The 180 Gallon Fish Tank Stand is the perfect stand for your 180 gallon fish tank. This stand is made of sturdy, high-quality wood and comes with a black finish that will look great in any room in your home. It features a curved top that makes it easy to keep an eye on your fish while they swim around the tank. The stand comes with four legs that are adjustable, so you can make sure it’s stable and secure on any surface.
The 180 Gallon Fish Tank Stand is a great addition to any home aquarium because it adds beauty and functionality to your home while also helping you keep an eye on your fish at all times. In a world of commercially produced aquarium stands, building your own can be quite a challenge but also very rewarding. The key is to keep it simple and to follow the construction process like you would a recipe in a cookbook.
The finished tank stand will have enough space for storage and will hold up to 180 gallons of water. The design is made to support large fish tanks and takes into account the weight distribution and stability that comes with having an aquarium full of water. The total cost of this build will likely be around $300; this will include the cost of all tools, materials, finishing, and hardware necessary for assembly.
The following materials are needed to build the stand:
- 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 8′ Pine
- 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 8′ Pine
- 4-6 Casters, depending on your tank specifications and weight. I chose 3″, which fit nicely inside of the bottom pieces and allowed me to get across my carpet without any problems.
Preparing the fish tank stand
When you’re going to build a fish tank stand, you need to start out with a plan. Just like building a house, the best place to start is with the flooring or base. For this project we are using a 180 gallon acrylic aquarium for our fish tank. This tank is 96″ long x 18″ wide x 27″ high and weighs about 850 lbs empty. The bottom front half of this tank needs to be supported every 4 feet, so we need an 8′ long x 3/4” thick solid top board in order to provide enough support for the bottom half of the aquarium.
Firstly, cut two pieces of 2 x 4 lumber at 96” long; these will be used as side supports on each side of your fish tank support base frame. Next, cut two pieces of 2 x 6 lumber at 90” long – these will be used as end supports on each end of your fish tank support base frame. Cut eighteen pieces of 2 x 4 at 11½ inches in length; these will be used as slat supports evenly spaced underneath the top board (8 ft.) that is laid across the frame. Lastly, cut one piece of ¾ inch thick plywood at 96 inches by 24 inches; this will used as the top board which is laid across your assembled frame underneath your aquarium and its support plywood sheets & cabinet shelving boards
Overview of your build
This is how the build works:
- The first step is to locate the straightest studs in your wall for mounting. The sides of a doorway are often ideal, because studs are typically assembled on both sides of a doorway at once to provide support.
- Next, stretch and attach tape onto the wall around each stud, forming a rectangle that matches the size of your stand so you can clearly see where it will go.
- Align one side of your stand with the tape on one side and screw it into place.
- Once one side is attached, do the same for the other side. Be sure to check that each side remains level as you proceed—if it’s not even, your aquarium will look askew when placed on top and won’t hold up properly.
- You’ll know you’ve done everything right once this is all over! We hope you have fun assembling this fish tank stand!
Lets get started
It’s important to have a solid plan and a working knowledge of the tools you’re going to use. Also, when building a fish tank stand, you’ll want to make sure that it is safe for your fish and that you don’t cause them any damage while they are in the tank.
There are many different sizes and styles of aquarium stands available on the market today; however, most of them will require some modifications or upgrades before they can be used for housing freshwater fish. For example, a standard pet store aquarium stand (which usually holds about 20 gallons) is not adequate for housing large saltwater fish like sharks and tangs. In order to house larger saltwater fish with longer care requirements in an aquarium stand, you might need to install one of several types of internal shelves.
Just because something has been marked as “fish tank” on Amazon does not mean it is suitable for housing freshwater aquatics; it could just mean that somebody tried using it as such but failed miserably in their attempt. You should research these products thoroughly before making the purchase so that you know exactly what they are capable of holding, how large they are, what type of materials they are made from (if possible), etc.; nothing is worse than buying an item only to find out later that it cannot be used properly or even at all!
Assembling the frame
- Cut two pieces at 72″ long.
- TIP: you can use a speed square to make sure your angle is perfect and will make a strong corner.
- Lay the side pieces on top of the bottom piece – make sure they are flush with the end of the support 2x4s and square everything up.
- Attach with 2 1/2″ pre-drilled wood screws, starting from under the tabletop, so that they are not showing from above.
- Next, attach another side piece flush with just one side of the bottom piece, taking care to ensure that it is square and level. Add a temporary brace between this newly attached side and one or both of the already attached sides.
- Repeat for another side – you should now have an open box frame
Installing the frame to the floor
After the frame is together, you will need to level it and anchor it to the floor. To do this, we recommend that you use a level to check for any side-to-side or front-to-back adjustment needed. You will also want to double-check for any plumb adjustment needed (left corner up/down vs right corner up/down). For anchoring, use some grade 8 bolts through the frame into wood anchors in your concrete floor. Make sure they are long enough to hold on top of any insulation you may put under your tank! We used both a plumb line and a four-foot level to make sure the stand was square, level, and true before attaching it to the floor. If you build your stand correctly then your tank should fit exactly as planned because all of your measurements have been done with precision and care. Once you know all four corners are where they should be then go ahead and mark their locations on the concrete using a sharpie or other permanent marker.
Cutting and installing plywood for fish tank stand top
- Measure and cut plywood to size
- The top of the stand will be made out of ¾ inch thick plywood. The four pieces I am using are all 2 feet by 4 feet.
- You can pick up ¾ inch thick plywood at Home Depot or somewhere similar in the lumber department. It’s usually $20-25 per piece, depending on what kind you get (the price varies wildly).
- Cut and install plywood using a nail gun
- Once you have your pieces of wood measured, trace the dimensions on each one in pencil. Now you have a guide for cutting them down to size.
- Using a circular saw, cut along the marked lines of your boards until all four pieces are the correct dimensions for your tank stand top.
Trimming and finishing the top of your stand.
Cut the top piece of plywood for the front of the stand. Measure and cut a piece of 3/4 inch plywood to fit on top of the front of your stand. This will cover up some ugly seams and screw holes, and provide a nice finished appearance. Install this piece using glue, nails, or screws (or all three), being sure to leave a 3/8 inch gap at the back edge of this piece to allow water to run off.
Cut and install trim pieces for the top of the stand. You’ll notice in our picture that we installed 4 trim pieces along each side: 2 long pieces running from left-to-right across both sides, and 2 short pieces running from front-to-back along both sides. These are made from 2 x 1 inch lumber found at any home improvement store; make them as long as you need them to be (for us, these were about 30 inches long).
Adding additional shelf and trimming fish tank stand front support pieces.
The first thing you should do is cut the shelf pieces to length. The standard size for a shelf piece is 2×12”. Cut two 45 degree angles on both sides of these pieces. Next, use liquid nails or sliver screws to glue and nail or screw the pieces together as shown in the image below.
Next, cut your fish tank stand front support pieces to length and width (as well as 45 degree angles at the top and bottom of each piece) as shown in the diagram below.
Applying finish to your stand.
Apply finish to all sides. Make sure that you use a brush, as roller marks will be very visible on the finished stand. We applied two coats of Minwax Polyurethane Satin. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application of your particular finish. Let it dry completely before moving on to the next step!
So there you have it. You now have a basic understanding of how to build a stand for your 180 gallon aquarium. I hope this article has been helpful and informative, and that you are able to use my expertise to help you successfully build your own fish tank stand. Here are several tips in addition to those previously mentioned:
- Always wear safety goggles when using power tools or working with wood
- Consider painting the outside of your stand if you want it to blend in better with the rest of the room
- If needed, make sure you want a circular saw (or get someone else to do it for you)