HOW TO: Build an aquarium stand
100 Comments


Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back so in today’s video. I intend to show you how I built my 375 Gallon Aquarium stand now to summarize this build the stand is 8 feet long 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall now some [of] the things that I intend to show you how and why I did was starting with the frame I went with a 2 by 6 frame I then wrapped it in a 3/4 inch birch plywood and then stained it with [a] stain [that] contains polyurethane making it a one-step Application to start off the build let’s start with the frame now. I went with the design. I always use however this time I’m using two by sixes and it’s important to explain why when designing its tank stand frame You need to know how much weight you’re going to be putting on it in the first place and my tank weighs 400 pounds [Empty] however the water. I’ll be putting in it weighs about 3,100 pounds so the combined weight will be a minimum of 3,500 pounds with that said this is a live weight. I want to come to live weight I suggest using a safety factor of at Least 4 Meaning the stand needs to support at least [4] times the amount of weight you intend to place on it So in my case. I need a stand that will support a minimum of 14,000 pounds now in this design I’m using 10 supports that will actually support the weight of the tank now if I went with two by fours which can support about 800 pounds on an upright that means that it would have only supported about 8,000 pounds which is not enough so I went up to the next one which is two by sixes and ten two by sixes on uprights will support a minimum of 12,000 pounds, which is very close to what I need but not? exactly however once you add in the Shearing strength of all of the screws as well as the plywood that’s going to be added which will also contribute to the overall strength of the stand we get about 15,000 pounds of support Now onto the frame build this is no different [than] any other frame that I’ve shown you how to do It’s the same design We just simply make it bigger or smaller the only real difference that we ever make is if it gets center supports [or] not? and if the tank is over four feet long then it gets center supports [as] Always we start with the top and bottom of this frame and we build it [just] like how we would build an aquarium Where the front and back goes on the outside? [and] the side of the frame goes on the Inside with screws screwing into them and for this entire frame build I use number eight two and a half inch construction screws I use just over a hundred screws for this frame That’s something that you need to plan [for] is chances Are you’ll use a lot [more] screws than you think you will I start with the bottom and top of the frame for very specific? Reasons these two have to be square If these are not square the rest of the frame will not be square with the bottom and top frames done I move on to the guides and these are actually what holds the braces in place as well as sets the height of the stand These get installed into all four corners [what] I like to do is install the bottom first then flip the entire thing over and install the top now We can move on to what? Actually [supports] the weight of the tank and even though the screws each have observing strength of about [fifty] pounds meaning that they can support 50 pounds each before they’ll break the Real weight goes onto these supports that are attached to the uprights now again I’ve shown you how to build this frame countless times in the past So this is truly nothing new here the next thing is the cross supports and these serve a few Functions the first thing is they support the uprights by helping holding them in place So they don’t have a chance to wiggle around or move Second thing is these stop the stand from being able to twist and a twisting stand is the number one reason a tank will fail The third thing is is that these support the weight of the tank if the tank does not have a bottom trim? For example if you were to buy a glass tank they typically have a bottom trim which elevates them off the stand themselves meaning that You only have to support the perimeter of the stand as opposed to the middle as well now since I’m placing the acrylic aquarium on this which has no trim the weight is dispersed over the entire surface of the Stand so I do need some center supports [as] well I personally like this type of frame because it’s simple to build we’re using all [but] joints meaning that all you need is a mite Saw to be able to cut up your lumber, and then an electric drill [to] screw it all together It’s also extremely easy to scale meaning that you can take this design and use it for small stands or Scale it up and make it for big stands It’s also Incredibly strong [but] most importantly the fact that the supporting strength of this type [of] lumber is well known Meaning that you can take those numbers and design your stand based on the aquarium that it’s actually going to hold which is Incredibly important when it comes to this design and strength of your stand you’re not taking any chances here [I] can tell you one thing for sure if I were to ask somebody how much weight their stand can actually hold Chances are they will have no idea if you ask me that question I will give you exact numbers To finish the frame off I added some 3/4 inch plywood to the top of it now this will help evenly distribute all of the weight of the aquarium across the entire surface of the stand I Then place the actual aquarium on the stand just to get a feel for what I wanted to do next I Decided I would be wrapping the frame in three-quarter inch birch plywood and then staining it I bought a few sheets of this birch plywood and cut it up to size on my table saw now because I went with three-quarter Inch Birch plywood which was shop grade? I didn’t really need to prepare the surface Which means very little? Sanding and that’s something you should consider is the grade of the plywood you’re purchasing the more you spend the less work? You’ll have to do when it came to the front of the tank and the doors I decided to go with one of the easiest designs you can which is cutting out doors that Overlap the access holes and while this is one of the easier ways [to] do it it also takes up a lot of plywood However, I think it looks really good [in] order to cut out these doors [I] first measured and marked off where the [holes] should go and then drill pilot holes into each corner This would allow me to get my saw blade in and start cutting it also allows me to make turns [I] then cut out the doors [themselves] which overlap the access holes in the front panel by a couple of inches then of course installed the hinges now because these are Relatively large doors, and there’s four of them. I decided to install the doors before I installed the front panel on the aquarium I then screwed all three panels in place The front panel as well as the side panels it was now ready to be stained given the size of the stand I also had To build it in place as well as stain it in place Staining is next the first thing I needed to worry about was ventilating the room. So I opened some windows and inserted some fans Sucking the air out of this room However last minute I decided to take my router and route off a quarter inch of all of the stand Corners Giving it a more rounded look and I think this looked a lot better I didn’t stop there though, [and] I did a little bit of routing on the doors as well giving it all a more finished look Now it was ready to stain for a stain. I went with Minwax polishing I went with this simply due [to] the fact that it contains the stain as well as the polyurethane all in one which makes it really easy to apply which is good for me because I hate Staining the color. I went with is called [-] door all stains have their own names for the colors however This is just a brown with a little bit of hint of red although I’m not positive because I’m actually colorblind so I just went with whatever I thought looked best okay, so here’s how I get away with being a horrible stainer But coming out with a pretty decent job I don’t really follow the Instructions the [first] two coats are what really matters for me when? Staining one of the biggest things you have to worry about is getting too much staying in one place and your overall job becoming blotchy Looking for me to avoid this issue [I] apply the stain with a brush and then rub it out with a rag to ensure [that] it is evenly Distributed I do this for the first two coats in between Coats though you have to sand it down with a steel wool the reason being is that when some woods get wet with stains some of the wood fibers can raise up making it a Rough surface the steel wool simply removes that after each sanding with the steel Wool [you] also need some tack cloth this will help you remove any dust that the sanding Created you do not want to get this in your stain now There’s a lot of different ways you can stain wood and a lot of different products however I like to keep it as simple as [possible] after the first two coats the rest is really easy This is because I already have an evenly distributed stain from now on I just have to use the brush when applying each coat now. All I have to do is decide on how dark I want it with each coat it gets darker and Darker the finished product took me about six coats and three days of work Again now you know why I hate staining There’s so much work to do and a lot can go wrong But arguably have done right to the right piece of furniture it looks amazing [I] love how this turned out And I will be doing it again to another stand that I’m building shortly the last thing I did was install the handles Now with any handles you drill a couple of pilot holes and screw them in place not very difficult at all when it comes to Installing hinges or handles like this there’s so many different methods in ways you can do it that some even come with templates You [can] follow so that is how I built my 375 Gallon Aquarium stand I hope that you got something from video and hopefully found something useful in it if not I hope that it was at least Interesting for you to watch as many of you also know [I] wrote a book titled the ultimate do-it-yourself Handbook for the do-it-yourself aquarist where an entire chapter within it is dedicated to stand building So if you’d like to support this channel directly as well as get further information and details on building stands for your aquariums you can go to the king of Diy comm Where you’ll have the option to purchase the [e-book] or the softcover if you get the softcover, it’ll come signed by me anyways I hope that you guys enjoyed today’s video I also wanted to thank you for watching [and] I’ll [see] you guys next Sunday for a new do to yourself project

100 thoughts on “HOW TO: Build an aquarium stand

  1. Really good video, am planning a stand for my 125 acrylic, but people need to remember to consider the top frame clearance if they have built-in weir's with bulkheads coming down for plumbing…

  2. Hi I'm Building A Stand For 180g 6'L x2'h x 2'H and I was looking to use this method but my tank has corner overflows how do I build it with out covering the over flow holes and losing integrity of the stand?

  3. Hi
    Respect for your job Guy! Im french and à Saw most of your videos. Your Work is very différent from our style of working. I mean for a stand we really mâke it on a différent way. And WE have différent machine as well. Anyway your job IS nice but you systematically forgot the most important thing that IS to add à board to the back of thé stand. Thaïs IS thé most important thing for durability if you dont Xantia to see your tank on the floor!!!!

  4. Great vid! My 220 gallon aquarium has a floating base design that i plan to change while I'm doing a complete reseal, so that the bottom glass can can sit flat on the stand. Your stand looks like it would support the entire bottom of my glass aquarium. Do u or anyone recommend using this type of stand with a glass aquarium, that doesn't have a bottom frame, (It was cracked so I took it off) so that it's glass against a wood surface or do i need a cushion of some sort? Or should I stick with the floating base design of my aquarium to be safe? I think I'll be nervous that the bottom will blow out if i try to reseal the bottom glass using the floating base method 😟

  5. Would I be able to follow this same plan with no center beams for a 90 gallon rimless glass aquarium? And instead of using wood beam that is used to get the height in the front and back panels can I put them on the sides?

  6. "'Hope you found it interesting." Seriously dude?! No one ever talks about stands when setting up tanks. This video is pure gold!

  7. I built this stand. 1 month later the wood shrank! Haven't put the tank on the stand yet thankfully but now there is gaps between the top and bottom of the "actual supports that hold the wieght" they're floating now, ugh

  8. Great video. Simple, straight forward and easy to put into action. Building a slight smaller stand for a 6ft x 2ft x 2ft, 275 gallons I believe. This design is great and enables me to alter the inside for storage cubbies. Subscribed. Thanks

  9. I'm making a stand for a 120 48x24x24. I'm looking for a saw and can't find a saw for $50.00. Where did you buy your saw.

  10. What if the tank is smaller than the stand and placed in the center. Will the weight still be on the edges or all in the middle?

  11. Hey king 👑 I just built a stand following this setup. I measured everything twice and one of my 4 vertical post that dictate height is of by like a 16th or 8th of an inch. I just cover top my 3/4 plywood and plan to also use a foam yoga style leveling mat as well. Will this cause a problem for me once I put my 100 gallon tank on top of will the plywood and yoga mat kinda work it out?

  12. how would you put a sump in or out with the middle brace in the way? (The middle brace screws are behind the big plywood sheet for the doors so you really can't remove unless you take the whole front plywood off)

  13. Great video, well made stand. A tank isn't a live load though. Live loads are moving loads, like a car driving across a bridge.

  14. Respects to you Joey! Love your videos and just to let you know, you're one of the main reasons why I got into the Fish Hobby and I'm loving it! I love your passion for everything you do in this hobby and the in depth details you go through in your videos. I can tell you love doing what you do!

  15. Good evening Joey, what type of lumber do you recommend to build an stand for a 8’x4’x2’ and 700 lbs empty. Thank you for you help. God bless you.

  16. This is glorious, I've been looking for "woodworking planes uk" for a while now, and I think this has helped. Have you ever come across – Yiyli Yeyavid Booster – (should be on google have a look ) ? Ive heard some extraordinary things about it and my mate got cool results with it.

  17. Hi excellent video you've convinced me to have a go!
    My new tank will be a
    72inch x 30 high x 24 wide 162 UK gallons!
    4×2 or 6×2 timber? with one or two centre braces?
    Thank you in advance!

  18. Hi thanks for this video it's very help full. I'm making a stand for my 4x2x2 tank and I've chosen 3×2 dressed timber is this going to be able to hold my tank I'll be building it exactly like you're video but my screws are 6 x 80mm

  19. Thanks for the info it would look better if you stained then then the clear coat it in to steps worth it as it comes out better for most people though you did a good job

  20. If I build this can I attach concrete backer boards and stone veneer to to instead of the plywood boards that you stained? Will it hold the weight?

  21. Bro, which material should I use to keep a 30"X12"X18" aquarium, having weight of 330lbs when full?? Can I use 1" plywood to make a table or should I use metal like iron??

  22. I would recommend gluing your frame with a quality wood glue as well as your screws. Titebond II is waterproof and food safe and produces a much stronger joint allowing no movement. Small movement can eventually weaken the frame.

  23. Hi Joey, Please help me understand one thing. In this stand that you built is it possible if I allow the aquarium to be a two inch out from the front. Glass as well as Acrylic

  24. My aquarium is 265 gallons. i never built an aquarium stand before. Needless to say, i could have started with something smaller. But I followed this video step by step and i Couldnt be more happy. Im so proud of the stand i built. Thanks to the guy in this video.

  25. Did you encounter any issues with wood expansion? I've built a workbench with a similar design and the horizontal pieces have shrunk to the point where there is a gap between the vertical support piece and the horizontal piece that rests on top.

  26. Got serious question.. does the stand have to be exact dimensions of tank? Meaning does the tank have to sit directly on the top frame or can the stand be a little bigger and tank will sit in the middle with some gap on all sides? Reason I ask is because I redesigned my stand to fit a 40gal underneath for a diy wet/dry but now I realize that tank will not sit on top frame but more on cross braces. Is this not acceptable? Any info would be appreciated before I finish the stand and might have to rebuild it

  27. Brilliant mate, going to have a go at making me own tank and stand , watching your videos giving me the confidence, we’ll explained details, 🙏🏻👍🏻, thanks

  28. You probably won't get this, but how do you build the tank stand so that it doesn't fall over? I have a 75 gallon that is 49" long by 14" I think. I had to screw the stand to the wall to keep it from toppling over.

  29. Hey I have a 6 foot tank that's 4 feet wide and 28 tall. Would the process be the same for my tank when it comes to the build. Meaning size of wood and will I only need a center support or will I need 2 in the middle

  30. This is very interesting. Have you ever used resin for applications like this? It seems like resin would permeate the wood and further reduce the chance of water damage.

  31. Hi, Excellant video, thank you. Only one recommendation. You wrapped only 4 sides out of 6 in 3/4 inch plywood, top, two sides and front, not the back or bottom. Whilst the 2 short sides are most important to supply a diagonal bracing vector, the rear is not wrapped in the 3/4 inch ply. (I can see the rear painted wall when you opened the doors at 9:47. )
    For a static load, this looks perfectly fine and this stand is strong as heck, but if it should turn to a dynamic load for some reason (yes we get 3.0 tremors on the east coast too), I'm concerned the moving 350 gallons, 2,800 lbs+, may deteriorate the integrity of the lateral strength…. but you have the two short sides covered with the ply, which is more vulnerable to dynamic loads. This is a minor consideration unless you live in an earthquake prone environment. Thanks again, it is an excellent video I will use as a guideline for my future stand.

  32. You must have a decent job to pay for all of these projects, fish, etc… You spend a lot of $..If you had to buy a stand for 375, it would be ridiculous $$

  33. This is a good video but I would recommend getting a plunge router. Get a bit set and you can make designs in the door. You can also get a router table. But good video. I need to build a stand for a 220 gallon tank that I plan to install in the wall. This process seems very easy. Maybe a weekend project. Material cost would be about $200. Better than paying $1400 for a prepaid stand. Great video!

  34. What wood did you actually use? I’ve found some great c24 kiln dried 2×6 , it’s pine wood and wondered if this was tough enough. I’m building a 8x3x2 ft, any reply would be amazing

  35. 40" tall aquarium stand, 45" long 31" deep, holding a 30"x30"x20" 79 gallon, 650lbs live weight, can I get away with 4 legs or would you build a center support?

  36. You should've did a full far away and 360 view of your finished work. Can you build me a custom made for three forty gallon tank stands? I'll pay you.

  37. Thank you for your amazing videos, Joey. After watching many of your videos, I'm finally feeling confident about making my own DIY fish tank stand. 😀

  38. Hey Joey, Love your D.I.Y vid's mate… well everything you do. I am currently in the process of planning my next stand build for a 210g tank (BTW THIS IS EASILY THE BEST DESIGN "LOVE IT") Just wondering if you could PLEASE point me in the wright direction of where to find INFO on the structural strength of different size timbers like 2×4, 2×6 etc.

    Thanks From AUSTRALIA

    Keep doing you bro!

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