There’s a lot of ‘sexy’ and exciting equipment and gear in the broader aquarium hobby but none is more overlooked yet more crucial than the venerable aquarium stand. Aquarists might put a lot of consideration and research into what kind of stand they want for their next tank but we hardly give it a second thought once that tank is in place and the setup has started going.
For years simple mass produced plywood stands or self-built lumber designs have pretty much dominated aquarium stands of the modern aquarium world but there was a time when we had a lot more choice. You may be familiar with vintage or antique ‘wrought iron’ stand which were the first metal stands enjoyed by aquarists, but wrought iron and seawater are not a good pairing.
More recently we’ve started seeing a lot more metal stands in the aquarium hobby in the form of modular aluminum for smaller tanks, and welded square tube steel for very large tanks which are both much more suitable for use around saltwater aquariums. For the more aesthetically inclined there’s also a fully glass stand from UNS and ADA offers a stand made from straight up concrete!
What we’re trying to say is that there’s lots of different ways to build an aquarium stand and last weekend we built a new stand for the Reef Builders Studio with an interesting design and unique construction, at least as far as aquarium stands go. For this project we teamed up with David Wellmann of nearby LFS Keepin’ It Reef to knock out an emergency stand for the 200 gallon acrylic tank who’s stand we broke and were forced to set up a saltwater pond to hold the livestock.
As clearly stated in the video we are aquarists with only a modicum of woodworking experience, just enough to either get us in trouble or get the job done, pick one. We firmly believed we’d be building a cooky-cutter stand made from pine two by fours but were pleasantly surprised to see that David had something else in mind in the form of a more elegant plywood stand held together firmly with copious amounts of glue and brad nails which we erroneously referred to as staples in the video.
The resulting boxy stand came out just as minimal as we love to see in the Reef Builders Studio with an incredible amount of room and access underneath for filling it up with all the necessary reef aquarium gear to get the tank back in action. You don’t need too much of a sketch to follow along with the the design and construction of this aquarium stand and hopefully it will inspire more DIY aquarists to build more elegant and attractive supporting stands, the most overlooked of all critical pieces of aquarium equipment.