These come in a variety of styles and sizes, with constructions including, various types of wood, metal, acrylic or plastic. Hopefully, this article will help you to choose and throw some light on any concerns you may have.
Have you thought about DIY?
Firstly let me talk about the DIY made stands. If you are handy with wood or metalwork it may be worth you having a go at making one. If you do decide to go down this path It may be a good idea to include a shelf with doors so that you ca store all your aquarium related equipment. You will have a a number of considerations to think about when building your own tank. Of course size, colour and material are a few that come to mind but most people overlook the amount of weight that the stand will need to safely support.
How heavy is an aquarium
One (UK) gallon of freshwater equals 10.02 lb. This means that the water in a 55 gallon tank weighs 551.23 pounds which is a 1/4 ton and that’s without the aquarium and hood!! Now that you know how heavy tanks can be you need to make sure any stand you build or purchase can easily hold heavy weights associated with aquariums. Another point to consider is that glass tanks weigh more that an acrylic.
If you are happy to purchase your stand as many of us do they generally come in three types, budget, mid-range and luxury. The type you buy will really depend on your funds but make sure you choose the correct stand for the size and weight of your aquarium.
Most budget stands are made from particle board to keep manufacture costs down. Despite the cost of material they look neat and well finished and are usually easy to build. You will probably find that the majority of aquarium stands today are made from this material and they have been available to buy for many years. One thing to consider with particle board stands is that when they are exposed to even the slightest bit of water they soak it up like a sponge. If repeatedly exposed to water, i.e. in the unlikely event of a tank leak or small trickles when removing aquarium lids to clean the tank, this will eventually cause your stand to crumble and weaken. The important thing to remember with this type of stand is not to get it wet. If you are extra careful in this regard you should have no problems.
Mid-range stands are extremly diverse but usually made from solid wood that is sealed to prevent water damage. Having a wood cabinet is like having another piece of furniture in your home. In most cases you can have a hood to match the stand to really set off the finish. There is also a type of wood called Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) whilst not as good as solid wood is a better option than particle board as it is a little stronger. However if you do choose an MDF stand make sure you have it sealed to prevent water damage.
Metal stands are another good strong choice. Metal stands are usually designed to support the very edges of the aquarium, meaning they are only good for glass tanks and not Acrylic. Also if you intend to keep a saltwater aquarium, you may find that the metal start to corrode over time, however many metal stands are treated to prevent this type of damage make sure you check this before you buy.
Probably the most luxurious and hardest wearing of all stands are those made from acrylic. These stands are usually made to match a specific tank and unlike wood or metal stands, exposure to water has no effect on the construction. Acrylic stands and hoods can also be coated with plastic laminate to match any decor, there are literally hundreds of styles to choose from also Plastic laminate is extremely durable and is not affected by moisture. The only disadvantage to this type of material that we can see is the price. Yep you guessed it they usually come at quiet a premium!
Other Luxurious stands are hand crafted wood that include detailed carvings, these can make for truly spectacular centrepieces.