Why I built my own fish tank stand - The selection in many aquarium stores is overpriced and poor quality. Most of the stuff I looked at was made from particle board and cost well over $250! (I am not a fan of paying more for a low quality product).
I decided, "If you want something done right you should do it yourself." So I built my own, saved money, and taught myself some nifty wood-working techniques that I will use elsewhere in my life. SAVE $ and TEACH YOURSELF NEW SKILLS! That is a win-win!
What did it cost? - The wood cost about $25, nails another $6, and misc building supplies another $10 with PLENTY leftover. Basically, for under $50 you can build a fish tank stand/aquarium stand that is 5 times stronger for 1/5 the price, and have extra supplies for your next projects!
What you need:
- WOOD! Lots of it! I purchased 10 - 8 foot long 2x4's at Home Depot. They were nice enough to cut them in half for me in the store.
- WOOD: I also purchased 2 small pieces of furniture grade flat plywood for the sides of the fish tank (see in photos)
- Saw (manual or automatic) I used manual for a free arm workout!
- Gloves (safety)
- Goggles (optional safety)
- Pen and paper - to plan out your fish tank size (height, width, etc.)
- Nails. - I used 2 1/2" long nails for the main structure. I used 3/4' nails for installing the plywood sides.
- A safe working area
- Wood stain and paint brush (optional)
I started this project with no real plans. I sketched out some ieas on paper, went to the store, and bought a ton of wood and planned as I went.
Difficulty: Easy .... if you are familiar with basic cutting, sawing, measuring, and hammering.
Hard .... if you have never touched tools.
Measuring the fish tank stand and Supplies for your unique fish tank stand:
1. Decide how big you want your fish tank stand to be.
2. Map out the height, length, and width for your fish tank. (pen + paper + math here)
3. Go to the store and purchase all of the above listed items (unless you already have them)
4. The larger fish tank stand will require more wood. Small stands can be made with very little wood.
At the time of purchase, I wanted a fish tank stand for a 15 gallon aquarium. I built my fish tank stand MUCH STRONGER knowing I will buy a larger fish tank in the future. I am glad I did this because I purchased 29 gallon fish tank 2 years later!
*** I understand I am not giving you exact measurements and plans. I am giving you the idea that you can build a cheaper and more reliable solid fish tank stand out of 2 x 4's and basic hammer and nail wood working skills. You decide what size is best for you ***
1. After mapping out and planning the height, length, and width of your fish tank, you are ready to cut and piece together your table.
2. Cut the specified length for 4 legs.
3. Cut the specifed length for 2 top vertical supports
4. Cut the specifed length for 2 top horizontal flat supports (what the majority of the fish tank will sit on)
5. Cut cross supports between the legs (both length and width)
You can see most of this process as I work into building the fish tank in my pictures below.
6. Cut the sides to the correct height and width.
1. Loosely fit the pieces together BEFORE NAILING to make sure they are the ideal height, length, width
2. Upon confirming height, length, and width, attach the 4 legs with the top of the fish tank stand with nails (See pictures below)
3. Attach cross supports to legs with nails
4. Attach top (flat) table cross pieces (the table top) with nails
5. Add additional cross supports with nails as needed.
6. More nails can make for better fish tank strength (as long as you do not split the wood)
7. Use small nails to install flat plywood sides. This step will hold the sides together stronger with one huge bond of nails!
1. Place a chair next to your newly built fish tank stand
2. Carefully place 1 foot on the fish tank stand and one on the chair - "test" to ensure the fish tank can support your weight (you know how much you weigh and what your fish tank weighs....PERFORM THIS STEP WITH CAUTION!)
This part gets messy.
1. Basically take the fish tank stand to the garage and load it up with wood stain. You pick the color. Apply the stain generously and the fish tank stand will be very dark. Less stain = lighter finish.
2. Let the wood stain dry at least 2 days. Otherwise you will have some fun getting the stain out of your carpet.....
3. Be sure to thoroughly wipe down the fish tank stand to ensure dryness before moving it back into the house!
Be proud and show people your fish tank that YOU built! I love showing people my aquarium and fish tank stand and they always ask where I got it. I enjoy telling them I built it :)
One disadvantage: The fish tank stand may be extra sturdy but it weighs about 30-40 pounds. Keep this in mind when you decide how large you build your stand! Be prepared for one heck of a rough move....
On the bright side: You will have some happy fish knowing you built them a SOLID fish tank stand!
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