hagen Fluval Flex stand is a good choice for those who have a bow front tank they need to display. Although this stand looks fairly simple and compact, it is the ideal option for curved aquariums that require a sturdy base. This particular stand comes in classic white, making it an easy choice for those seeking stripped-back aesthetics. It is also fairly small, so will serve the needs of those looking for a stand that can display a modest tank. This stand can be combined with tanks with a maximum width of 40cm and a maximum depth of 35cm. However, you can also use it to display tanks with smaller dimensions than this.
This curved stand also provides you with useful storage options. A dividing shelf provides you with two designated storage areas, meaning you will not be short on space for storing food, filters, testing kits and other items that are essential for keeping your aquarium fish and plants healthy. The sturdy feet also provide your stand and aquarium with extra support, while also ensuring that delicate flooring is not damaged should you ever need to reposition your tank and stand. Although this stand looks fairly basic on its own, it will really shine when combined with a bow front aquarium, with the elegant curves making a real statement.
If you’re looking for something completely different to a conventional metal stand or display cabinet, this adjustable mount system from Current USA is something to seriously consider. This heavy-duty mounting bracket allows you to display your aquarium directly on a wall, negating the need for a separate piece of display furniture. This mount stand is a good idea if you prefer ultra-low design and stripped-back aesthetics. It also frees up in floorspace, making it perfect if you want to add an aquarium to a smaller room, but don’t have space for a bulky stand or cabinet. This mounting system also includes an adjustable LED light, allowing to showcase your aquarium display in style.
Although this bracket promises a universal fit with rimless and framed tanks, it can only be used with aquariums under an inch thick. You will also want to consider the build of the tank you are looking to mount. Glass sidings will need to be made from tempered material to avoid potential shattering and splintering. Installing this bracket system will also require plenty of care and attention.
You’ll need to prepare the wall you are looking to add it to carefully, ensuring screws and fixtures remain locked in place once the tank itself is added. However, if you are prepared to put in a bit of work when it comes to the installation, you will be rewarded with a dazzling display option that is hard to beat. One other thing to consider is that there is obviously no integrated storage here. You may also want to think about the visual impact of dangling hosing and routing.
The most important thing to consider when selecting a stand for your fish tank is that it matches up to the dimensions of your aquarium. Most tanks of a standard size will be matched with a considerable range of stands designed for maximum support and stability. You should never take chances on a mismatched stand, just because you like the aesthetics.
You will also need to think about materials and build quality. If you plan on establishing a saltwater aquarium or a tank that will experience higher temperatures and increased humidity levels, a budget-friendly stand or cabinet made from particle board is not going to serve you well in the long run. Although they offer limited storage, a stripped-back metal stand is usually the most versatile option, providing you the best in structural support and long-term durability.
Another key thing to consider is where your aquarium will be placed. If you can position it in a room where hosing and other aquarium clutter can be kept out of view, a basic metal stand is your best bet. However, if your tank is going to be placed in a smaller, more crowded room, a more versatile cabinet stand is a good alternative. Although these cabinets are usually only suitable for displaying small to medium-sized tanks, they are a stylish choice and come with versatile shelf and cupboard storage.