Thanks for the nice comments above.
I don’t see a lot of threads here on DIY stand/canopy builds. I know this isn’t a woodworking forum, but I think stands are an important part of the whole experience. When I set up my 120G, finding the right stand proved to be difficult. I liked certain things about one, then something else about another. In the end, I figured why not just build my own exactly the way I want it? Sounds easy, right?
So I set about taking notes on all of the features that were most important to me, and then came up with a plan. I read mostly about tank stands that were built using 2x4 construction, then wrapped in some kind of finish material. I really wanted all oak construction (no oak laminate, plywood, or veneers), and decided why not build it all in dimensional solid oak (1x4’s, 1x6s, etc).
I wanted it to be a little taller than the ones I had seen, so the tank sits 34” off the ground. A little easier to view when standing. The canopy was really the key, as I wanted to have easy daily access, and also not too difficult access when you need to open the top. I ended putting three small flipper doors for daily feeding, and the whole thing opens up via a piano hinge when you need to get your hands in the tank (little did I know how often that would be). So I set about building the whole thing basically using a Kreg pocket hole jig and glue.
In retrospect, there were a million things that could have gone wrong, and it could have been a disaster. But via some miracle, it came out exactly as I had intended.
Here is a short video montage of pictures during the construction. Gives a pretty good idea of the process.
And here are just a couple of quick pics, the plans, the beginning, and the end.