Freshwater Cichlid Fish Info, Articles, Calculators & More

Do It Yourself Aquarium Stand

This design is actually a compilation of several designs all wrapped up into one to maximize strength. The basic principle of the design is two box frames connected by four legs. The upper supports the tank and transfers the load to the legs. The legs are made of several pieces of 2X4 to assist in construction and sheething the stand in plywood for strength and cosmetics. The bottom frame transmits the load of the tank into the floor.



  • The plan for this stand consists of 21 pieces. Like color pieces are the same length and of the same board size.
  • The box frames are screwed together first, then the legs are built off the bottom frame, the top frame is then placed on top and secured to the legs.
  • The green pieces are screw strips. These provide limited load strength but serve to make assembly easier and help keep the stand square.
  • The blue piece between the upper rails (red) works to keep the upper rails from twisting.
  • Cut List: The calculations below are based off of a stand that is “W” inches wide X “D” inches front-to-back X “H” inches high.

    (2) Red – Upper Rails: Length = W
    These will be sized according to length: 2X4 for 48″ or less for smaller tanks (Rule of thumb is 75g-90g); 2X6 up to 72″ with 125g-150g being acceptable; For longer spans and larger tanks 2X8s are recommended.

    (2) Yellow – Upper Ends: Length = D-3″
    Theses will be made of the same material as the upper rails.

    (4) Green – Screw Strips: Length = H-2″
    These 2X4s are shorter then the tank is tall.

    (8) Purple – Uprights: Length varies:
    - 2X4 Upper Rails: Length = H -7″
    - 2X6 Upper Rails: Length = H-9″
    - 2X8 Upper Rails: Length = H-10.75″
    These 2X4s support the weight of the tank. The ones on the short sides of the stand provide a flat surface for attaching a plywood facing and while they do provide some strength, they are optional.

    (2) Orange – Bottom Rails: Length = W
    These 2X4s act to spread the weight of the tank over a larger area.

    (3) Blue – Bottom Ends: Length = D-3″

    Covering the sides of the stand with plywood will help to stiffen the stand against twisting and shifting. Doors can be mounted to the legs as desired.

    So there it is. 21 pieces in 6 lenghts equals a tank stand that should fit the bill for most people. There are other plans out there but this is a simple design using simple tools and common wood sizes. It may not suit everyone’s application but it should fit the bill for most common size tanks.

    [easyazon-image-link asin="B001G5ZZE4" alt="Ameriwood 55-Gallon Aquarium Stand" src="" align="left" width="450" height="500"]


    Tagged as: , ,



    There are no trackbacks

    Fish Friends