Did you just spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, on aquarium equipment then turn around and buy one of the cheapest aquarium cabinet stands you could find?
That is the absolute worst thing that you can do as an aquarium keeper unless you like waking up to a living room full of water, dead or dying fish on the floor, and shards of glass strewn about.
Keep in mind that your chosen fish tank stand modern design will need to be able to hold hundreds of pounds of weight depending on the tank capacity. You should, therefore, pick the best one that you can find even if it means having to spend quite a bit to get a quality product, which is actually not the case all the time.
If you know what to look for and where to look, you can find an aquarium stand that can fulfill all your needs without breaking the bank. Here are a couple of aquarium stands that do not cost that much but still work quite well.
Best Aquarium Stand Reviews
1. Aquatic Fundamentals Metal Aquarium Stand
An important detail that helps me decide if a piece of knock-down furniture is good or not is if it is easy to assemble. This aquarium stand certainly fits the bill. Not only did it take me less than fifteen minutes to put up, but it also only needs a couple of basic tools you probably already have at home.
There have been many times when easy to assemble furniture has let me down by not being durable enough for its intended uses. However, Aquatic fundamentals aquarium stands are not among them. This aquarium stand is solid. I think it is mostly due to it only having a couple of parts – with all of them being made of steel.
You do not need to worry about your aquarium crashing on the floor. Speaking of the construction quality, all the steel components are powder-coated black. Unlike regular paint, powder coating is notoriously difficult to damage. They do not easily scratch nor chip unless you apply brute force.
In addition, powder coating usually looks a lot better than most paints. Don’t be fooled by its size since this aquarium stand can hold a lot of weight, up to 200 pounds. This means you can place a 20-gallon tank on this stand and it will hold up quite well. There will still be more than enough carrying capacity left for tank accessories.
I only hoped that the company had invested more in their quality control department as the stand I received was a bit wobbly, especially before I put the tank on it.
I am glad though that it only took a couple of shims to stop the stand from wobbling.
2. Caitec TitanEze Double Aquarium Stand
I don’t want to waste an entire afternoon figuring out how to assemble a simple silver fish tank stand, and this was not a problem with this aquarium stand. In total, I probably spent just fifteen minutes assembling it. The best part is that I did not need to use any tools. The parts easily slid into place.
This is the perfect solution for people who do not have that much floor space in their living areas. This aquarium stand has such a small footprint that you will find it easy to find a space for it, even if you live in a small apartment. I do not particularly have this problem but this prevents my living room from getting too cramped.
Another thing I liked about this aquarium stand is that despite being easy to assemble, it is quite sturdy and durable. I did not have any issues with wobbling or misaligned parts. Also, after using it for a couple of months, I have yet to see any form of deterioration. I suspect that it will be a couple more years before I need to replace this stand.
Although I use mine to hold aquariums, I do not doubt that other people would find a lot of other creative uses for their best fish tank stands. You can place a piece of painted plywood over the top and you could turn this into an end table or a nightstand.
The only problem that I have with this contemporary aquarium stand is that if you place another aquarium at the bottom, it will be quite low to the ground, thus making maintenance quite a chore. I placed a 10-gallon tank underneath a 20-gallon one, and it is quite a task to maintain a small tank while crouching.
3. Ollie & Hutch Farmington Flipper Ivory Oak Stand
The first thing that I noticed and made me like this particular aquarium stand is its rustic look and appeal. This stand would fit right in if you live in a country home, but will also look great in a modern-styled home. If you want to give your home a warm and cozy vibe, then it will work for you.
Despite its small size, this stand can easily carry the weight of a 20-gallon tank. Even though this stand is just a little over two feet high, it is sturdy enough to carry the full weight of a 20-gallon fish tank and all its included accessories. In addition, because of the specific manner of its construction, it does not wobble that easily.
Another neat feature of these unique aquarium stands is that you can flip them over and they will be the perfect size for a 10-gallon tank. The reversible design is the reason why many refer to it as the “Flipper”. If you want to downsize to a 10-gallon or upgrade to a 20-gallon tank, you don’t need to get a new stand.
This fish tank stand with storage also comes with an ample-sized cabinet for your aquarium supplies. The storage might not be big enough for a sump. However, if you are using a 10-gallon tank, then it may be safe to assume that you will only be using an overhead filter.
You can place your cans of fish food, aquarium cleaning supplies, and everything else you think you need.
Even though I did say that this stand is sturdy enough to hold a 20-gallon fish tank, this might not last very long as the main material is particleboard. This means that the boards that make up this stand consist of sawdust glued and compressed together. The moment that glue starts deteriorating, the stand will start to bow and break.
4. Crown Mark Pierce Side Table
You do not need to worry about this aquarium stand not fitting in with the décor in your home. The reason is that it has such a sleek and minimalist design that it can easily blend into its surroundings perfectly.
This table may look complicated, but it only took me less than fifteen minutes to assemble. I did not even need to bust out my toolbox. Everything that you will need to put the stand together is available, which is just a simple hex wrench. It also comes with pre-drilled holes, so there is nothing else you need to do.
Although this is a side table, there is no reason why you cannot use this as an aquarium stand. I did and it is working great. This is 24-inches wide, which is just the perfect size for a 10-gallon tank. Also, do not worry about the weight of the tank. It will not be much of a problem for this side table.
As mentioned earlier, this table is 24-inches wide and it is also just 12-inches deep, so it only has a small footprint. Even if you live in a small apartment, finding enough space for this side table should not be an issue. You can keep a small aquarium and gain all the benefits from it.
The only problem I found so far after a couple of months of use is that the veneer peels quite easily, especially if you live somewhere that is quite humid. That means you should also be careful not to get the stand wet, which can be a problem if you will be placing an aquarium on it.
5. BioCube Coralife LED Aquarium Stand
If you are a beginner at aquarium keeping, then you should start small, like a 5-gallon tank. For a tank that size, this stand is the perfect partner. This is just the perfect size for holding small aquariums. Also, you do not have to worry about the weight since this stand can handle it.
I also find this product easy to assemble. It took me maybe ten or fifteen minutes to assemble this display rack, including the unpacking time. I did not even need to use any tools since the parts easily slide into each other. The illustrated instructions were also easy to follow.
If you will only be using the top shelf for your aquarium, there are two more shelves below it that you can use for storage. You can use the shelves to hold your aquarium supplies or for displaying your assorted knick-knacks.
I live in a regular-sized apartment, which means that there is not much in terms of floor space. However, I was still able to fit in a 5-gallon aquarium in my place, thanks to this compact display rack. This rack just leans against the wall so it is out of the way.
The only problem that I had with this display rack is that it wobbles quite a bit. I am pretty sure that the floor in my apartment is level as my other furniture does not wobble quite as much. Thankfully, I was able to remedy this problem by adding a couple of shims under the legs.
6. Furinno Turn-S-Tube Shelf Display Rack
You do not need to worry about durability when you are using this aquarium stand. The legs were constructed from solid steel bars. They were also set up like an A-frame, which makes it quite strong. If you want to keep a medium-sized aquarium, like a 20-gallon tank, it will fit perfectly on top of this stand.
In addition to the 20-gallon tank on top, you can also place a smaller 10-gallon tank at the bottom. This aquarium stand can save a lot of space since you can keep two aquariums but you are only using up the floor space of one tank. This is a good idea for people who have limited living spaces.
Another neat feature of this aquarium stand is that you can change the colors of the wooden panels just by turning them over. You can use the darker wood stain or flip it over for a light maple color. You can use whichever color fits your mood or the rest of the décor.
All the steel components are powder-coated black, which I do prefer over regular paint. This made this aquarium stand highly resistant to scratches and chipping. However, the best thing about powder-coating is that it makes the steel virtually rust-proof. You can be sure that you are getting years of use out of this stand.
I do have one concern – there is no raised lip along the edges of the shelves. Typically, aquarium stands have raised edges to prevent the tank from sliding off and keep them on the center of the stand. It is not a safety hazard but it would have been nice to have it just in case.
7. Aqueon Forge Aquarium Stand
The nice thing about this aquarium stand is that it has a minimalist style that will fit in any room’s decor. It does not matter if you are going for a minimalist approach or have a lot of other decorations in your home. This piece of functional furniture will fit right in with the rest.
This stand is also quite easy to put together, thanks mainly to the very clear and concise illustrated instructions. I will be the first to admit that I am not the handiest person out there but even I was able to cobble this stand together in less than thirty minutes. I am sure a person with a bit more skill than I will be able to finish it faster.
Another thing about this aquarium stand that I liked is that it comes with protective leveling feet. Not only do these leveling feet prevent the stand and tank from wobbling, but they will also protect your floor from scratches and gouges. This will come in handy if you plan on putting your aquarium on hardwood flooring or carpet.
Here’s the best thing about this stand, it can hold two aquariums. You can place a 20-gallon tank on the top shelf and a smaller 10-gallon tank on the bottom. This means you can take care of more fish without sacrificing floor space. I mentioned earlier that the assembly instructions were quite clear and they are.
The only problem I encountered is that you will need an extra pair of hands to help you assemble this stand. It would be necessary for you to ask for someone’s help to hold the piece while you screw them together.
8. Imagitarium Newport Wooden Tank Stand
This aquarium cabinet stand is designed to lean flush against the wall, which makes it look like it was made just for your space. I was quite pleased when I first got mine, it looked like it was custom-made for the space. There were hardly any gaps between the wall and the back of the cabinet.
Although I only kept a 20-gallon tank, I did not doubt that this could fit a bigger tank, possibly up to 30-gallons, as there was still enough room around the base of my tank. However, if you would be using up all the available space for your tank, I would suggest using a side-mounted filter system as there would be no space for it on the back.
I liked the huge cabinet underneath the tank. It has more than enough space for my aquarium supplies, so I am happy about that. Although I do not think I will not be able to fit a sump system in there, I did manage to hide all the cables and wires to make my setup look clean.
I do need to warn you that this cabinet stand is quite heavy and you may need some help with assembly. However, there are not that many pieces to deal with. I also noticed that it only comes with clear and illustrated assembly instructions. It took me and a pal around an hour to assemble this aquarium stand and that is with moderate pacing.
Now, here is one thing you need to know about this aquarium stand, and about all furniture made using MDF: they will start to deteriorate after several years. Also, MDF soaks up water like a sponge, so you need to be very careful not to spill any water on it, which can be quite difficult as it is an aquarium stand.
9. Flipper Ameriwood Home Aquarium Stand
The BioCube reef tank has a sleek and curved glass panel, which makes it hard to find a separate stand that can complement it. This is not a problem now since the included stand follows the shape and design of the stand. Once placed together, most people may even think that they are just one piece.
This large fish tank with a cabinet already comes with all the hardware you will need to get an aquarium started. There is a built-in sump, programmable lighting, and a submersible pump – all of which are in one compact package. You do not need to buy anything else.
I also liked the large storage cabinet underneath the tank. There is more than enough space for storing all your aquarium supplies, including fish food and cleaning supplies.
The cabinet itself is easy to assemble. You may need someone to help hold some of the parts. One person can actually do it too but it will take longer. All the parts come with pre-drilled holes and the instructions were clear and concise. The package even comes with all the tools you will need. In this case, you will only be using a hex wrench.
I do have a problem with the design of this aquarium. Even though I tightened all the bolts just right, the entire thing wobbles a bit. I had to put a couple of wooden braces inside the cabinet to make the entire structure a bit stiff and rigid.
10. VASAGLE ULET31BX Side Table
I liked the industrial vibes that this side table gives off. It looks like an old workbench that has been cleaned up nicely. The stain on the particleboard top makes it look like it is ancient when, in fact, it is new. This may not fit in with everyone’s décor but if you like post-modern designs, I am sure you will love this.
This side table was surprisingly easy to assemble. Including the unboxing, I had this table set up in less than ten minutes. All the holes were pre-drilled and all the hardware needed is already part of the purchase. The only tool needed was a hex wrench, which is also part of the package.
I do not have that much space in my place, so this table is a perfect size. It is the perfect width for holding a 5-gallon tank but is still small enough that it does not get in your way. I placed this flat against a wall and it is just like having a shelf. It does not clutter up a room.
Another feature I liked is that this table has adjustable feet. The flooring in my apartment is not even at certain places, including the current position of the table. Instead of placing shims, I just need to adjust the feet to get the entire table nice and level.
The only thing I wished was a bit better is this table’s load limit. This table gets rated for having 44 pounds of static weight. This means you barely have enough carrying capacity for a 5-gallon aquarium, which you do not fill up all the way. There is more than enough space for a bigger tank but it will not be able to carry all the extra weight.
What to Look For When Buying a Aquarium Stand
Here are some of the factors that you have to consider once you start shopping for new small aquarium stands:
This is the most important quality of an aquarium stand that you need to look for. If the stand cannot carry the weight of the aquarium, then it is highly likely that it will collapse. It will also bring your very expensive aquarium down with it.
If you are in doubt, look up the total weight of the tank, including the water. You should then check if the stand you are thinking of getting can handle the said weight. In the case of an aquarium stand, it is better to overcompensate rather than cut it close.
Ease of Assembly
Unless you are getting a custom-made aquarium stand, then it is very likely that you are planning on buying a piece of flat-packed furniture. There is no shame in using flat-pack aquarium stands. Most of them are quite well made and sturdy enough to carry the weight of a fully-loaded aquarium.
However, if the stand you got came with dozens of tiny parts and requires some drilling and an array of tools that you are quite sure you do not have, then you might have gotten a raw deal. As much as possible, get an aquarium stand that only has a couple of parts and will only take minutes to assemble.
It will be nice to have your aquarium and all the supplies needed to maintain it, all in one place, so get an aquarium stand that also has storage space. Ideally, there should be a cabinet with doors underneath the tank so your aquarium supplies remain hidden.
You should buy an aquarium stand made of durable materials. This is why I would advise against getting a stand made entirely of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). MDF absorbs water easily, which makes it undesirable for use as an aquarium stand.
On the other hand, powder-coated steel frames are the best as they are highly rust-resistant. They can also carry more weight compared to MDF. However, if you will only be keeping a small tank, like a 5- or 10-gallon aquarium, you might be able to pull it off using an MDF stand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you Put a Fish Tank on Any Stand?
If the stand can carry the weight of your tank, and it is big enough that no part of the tank hangs over the edge, then yes you can use it.
What to Put Under the Aquarium Stand?
Typically, you should be putting your aquarium maintenance supplies and tools underneath the tank for easy access. However, if you got a fish tank stand with shelves, then you can also place decorative knick-knacks if you like.
Having the best aquarium stand does not just mean you have something that will showcase the incredible features of your fish tank. It will also keep your beloved fish safe and secure. Therefore, you also need to carefully choose the stand you will be putting your aquarium on and do not treat it like it is an afterthought.
Now that you have somewhat of an idea about how to choose the right aquarium stand, you may be tempted to choose the cheapest one you can find. However, bear in mind that you will be placing hundreds of dollars’ worth of fish and aquarium equipment on it, so avoid gambling money on a stand with a quality you are unsure of.