Build an Aquarium Stand

Aquarium stands raise your fish tank to a whole new level, both in height and beauty. Well-crafted, store-bought tanks can be very expensive, but you can learn how to build a homemade aquarium stand that is constructed just as well as one offered at a store for a fraction of the cost.


Build the Aquarium Stand Frame

  1. Construct the frame's skeleton in a rectangular shape. Use #2 2-by-4 wood beams. Use a circular saw to cut the beams so they are large enough in width and length to fit your particular tank. Add .5 inch (1.3 cm) to ensure the tank does not slip off once placed. Hammer the beams together with wood finishing nails.
  2. Cut additional #2 2-by-4 wood beams to use as cross braces along the top of the frame. Space the beams at 2-foot (.6 m) intervals. These help distribute and hold the weight of the tank and water. Cut the beams to fit the rectangular frame, and hammer them together with more finishing nails.
  3. Install vertical posts for every corner and at the location of each cross brace. Also use #2 2-by-4 wood beams, cut them to your specifications, and secure them to the frame with finishing nails.
  4. Screw wood joints to each of the frame corners with your power drill. For optimal results, use 8-by-12 wood screws. You may also use wood glue to cement the joint pieces to the frame.
  5. Measure the bottom of your newly constructed frame. Trace the exact shape and measurement with your pencil onto a piece of 4-by-8 wood sheeting, and use a jigsaw to cut out the shape. Install the panel in the bottom of the frame, and secure it with wood glue. You may also opt to use finishing nails to complete the installation.

Cover the Aquarium Stand

  1. Measure each side of your aquarium stand, and use your pencil to trace the shape onto a piece of wood sheeting. Cut out the shapes with your jigsaw.
  2. Glue each piece to its corresponding side with wood glue, and secure the pieces with finishing nails.
  3. Measure the 1-by-4 trim pieces to fit around each corner of the aquarium stand. Use your jigsaw to cut the pieces. Secure them to each corner using wood glue.

Stain and Complete the Aquarium Stand

  1. Paint or stain your finished stand in the color you desire. For solid paint, use a paintbrush and a minimum of 1 coat of paint. For staining, use a stain brush and at least 2 coats of stain. Allow the paint or stain to dry completely.
  2. Attach the cabinet doors you selected with the manufacturer's guide for installation.



  • While making an aquarium stand, keep in mind that you must build it to suit your specific tank. This design can be modified accordingly by adjusting the length and width to your needs.
  • For a time-saving alternative, substitute finished paneling for the sheeting. This will eliminate the need to finish and stain, which will cut several days off the project's time. If you choose this option, be sure to choose trim and mold to match.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 to 10 #2 2x4 beams, 8-feet (2.44 m) long
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Wood screws
  • Electric power drill
  • Wood glue
  • Pencil
  • 4-by-8 wood sheeting
  • Jigsaw
  • 4 1-by-4 trim corner pieces
  • 2 cabinet doors
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint or stain

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