fish tank stand alternatives

Cheap Fish Tank Stand Alternatives


Having a fish tank or beautiful aquarium of your own is a dream for many fish keepers. Even after investing in beautiful and majestic tanks, there can be even more expenses to be done. It includes buying a Fish tank stand.

Everything has an alternative in this world, so do fish tanks stand. So, what are the alternatives of fish tank stands? There are many products we use in our daily life that can be used as an alternative for fish tank stands .

Television stands, plywood tables, Study tables, and even dressers can hold tanks up to 15 gallons. Sometimes, glass tables can also be used to place fish tanks over it.

The main problem where most fish keepers go wrong while selecting an alternative stand for a fish tank is The Weight. Fisk keepers calculate the weight only when the tank is empty and think it would be sufficient to hold up.

Once a tank gets filled, the weight of water added with Tank’s weight would be much heavier than calculated. To know more about tank weight visit How to Set-Up a Fish Tank.

So, it is highly needed to make a study before selecting an alternative stand for your fish tanks and aquariums.

In this blog, we will present what are the best fish tank stand alternatives and explain to you what are the factors to be considered before selecting the alternatives.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the reading!

Do I need a Fish Tank Stand?

Before moving on to the necessity of a fish tank stand, let us explain what a fish tank stand really is.

What are fish tank stands? A large piece of furniture made of wood or metal that has a broader space to hold the fish tank bottom firmly is called a Fish tank stand. They come in various sizes, shapes, designs and textures.

You will be surprised to hear that professional fish tank stands are highly sophisticated to accommodate larger fish tanks exactly in their places. They also have separate places to hold fish food and accessories.

Simply, for larger tanks we recommend going for an Aquarium tank if you have the budget to buy one. It is not an expense, but an investment in your fish keeping journey.

You can also buy custom made fish tank stands or make your own aquarium stand. If you own a fish tank of 20 gallons or less, then you can use some alternative furniture for your Fish tank rather than buying a fish tank stand.

Let see what are the factors that affect selecting a better stand alternative for your fish tank.

Factors on selecting a fish stand alternative

Empty Fish tank weight

Empty tanks are lighter when compared to tanks filled completely with water. Anyways, Empty tank’s weight also plays a huge role in selecting your stand alternatives.

Fish tanks are usually made of Glass or Acrylic. Glass aquariums are very ancient and used for a longer period throughout history. They are expensive and heavier compared to Acrylic tanks.

Usually, Glass fish tanks are almost twice heavier than their acrylic alternatives. Say, an empty twenty gallon fish tank weighs more than 25 pounds (11.3 Kg) while the acrylic tank of twenty gallon capacity will weigh around 12.5 – 13 pounds (Around 6 Kg).

Tank weight increases several folds when water is filled, the. So, For Glass tanks it is necessary to have a stronger alternative than the acrylic tanks.

Filled Fish Tank Weight

calculating weight of a fish tank
Water is much denser than air. When water is added inside the tank, it replaces the air inside and fills the tank completely with water. Every gallon of water added in the tank adds 8 pounds of weight extra (3.5 Kg).

When you fill a 20 gallon tank completely, water weight along with the tank’s weight will increase from tens of pounds to a 100 plus pounds total.

When the bottom gravel, Decoration, plants and fishes are added, the weight increases even more. So, it is better to keep something well built and much stronger to hold such greater weights.

Wide bottom with even support

The bottom of a fully filled fish tank is very delicate. If a tank is much bigger in size, it must have a support that is wide throughout the surface of the tank.

Bottom support also varies depending on the material of the tank. If the tank is made of Acrylic, then it is much flexible and would wobble due to excessive stress.

So, Acrylic tanks must have a base support that is running all through the surface of the tank. Glass Fish Tanks on the other hand are much heavier and have a strong base of its own.

Glass tanks are heavier and can support greater weight of water, gravel and decorations by itself. So, glass tanks must be kept in a surface to support on its angular frame more than its complete body length.

If tanks are bigger than 20 gallons, Wide bottom support is necessary irrespective of the material it is made up of. Apart from Wide base support, even a surface is much needed for a fish tank to be placed on.

This ensures the pressure to be distributed throughout the flat bottom surface. Fellow mates finding uneven base support have encountered damages and cracks developing on the tank.

You can check more about hairline cracks, clefts and its treatment from our Fish tank crack treatment blog. 

Apart from all these major factors, they must also be kept at a place which is easily accessible visually, quick to feed fishes and make period maintenance without much difficulty. With all these factors considered, let us see some of the best alternatives for a fish tank stand.

Best Alternatives of a fish tank stand

All these examples are alternatives for tanks that are less than 20 gallons. If your tank is bigger than 20-25 gallons, it is highly recommended to purchase a professional fish tank holder. These are some alternatives for larger tanks.

Wooden Tables

wooden tables as fish tank stand
Wooden Tables are the first choice for most people who purchase a fish tank for the first time. Most beginner fish keepers don’t come across fish tank stands, so think these are the only solutions to place their tanks on.

Tables made of timber like Oak, Teak or Willow will be sturdy. They can be trusted to hold these heavier fish tanks easily. Water Leakage and spills should be avoided to maintain the good condition of the table in the long run. Some of the best tables for fish tank are mentioned below:

TV Stands

TV stands must be of better quality and must be made of better timber to hold such greater weights. If TV Stands are made of Plywood, they would be much lighter to hold fully filled fish tanks.

Make sure the stand has support from all four sides. This helps on even weight distribution throughout the length of tank fish bottom. Some of best TV stand can also be used as fish tank stands:

Iron and Steel Tables

Iron and steel tables can also be greater alternatives for fish tank stands. Being metal, they are usually stronger and can support heavier weights.

A well built Iron or Steel table with support on four sides can easily support fish up to 55 gallons fully filled with water, gravel, decorations and fishes. Make sure to add some cushioning at the bottom to prevent scratches and clefts developing.

You can use a good cloth or sponge cushioning. Package cushions can also be placed at the bottom. Package cushions can also act as a Shock absorber for fish tanks.

Unlike soft wooden stands with support on 2 or 3 sides, Iron steel and Timber wooden tables have 4 sided supports to give an even distribution at bottom.

This Prevents extra tension developing on course time and damages at bottom and side panels of the tank. Some of the best steel stands can be used as alternatives for fish tank stand:


Some fish keepers have the idea of having their aquariums on bedside. So, usually Dressers would come as the choice in a bedroom as fish stand alternatives.

Dressers are usually not a good choice to go for keeping tanks. But if your tank is just 10 – 15 gallons totally, then you can keep your aquarium on them.

Dressers which are short, stable and without much moments can be used as small Fish tank stands. Make sure the dressers are not too long or with too many compartments Also make sure the dresser legs are sturdy and don’t come off easily when heavier weights are applied.

You can test with some heavier objects first, then place a fully filled fish tank.Some dresser stands for your fishes:

Coffee tables

coffee or tea table as fish tank stand
We had seen some of our Fish keeper friends using a heavy coffee table as a fish tank stand. But, we don’t recommend it. Coffee stands are delicate furniture designed as artifacts and to keep lighter objects over. 

If you find your coffee table stronger and if the table could accommodate at least one person sitting on it firmly, then you can go for a coffee table. Make sure the table doesn’t wobble much and has great weight distribution on its lower end. Some coffee table stands: 

Final Note for Fish Stand Seekers

These were our top picks for alternatives to fish tank stands. We consider fish keeping as a journey, so every purchase made is not an expense but an investment done.

When resources are tighter, you can always go for used products. So, you can consider buying some used fish tank stands from online websites like eBay or visiting your local aquarium shop.

Once you can financially afford it, you can surely go and buy a fish tank stand to make your tank look clean, elegant and also make it safer, secure.

So, that was our complete guide on choosing best stand alternatives for your fish tanks and aquariums.

We hope this article has helped you clear all your queries.

Comment below and tell us which was your favorite Fish tank stand alternative and why. If you liked this post do share it with your friends and family.

Cause sharing is caring. See ya! Until then, keep growing your aquarium!

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