cheap way to make a stand ?


the stand I want to make is a 72x25 for a 180 at least 40 in tall how would you go about doing this and maybe a cost if you can! thanks guys!!!!!


It really depends on how much detail you want. Do you want a painted stand or are you going to stain? If you paint you can buy cheaper lumber. How much trim do you want to put on it? Do you want to make the doors or pay someone to make them for you? You can spend from $50-200 on material.


I would like to stain it but in order to do so I need good wood to except the stain true or not true? I was think about making it out of wood and stone but damn that could weight all wont't it but I would like to spend about 350 max on this or should I just buy the stand on and turn it in to something ???


Active Member
cheap is such a harsh word. Try....Inexpensive LOL
I made mine of ply wood, and panels bougt from home depot. I stained it to give it that nice Woody feel.


Active Member
Now . . . . before you jump to conclusions, hear me out here. . . . .
I built my stand, custom fit to my tank, and my home decor, are you ready . . . . all for LESS THAN $20!
Now here is the best part, you would have no idea if you saw it in person . . . I PROMISE!
Want to know more?


JUSTIN I want to know more. Post here or email
I want to build a stand for a 29 gallon reef, if you managed to build it yourself, with basic materials for INEXPENSIVE :) amount, and it still looks great Please walk us through your project, materials, tips, ideas, etc. Would be very helpful.


Active Member
Alright . . . . here is the scoop. First off, I must say, read it completely, then think about for a minute before you decide if its for you or not.
I took measurements of the foot print of my tank. 24" x 12" (22gallons)
I then went to Home Depot and got cinder blocks and a sheet of plywood. 6 cinders to be exact which conveniently when arranged in two layers of three bricks was nearly identical to the footprint of my tank. Then I put down a 24 x 12 piece of 1/2 inch foam insulation board down on the blocks. I then placed a 24" square piece of 3/4" plywood on top of the cinders so that there was a 4 inch overhang in the back, and about six inches in the front. then I took a black linen tablecloth and draped it over the whole set up so that it touched the floor in the front and sides. Then I put a sheet of plexiglass over the top that was 24" square. Put the tank on top, level the stand with shims and you are good to go. The foam board absorbs some of the weight shifts so it will level itself up to about a quarter inch. The overhangs double as splash guards as well as a ledge on the top to carry out maintenance, and underneath it creates a small hidden storage space.
Once this is set up, it is VERY stable. Before I put my tank on it, I stood on it and rocked back and forth as much as I could to try and knock it over. I mean I really tried, and couldn't do it.
A couple things to keep in mind:
I only have a 22 gallon tank, and the stand sits low to the ground. It is only 2 cinder blocks tall. That and I dont have a sump of any kind. I dont know what to tell you if you do other than to be creative.
Now for larger tanks, i have seen this done as well and to be honest, I didnt know until I looked under the sheet. The largest tank that I have seen this on is a 55 gallon. It was done with four pillars of three cinders tall and two cinders wide. Each pillar was 2 bricks on the bottom, two more perpendicular to those for stability, then a sheet of plywood across all the pillars to make a shelf. Then two more cinder blocks on top of each pillar then the same set up that I used on mine. Its been like that for about two years and no problems. The only difficulty that he has is that when he spills water onto the sheet, it stains and looks kinda crappy. Hence the sheet of plexiglass I used. Easy to wipe clean.
Like I said, its not for everyone. But for those of us on a budget, it really cant be beat IMO.


justin thats cheap !!!!! LOL but i guess would be ok for while until I get a real stand made not a bad Idea but would it hold a 180 gal filled with water?


Another idea to add a little strength/stability: cement the blocks together... HD has pre-mixed cement in caulk tubes. Then use a couple C-clamps to clamp the top board to the top blocks.


I am in the middle of building a stand myself right now. It's not for a 180, but for a 125, not that much different. I decided to go with a good 2x4 frame that's very strong right and now, but also very heavy. I will be soon adding a 1/2" layer of oak plywood on the fronts and sides, and 1/4" on the back. That will also be under the footprint of the tank to help support it. That actually was the most expensive part of the project, buying nice oak plywood, those 8'x4' sheets can get expensive!
So far I have spent about $150-$200 total and I really don't see how I'll need to spend much more. I have to buy some trim to go around the whole thing and on top to hold the tank in place. Also most of the left over wood I will be using to make the canopy. And that shouldn't cost nearly as much.
Also I found a place on ---- that sells unfuinished or finished cabinet doors for very cheap. I know they're not the highest quality out there, but I got some unfinished oak doors dor $6 a piece. Just an option.
I'll post pictures of it when I start making more progress.
And the most important thing I can tell you....Make plans and rewrite them and rewrite them again. make sure everythign is how you want it ebfore you go buy anything. I changed my mind so many times, but having it written down was invaluable. Good luck.


I will be similar but for a 55, working on it this weekend. When I started looking at pre-built stands, most of them are using 2X4's or smaller, so I felt pretty good that way.
What made you decide to go with sitting the tank on a sheet of plywood instead of supporting it on the 2X4 frame itself? Still trying to decide which is best here.


Scott~ Sorry I should clarify. I have built the frame from 2x4s all the way around, but made the entire thing 1" smaller than tank dimensions, so the plywood attached will be flush with the edges of the tank. So not just the 2x4s but also the plywood will help distribute the weight. Hope that helps. I wanted it to be as strong as possible. Hope that clears it up.
Put coat # 2 of poly on the frame tonight. Can't wait till I get that done and start on the plywood. Take pictures of your stand so I can see the process!