« back to Do-It-Yourself | Home »
Stand and the Cabinet

FAQ - Read the frequently asked questions about "Stand and the Cabinet".

After many requests for the best solution how to build an aquarium stand from the construction point of view and after finding that there are many similar questions on the internet and also many plans how to build it, I decided to show my experience here. The stand described here was used for the 250 litre tank originally. The tank base is 150 x 50 cm. I wanted to upgrade the tank to 419 litre tank one and needed a bigger and stronger stand. It had required to make a new stand or to adapt the previous one as the new tank had a base 127 x 60 cm. I wanted the cabinet composed of an original metal stand covered by laminated fibreboards was shorter in length and width than an aquarium. I think aquarium overhanging the cabinet by a few centimetres like a big glass cuboid looks much better than that one put on the cabinet of the same dimensions like an aquarium base. These ideas needed to replace an original base board and to strengthen the stand.

Pic. 1 – An original construction

Pic. 1 shows the former stand design. It is made of welded metric square hollow steel. The upper frame is made of angle-shaped parts 40 x 40 x 5 mm of size. The legs are made of metric square hollow steel 35 x 35 x 3 mm of size. The upper frame is welded over the legs and oriented to cover them (Pic. 2). The legs were formerly connected by four braces in the lower third of the stand. I had to cut out the front brace as I planned to place the sump under the tank. The brace would obstruct to do it.

Pic. 2 – Connection the upper frame to the leg Pic. 3 – Connection the braces to the legs and board
After this adaptation the stand had to be strengthened. I put the stand on the 2 cm thick laminated fibreboard (124 x 58 cm) which will jet out the cabinet by a few centimetres. It depends on an individual idea so all the dimensions mentioned here are coming from my mind. The stand was then connected with the floor board by an angle-shaped 20 x 20 cm braces. The braces were placed down on the board and screwed with legs (Pic. 3). Only the back legs were not connected each other. The construction was with the floor board using the bolts (Pic. 3). The felt pads were sticked on the board’s reverse side mainly at the spots where the strongest press will be acting. Even an aquarium is empty it is together with the stand quite heavy so the pads will allow to move the stand over the glare floor easily.

Pic. 4 – The stand Pic. 5 – The stand Pic. 6 – Complete stand Next, we continue with the base board which will support the tank. I used the stronger 3 cm thick waterproof board which is normally used as a kitchen top. The board was connected with the upper frame of the stand by bolts (Pic. 4).

The basic work is over. The tank would overhang the stand by 13 cm on each side at that moment. It could be probably fine but I decided to add to every leg another one from the outer side for sure. No welding again. I used the wooden pillars (50 x 80 mm) screwed with the support and floor boards. Pic. 5 and Pic. 6. show the situation clearly. The pillars will also serve as a support for the side walls of the cabinet. In the middle of the back side of the stand, I placed the supporting pillar (Pic. 5, Pic. 6). When the sump will be in place, the same brace will be used in front of the stand (Pic. 7).

The next part of work continued with the building the cabinet. Unfortunately, I have no step-by-step pictures, so I only describe the progress of work. The black laminated fibreboards were cut to measure and the black edging tape was ironed onto the board edges. It is a simple process. Use the hot household iron and pass over the tape.

First, the side boards were screwed with the support and floor boards. The screws go through the support and floor boards to hide the screw heads. If the side walls are screwed directly with the wooden pillars from outside, it will look bad as the side boards should be redrilled and the screw heads will be visible. It is possible to mask them by paint but intact board looks better. When the side walls are in place we continue with the front part of the cabinet. Usually, the panel at the front of the cabinet acts as a door. To have a good access to all equipment placed under the tank (the sump, valves, timers and electric sockets) I made the door that can be open at an angle of 180°. It means that all the front part of the cabined can be open. The door consists of three identical parts. The right part of the door makes a one third of the door and is connected with the side cabinet’s board with the piano hinge. The left part consists of two part connected together by the piano hinge and both parts are attached to the left side wall of the cabinet with a piano hinge (Pic. 8). To hold the door closed the door magnets were used (Pic. 7). Other details like covering the gap between the right and left part of the door by the narrow strip or choosing the door knobs are an individual job. I used the dim aluminium knobs which match the black cabinet. The back side of the cabinet is made of thin 3 mm fibreboard. A wooden strip was glued to the edges of an aquarium support board. Also the lower part (2.5 cm) of an aquarium glass was covered with the black wooden stripe to hide the sand profile (Pic. 9). Pic. 10 and Pic. 11 show the whole view on the cabinet wit a tank..

Pic. 7 – The cabinet – door Pic. 8 – Door Pic. 9 – The cabinet – wooden strips Pic. 10 – The cabinet Pic. 11 – The cabinet

In conclusion, I can say that the tank and the cabinet stay with no movement so this stand can hold about 600 kg (and I think even more) with no problems.

FAQ - Read the frequently asked questions about "Stand and the Cabinet".

DISCLAIMER: By building this DIY project you agree not to hold the author responsible for any injury or bodily harm you may cause to yourself or others. Read all safety instructions pertaining to equipment prior to use.

Copyright © 2003 - 2012 Robert Toman



Description of my aquariums, breeding history, photos and everything that happened in each tank during the time.


Tips and tricks for doing a various tools and equipment for fish keeping. Here, you will find an inspiration for your own attempts to simplify the fish keeping.


My own experience with African cichlids breeding. A detailed description of fish keeping and breeding with special things I found during the years of fish keeping.



My own photos anf videos of fish kept in my tanks.

Didn't you find your language? Write me, I will add it here!
Cichlidworld on FacebookCichlidworld on TwitterCichlidworld YouTube
Cichlidworld RSS
Search only Cichlidworld.eu