10 Cheap and Simple DIY Aquarium Stand Plans (10~375 Gallon)

diy aquarium stand

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I’ve seen a lot of aquarium stands in my day. Ikea, lowes, and PetSmart all have their versions of what they think an aquarium stand should be. But, in my opinion, they’re all missing the mark. They’re either too expensive, too flimsy, or just plain ugly. So, I decided to make my own DIY aquarium stand.

In this guide, we will not go to cover a step-by-step tutorial on building an aquarium stand. Instead, I’ve gathered a list of 10 DIY aquarium stand ideas that will surely fit your needs and budget. 

So get inspired and get building!

DIY Small 10 ~ 15 Gallon Aquarium Stand

A 10-gallon aquarium is one of the most common “desktop” aquarium sizes available on the market because it’s small (20″ x 10″ x 12″) and light (Fill weight: 111 lbs.) enough for most people to keep on their desk or countertop in an apartment, kids bedroom or even the kitchen.

Most commercial aquarium stands are designed for larger tanks, so they’re often too big and bulky for a 10-gallon tank. Not to mention, they are usually pretty expensive too! To help inspire you, here are several different DIY stand ideas for a 10 gallons aquarium:

Super Easy 10 gallon Aquarium Stand Build

This simple and interesting design should work well for a 10 gallon aquarium, but it isn’t likely to support well for a medium to large tank without increasing the base depth or adding an earthquake strap to the wall.

As with any aquarium, there’s a lot of weight along with the water in the tank. Safety is the number one priority when building a stand, so you should add some siding and backing to reinforce everything.

It’s also cost effective. Only you need two 2×4″s and a box of screws coming to a total cost of around $20.

Depending on personal preferences, you could paint or stain this a little so that it looks a bit more classy to match your home décor quite easily.

Build a Sweet 7.2 Gallon Tank Stand

This one has a square design that you might see in a store but on a smaller scale. It might be a bit more stable than the above one as it provides vertical support in all four corners, all the way from the tank to the floor.

If you have a bit more money to spend or are looking to build something that is not susceptible to tipping, this is a great option.

This aquarium stand costs around $35 to build and can support 10 ~ 20 gallons tanks if you use the proper size of lumber. Check out the last part about the DIY aquarium stands calculator to help with the sizing.

DIY Medium 20 ~ 40 Gallon Aquarium Stand

Contrary to what you might think, these medium-sized aquariums (20 to 40 gallons) are most recommended for beginners simply because they have a sufficient volume that allows for some degree of mistakes. They aren’t too big or small for the average person to maintain.

And, since we’re on the topic of DIY… I’ve gathered together several different woodworking plans that you can use for a 20 ~ 40 gallons fish tank.

How to Build a DIY 20 Gallon Aquarium (Long) Stand

Get inspired by this portable and simple aquarium stand that’s good for 20 gallons long tank. The design is similar to the first one, which is potentially unsafe if you live in an area with high seismic activity or place your tank in a high-traffic area.

If so, I’d recommend adjusting the dimensions on the bottom or adding an earthquake strap for peace of mind. Well, as Charles suggested in the comments, it’s better to go for the three-piece legs Greg shows in the video to avoid tipping.

This particular stand cost $20 to make, but it’s a video posted ten years ago, so the price has gone up since then.

DIY Stand for my 20 Gallon Long

I really like this beautiful piece of furniture cause its fantastic finished look that would complement any home décor. The design is also pretty solid, as it uses an inner structure to support the weight of the aquarium.

If you decide to go with this option, I recommend having a piece of plywood across the top to help distribute the weight more evenly and reduce the chance of cracking, which is always a risk when using wood.

It’s more expensive than Greg’s design, but this has to more sturdy and stunning finish.

DIY A 20 Gallon 3 Level Aquarium Rack

If you’re looking to build a 3-level rack system for 20 gallons aquariums, this video from Wayne is probably the most relevant one.

The design is similar to his 20-gallon long aquarium stand, but with an additional level. As you can see in the video, it’s a bit more challenging to build, but the result is definitely worth it! 

One thing to note is that you must ensure everything’s level is standing up straight, including the ground you are on, or else your aquariums might not sit evenly, which will create all sorts of problems down the road.

Empire Level EM81.9G 9 Inch Magnetic Torpedo Level...
  • OVERHEAD VIEWING SLOT built into the top of this level lets you see what you’re doing even when looking...
  • MAGNETIC EDGE lets you mount this on metal or on piping, keeping it hands-free if you need to work with...
  • PIPE GROOVE built into the edges allow you to slide this neatly underneath or on top of piping so you can...
  • HIGH CONTRAST VIAL SURROUNDING: Bright white circles surround the leveling vials. This helps you see the...
  • READS: Plumb, level, and 45 degrees

DIY 29 Gallon Cinder Block Aquarium Stand


Contrary to the pursuit of perfection and uniqueness implied in many DIY aquarium stand designs, some people just want something cheap and easy to build. If that’s you, this stand made out of cinder blocks might be the way to go.

There has been some concern about the stability of cinder blocks. We have already talked about that in this post.

There are a few things to consider before going down this route. The first is the leveling of the sheet and cinder blocks, as you want to make sure your aquarium is sitting level. The second is to ensure that all materials are properly sealed to avoid any water damage.

Comprehensive construction details and photos can be found here: Random Bits of Projects

DIY 40 Breeder Tank Stand with Hidden Sump Door

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated design that can accommodate a 40-gallon breeder tank (36″ x 18″ x 16″) along with a 20-gallon sump tank (30″ x 12″ x 12″), then this is the perfect stand for you!

This particular design has a hidden sump door that’s completely customizable to your own needs. I really like how it turned out, and it definitely adds a touch of class to any room.

Make sure to calculate the proper thickness of materials before starting this project, as it’s a bit more challenging than the others. If you want it to be a little bit higher, you can always add feet to the bottom.

For the full instructions on how to make this aquarium stand, visit this site: Instructables

DIY Large 50 ~ 180 Gallons Aquarium Stands

The larger the aquarium, the more important it becomes to have a stand that can support the weight, especially when it comes to weight when filled. A 180-gallon fish tank will weigh close to 2100 lbs when full!

There are a few different ways you can go about building a stand for a large aquarium. You can use standard lumber and build it frame by frame, similar to how you would build a house. This method is the most sturdy but also the most expensive and time-consuming.

Another option is to use pre-made cabinets. This is a great way to save time and money, as you can find some great deals on used cabinets. Just make sure they are made out of solid wood and not particle board, as particle board will not be able to support the weight of a large aquarium.

The last option is to use metal tubing. This is by far the strongest option, but it will be the most difficult to build. If you’re up for the challenge, then definitely go for it!

DIY 55-gallon Cinder Block Aquarium Stand

Cinder Block

A 55-gallon tank measures 48” x 13” x 21” and weighs about 78 lbs when empty and close to 625 lbs when full. Considering the size and weight of a 55-gallon aquarium, it’s important to have a stand that can support the weight.

The cheapest and strongest option would be to use cinder blocks. This option is also the easiest to build, as all you need to do is stack the cinder blocks on top of each other and then put the aquarium on top.

It’s also a good idea to leave room against the wall so you can hide the cords, filters, or other equipment. In addition, it’s completely customizable to your own needs and taste.

For more photos and construction details about this project, visit this site: Pink Aspen Projects

DIY Double 55 Gallons Wood Aquarium Stand

A double aquarium stand has many benefits, the most obvious being the space savings. Like many aquarium enthusiasts, there is never enough room in your house for all the fish you want, so a double stand is a great way to get around that.

This is a great project for you if you’re handy with woodworking. It’s also cheaper than buying a ready-made stand, and you can customize it to your own needs.

The video above goes into detail about how to build this aquarium stand- from resealing the tank to building the stand itself. I’m overly paranoid, so I would like to shorten the vertical supports under the lower tank.

Sometimes, you will find it a lot harder to do routine maintenance on your fish tanks when they’re stacked on top of each other. If this is a concern for you, then you will need plenty of space for a step ladder.

DIY A 75-gallon Bowfront Aquarium Stand


A bow front aquarium is a beautiful addition to any home, but it can be tricky to find a stand that fits the unique shape. Instead of settling for an ordinary square or rectangle stand, you can build your own custom stand to perfectly fit your aquarium.

Unlike standard rectangle aquarium stands, this canopy support structure will take some time to build. But you’ll have a one-of-a-kind stand that looks great and functions perfectly.

Mrsaltolo’s blog has step-by-step construction and photos for this project. I would recommend reading through the entire blog post before starting, as there are some important details that are easy to miss.

How To Build a 125 Gallon Fish Tank Double Stand

In some cases, it’s a great idea to have two aquariums occupy the same space one in particular is a quarantine tank or breeding tank. While this video, Jason shows us how to build a double stand for two 125-gallon fish tanks.

Some aquarists use 2×4″s instead of 2×6’s to save money, but I’d put safety first, so it’s important to use something that can support the weight of two 125 gallon tanks, which is around 2800 lbs.

Jason provides a detailed and easy-to-follow guide on building this aquarium stand, and he also offers some great tips on ensuring it’s stable and level.

For those who build a double stand that can fit two different sized tanks, personally, I think it’s better to place the small tank on top. 

Although it may not be so pleasing to the eye, it increases safety, stability, and comfort and safety – this way you don’t have to worry about instability caused by the high center of gravity.

King of DIY Aquarium Stand Videos

Chances are if you’re searching for DIY aquarium stand plans on Youtube, you’ve come across one of Joey’s videos. He has an extensive collection of videos on building aquarium stands, from small to large tanks and simple to complex designs. He also offers helpful tips and advice on each build, which is great for beginners.

If you’re looking for a variety of stand designs to choose from, then check out Joey’s channel.

DIY Aquarium Stand Calculator

Most DIYers get inspired by this Template and Calculator. You can use it to find the weight of your tank and stand and then determine the dimensions and materials you’ll need for your project. There are some great tips on the site for choosing the right wood and ensuring your stand is stable and level. And best of all, it’s free!

Time To Start!

Now that you’ve seen some of the different options available for DIY aquarium stands, it’s time to start planning your project. Remember to take your time and do your research before starting, as a well-planned and executed stand will last for years to come.

Keep in mind that while all of these ideas are great, you don’t have to limit yourself to them. Use your imagination and come up with a design that’s perfect for your home and your fish. Also most importantly, have fun!

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Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt

Hello, I'm Jeff- an aquarium enthusiast with over 25 years of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish, including koi, goldfish bettas, cichlids and more! For me: Aquariums are like jello - there's always room for more!

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