Few things are more relaxing in the home than a fish tank filled with softly swaying plants and gently gliding fish. These aquatic environments are soothing and meditative, but only if they are securely positioned. A flimsy fish tank stand is a recipe for disaster and may be the only thing between your moment of Zen and a mad scramble to rescue your fishy friends.
When you need a fish tank stand that’s sturdy, stylish and stacked with storage, the Coralife Biocube Aquarium Stand is a great choice.
What to know before you buy a fish tank stand
The material of your fish tank stand matters. It can shape the style of the stand as well as its durability.
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- Metal: Metal stands tend to be heavier, very sturdy and more affordable. They are often powder coated to prevent rust. Most do not come with storage, and they have a limited color and design palette.
- Wood: The classic lines of a wood fish tank blend well with traditional styles. They can be heavy, depending on the composition of the wood, and many come with doors and shelves. They do require sometimes-complicated assembly, and it is recommended that you place a waterproof barrier between the fish tank and the stand.
- Plastic: Plastic fish tank stands are available, but they are not recommended. Most do not stand up well to the weight of a filled fish tank.
Simple frame vs. stands with storage
There are two basic styles of fish tank stand: a simple frame and a stand with storage.
- Simple frame: A simple frame is optimal for smaller spaces where a large piece of furniture won't fit. These come in the same assortment of materials as other styles but often with a lower price tag. However, there is no convenient place to stash your fish food and cleaning supplies.
- Stands with storage: Stands with storage are available in an open style with shelves or with doors that keep everything hidden. Doors can hide the clutter of fish tank supplies, but they can also add to the expense. Stands with storage tend to be larger and take up more space in general.
Size of the tank
It is important to get a stand that can hold the volume of water in your tank, but another consideration is the size and shape of the tank. Some stands are designed to hold a wider tank, while others are narrow. Take careful measurements of your tank before deciding which stand is best.
Fish tank stand features
Most tank stands require assembly, but the last thing you want to do is spend the entire day wrangling tiny screws and deciphering cryptic instructions. Even the sturdiest stands should be simple to put together.
Adequate storage space
If you opt for a stand with shelves or enclosed storage, make sure there is enough space for all of your supplies. This includes measuring for any bins you plan to store under your tank.
The fish tank stand you select should not be an eyesore or clash with your other pieces of furniture. There is a wide variety of styles available for every kind of decor. Make sure to choose one that complements what you already have in the room.
Fish tank stand cost
The price varies depending on the size of the stand, the materials it is made of and whether it has storage. A stand that holds a 20-30 gallon tank costs $54-$260.
Fish tank stand FAQ
Can a fish tank overhang the edges of the stand?
A. No. The fish tank should be completely on top of the stand. Any overhang stresses the joints and seals on the tank. While it may seem fine when empty, adding water at eight pounds per gallon creates additional stress on the fish tank panels. These panels are connected with silicone, and the added pressure will eventually cause them to fail.
For safety and security, make sure that you choose a stand with no overhang.
Is there other furniture that can be used to hold a fish tank?
A. No. While some people eyeball their solid wood dresser and think a fish tank might be nice on it, consider this: a 55-gallon fish tank weighs 485 pounds when filled with water. Add fish, gravel, some nice plants and lights and a filter, and you are looking at over 500 pounds of weight on the top of your dresser. Now consider the middle-of-the-night scenario when that dresser finally gives way, soaking your clothes and floor and leaving fish flopping around.
You’ve already spent money on a beautiful aquatic setup. It makes sense to buy a stand that can hold the weight.
Which fish tank stand should I get?
Best of the best fish tank stand
Our take: The stylish design resembles a shelf and blends seamlessly in with your other furniture.
What we like: The top is designed specifically for Coralife aquariums but holds other brands with similar shapes up to 32 gallons. The shelf below holds everything you need to maintain an aquarium and the fish within. It’s also available in a smaller size.
What we dislike: The doors look fine but feel flimsy.
Best bang for your buck fish tank stand
Aquatic Fundamentals 20 Gallon Metal Aquarium Stand: available at Amazon
Our take: This is perfect when you need a simple, durable stand.
What we like: It assembles easily and is lightweight. The metal is sturdy and rust-resistant. The clean lines are attractive and simple. It’s available in three other sizes.
What we dislike: There is no additional storage for food or cleaning supplies.
Honorable mention fish tank stand
Imagitarium Newport Wooden Tank Stand: available at Amazon
Our take: The straightforward design and warm wood material are perfect for modern or industrial design schemes.
What we like: It holds up to 180 pounds and is designed for wider tanks. It is easy to assemble and has two other shelves to hold smaller tanks or any other fish-keeping supplies.
What we dislike: Wood needs a waterproof mat or other barrier to prevent accidental water damage.
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Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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