Monday, March 26, 2007

My DIY $20.00 BIG tank stand

That's right... just $20.00 worth of materials and you can have a 30" high tank stand that will easily hold a 48" by 18" tank like my 65G acrylic tank. This stand "design" is capable of holding much more weight. If you plan on adding some type of plywood veneer as the exterior of the stand, the basic frame would be the only thing needed as the plywood would provide the additional frame and squaring support. My exterior plans were going to be "cosmetic" rather than structural, so I built the interior of the stand to be the load bearing structure.

I never did "finish" the exterior of this stand since I was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I rode it out and me and all of my fish survived! I'm going to try and finish the exterior, doors and canopy this summer (2007).

Sorry that these pictures aren't the greatest quality. I was using a laptop and webcam to snap these pictures since I did not have my "good" digital camera with me at the time.

Here is my parts list:

7 - 96" (8') long 2x4's (actually 1.5"x3.5") = $14.00
1 - 4 lb. box of 2 1/2" deck screws = $ 5.00

You will also need a saw and screwdriver... preferably powered! I used a cordless drill and cordless circular saw.

Cut the seven 2x4's into the following lengths.
5 - 48" (Two of the 2x4's cut in half and 48" cut off the third)
6 - 23" (One and one-half 2x4's with 4-6" left over as scrap)
6 - 30" (Two 2x4's with 5-6" left over scrap from each one)
6 - 15" (One 2x4 with 5-6" left over as scrap)

Assemble as follows in these pictures.

4 - 48" long sections, 4 - 15" short sections and 4 - 30" inside leg sections. The 15" short sections combined with the 2x1.5" of the long sections makes this stand 48" long by 18" deep by 30" high.

The basic start of the frame with more of the pre-cut pieces waiting for assembly

The stand fully assembled. The 6 - 23" sections support the middle of the long sections and the four corners. The other 2 - 15" sections support the middle of the top and bottom. The last 48" section is the diagonal on the back to keep the frame "squared". While assembling, regularly measure the diagonals on both sides and the front/back to make sure the stand is "squared" properly (the diagonal measurements should be the same) before tightening up the screws completely. I put the "L" legs at each inside front corner to give the stand adequate resistance from going out of square in the front. A diagonal would be best but I wanted the front open for the eventual doors.
More pictures showing construction details
The empty tank on the stand.
Filling the tank with the Python
The final set up! Of course, with goldfish, the aquascaping constantly changes with the addition of new plants on a regular basis
Hope this helps. Please feel free to leave comments or questions and I'll answer your questions and add on to this article based on your comments or questions.


  1. Nice stand! I applaud you for having the patience to take pictures. I always say I'm going to before I start a DIY, but then I get caught up in the project and blaze through. Good work!

    S u n d a n c e

  2. This looks great! Have you completed the stand yet? I notice it's been 5 months since you posted this great article.

  3. I actually built this stand back in the summer of 2005, right before Hurricane Katrina hit my area of the New Orleans suburbs. I started this blog in February 2007 and posted this blog in March. I had plans on finishing the stand this summer but I added a Lawncare service to my post-Katrina home renovation business... mainly as another service to offer my existing customers but the lawncare service took on a life of it's own and I'm working seven days/nights a week keeping up with all the work so the short answer would be, "No!", it's not finished yet... but I will definitely get it done before the end of this year. LOL


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