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17 Free DIY Aquarium Stand Plans You Can Build Today

Aquarium Stand Plans

If you have not owned an aquarium for very long, you will soon learn that this can be an expensive hobby. A traditional aquarium stand can cost hundreds of dollars to purchase. The other problem with a premanufactured stand is that it may not precisely fit your tank, your space, and your storage needs. Building your own stand means you can stay within your budget as well. We put together a list of 17 free aquarium stand plans that you can use for inspiration and to accomplish your building goals. We found plans for the beginner, intermediate, and expert DIYer, so there should be an option that is a perfect match for your skills.

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1. Aquarium Cabinet Stand from Woodshop Diaries

First on our list is the Aquarium Cabinet Stand from The Woodshop Diaries. The best thing about this cabinet is that it is entirely functional as something other than an aquarium stand as well. One of the most important recurring themes you will come across when building an aquarium stand is that the cabinet must be sturdy enough to support the weight of the tank. This particular unit is solid. Having storage underneath is always a great thing when it comes to storing fish food and supplies. There is no doubt that this is a functional and nice looking piece that will be an excellent stand for your first tank.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Tools: Saw, Drill, Hammer, Tape Measure

Supplies: Wood, Molding, Hinges, Handles, Screws, Nails


2. DIY Aquarium Stand by Alberta Aquatica

The DIY Aquarium Stand by Alberta Aquatica is a simple but effective unit with a false front. Although it may look like the cabinet portion is completely enclosed, the front is removable for access to the filter and other aquarium supplies. This plan has amazingly clear directions and supply lists. Even if you are new to building, this plan will be easy to follow and complete.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Tools: Saw, Tape Measure, Drill, Hammer

Supplies: Screws, Wood, Nails, Molding, Stain


3. Corner Tank by Reef Central

The Corner Tank by Reef Central is a perfect option if you have one of those corner shaped tanks that you have been trying to store on a square table. You can customize this table to fit exactly what you need. It will be a little tricky to get the wood to bend to the correct angle that you need, but if you follow the directions carefully, it is possible. You will need a few extra supplies to complete this project, but it requires much less wood than other options.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Tools: Clamps, Saw, Drill

Supplies: Wood, Glue, Screws, Brackets, Nuts, and Bolts


4. Steel Frame by Reef Addicts

If you think that a steel frame tank is a better option for you, then you can get some inspiration from this Steel Frame Tank Stand from Reef Addicts. Obviously, you will need some ability to weld, and that can be a bit more complicated and involved than screwing together a wooden frame stand. However, if you have a weighty tank, then steel may be the best option for you. The explanation is not necessarily a step-by-step model, but you can get the information you need on how to build this unit from the article.

Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert

Tools: Tape Measure, Welding Equipment

Supplies: Metal, Metal File, Sandpaper, Paint


5. The Aquarium Stand by BrouHaha

The Aquarium Stand by BrouHaha is a quick and simple build that is easy to customize for your needs. This plan gives clear directions and measurements every step of the way. There is a false front side door that allows you to access the filter and other aquarium supplies. The builder of this tank used kiln-dried wood as he didn’t want the shape of the cabinet to change at all over time. You can paint or stain this model to match your décor.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Tools: Biscuit Joiner, Sander, Saw, Drill, Router

Supplies: Screws, Wood, Molding


6. Cinder Block Aquarium Stand by Pinkaspen

If your woodworking or metalworking skills are not quite where they need to be, this cinder block option could be a great choice. The Cinder Block Aquarium by Pinkaspen can be put together in a matter of minutes. We love the shelves that were created by placing plywood between some of the cinder blocks. A quick coat of paint and nobody will notice that these are cinder block. The best part — the whole thing should be less than $50.

Skill Level: Beginner

Tools: Paintbrush, Measuring Tape

Supplies: Plywood, Cinder Blocks, Paint


7. DIY Aquarium Stand by AquaNerd

Next on our list is the DIY Aquarium Stand by AquaNerd. What we love about this option is that the author gives clear and thorough advice about how to build just the base portion of this aquarium stand. You can then take that information and craft the rest of the stand to be precisely what you need. This particular stand fits an 80-gallon tank, but you can modify the upper part to meet your specific requirements.

Skill level: Beginner to Intermediate

Tools: Saw, Drill, Hammer

Supplies: Nails, Screws, Wood, Paint


8. Bowfront Aquarium Stand by Mr. Saltolo Blog

The Bowfront Aquarium Stand is an excellent choice if you have a nontraditional tank that you are building for. These bowfront stands retail for quite a bit of money, so making your own is an excellent choice. Get ready for some clamping and gluing when it comes to this aquarium stand. The pictures included as part of this guide will help you get through the process quite quickly.

Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert

Tools: Saw, Clamps, Drill

Supplies: Wood, Glue, Nails, Hammer, Drill, Saw


9. Fish Tank Stand Plan by My Outdoor Plans

The Fish Tank Stand by My Outdoor Plans is a clear and straightforward plan that you can modify to fit the tank size you need. This stand has two cabinet-like doors on the bottom to easily access the filter and any of your other aquarium supplies.  We love the My Outdoor Plans instructions as they will give you the exact cuts you need to make, along with a list of all the supplies and tools necessary.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Tools: Hammer, Drill, Sandpaper

Supplies: Nails, Screws, Wood, Hinges, Cabinet Pulls


10. Cube Stand by Reef 2 Reef

The Cube Stand, posted on Reef 2 Reef, is a smaller-scale yet functional stand for a cube style aquarium. We love that this plan includes step-by-step pictures of the process and offers explanations for some issues that might come up along the way. As clear as the instructions are, there are a few parts of this project that require some intricate work, so it is best suited for an intermediate to expert-level woodworker.

Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert

Tools: Saw, Sander, Drill, Hammer

Supplies: Wood, Brackets, Hinges, Nails, Screws


11. DIY Small Aquarium Stand posted on Reef 2 Reef

The Small Aquarium Stand was also posted on Reef 2 Reef. This DIYer goes through the step-by-step process with pictures. You can easily follow what needs to be done to build yourself this great looking aquarium stand that can fit several size aquariums. If you have some time to read through the entire thread, you will see some frequently asked questions and problems that may come up. This is a helpful thing to do before starting the project.

Skill Level: Easy to Intermediate

Tools: Saw, Drill, Level, Tape Measure

Supplies: Wood, Screws, Hinges, Stain


12. DIY Aquarium Stand Build by Reef Nation

The DIY Aquarium Stand Build featured here is designed to support a huge tank. If you have a large tank, always make sure that the floor below your stand can support the stand and the weight of the container combined. Also, you will want to make sure you follow all critical steps to make this a very sturdy and dependable stand. Don’t cut corners on the wood (literally or figuratively) when you have a heavy tank. You need something that will support a substantial weight for many years.

Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert

Tools: Saw, Sander, Drill, Hammer

Supplies: Wood, Stain, Screws, Nails


13. Better Than New Aquarium Stand from Instructables Living

The Better Than New Aquarium Stand from Instructables Living is not only a functional aquarium stand, but it is also a great looking piece of furniture. The author does a great job of clearly explaining each step of the process with detailed explanations and pictures. There is a lot more to this tank stand than what meets the eye; this is a project that will take a bit of time and some money as well. We think it will be well worth the investment to have this lovely piece to display your aquarium proudly.

Skill Level: Expert

Tools: Saw, Biscuit Joiner, Clamps, Drill

Supplies: Hinges, Molding, Wood, Nails, Glue


14. Inexpensive Aquarium Stand by VirtuallyAmy

The Small Inexpensive Aquarium Stand is a perfect option if you need to get your tank off the ground but don’t have the budget or the skills to build an aquarium stand. This is simply a few cinder blocks with a piece of wood on top. The middle section of wood is a nice feature to add a shelf. The only issue with this type of aquarium stand is that the back can sometimes leave wires exposed. There are solutions and ways to modify this, but it’s just important to consider when entering into this project.

Skill Level: Beginner

Tools: Paintbrush, Glue

Supplies: Pre-Cut Plywood, Paint, Cinder Blocks


15. DIY Tank Stand for 40-Gallon Breeder Tank on Aquaria Central

The 40-Gallon Breeder Tank Stand found on Aquaria Central is a robust and stable tank. You can see how many brackets are used to reinforce the wood on this particular stand. The builder of this model also chose to put the stand on wheels, however, that is a personal choice, as most people will not be moving their large aquariums around once they are in place.

Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert

Tools: Saw, Drill, Hammer, Sander

Supplies: Brackets, Wood, Paint or Stain, Screws


16. Aquarium Stand With Secret Door For Sump by Instructables Living

The Aquarium Stand with Secret Door for Sump is a cool four-door aquarium tank stand option. We love the storage that this piece offers and the simple way you can access everything you may need to care for the aquarium properly. This is a large and sturdy unit capable of holding a large tank. You should be a fairly skilled woodworker to take on this particular project.

Skill Level: Expert

Tools: Biscuit Joiner, Clamps, Router, Saw

Supplies: Wood, Handles, Hinges, Paint, Primer


17. Aquarium Stand by Reef Aquarium

The Aquarium Stand Plan from Reef Aquarium is a plan packed full of information. There are several different models you can choose to build, depending on the size of the tank you own. All models have beautiful doors in the front that allow easy access to the filter and the ability to store other aquarium related gear. This is an intermediate-level project as the basic structure of the unit is just a box.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Tools: Saw, Drill, Hammer, Sander

Supplies: Wood, Hinges, Handles, Stain, Molding


Conclusion

Building an aquarium stand can be as big of a project as you want it to be! As you can see from these free aquarium plans that we gathered, there are many options to choose from. The aquarium stand you build will mostly be based on the size of your tank, but you also have some freedom to get creative with the doors, features, and storage as well. Good luck and happy building!


Featured image credit: Irina_kukuts, Pixabay

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