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I need some advice on aquarium stands. I have a 10 gal and a 5 gal currently on end tables. I plan on upgrading the 10 to a 20 long this summer when the semester ends. The question is? What kind of stand? The petco/petsmart pressed board stands are absolute garbage and of poor quality, so they are out. Should I go with the Titan Eze double metal stand. I'd get the 20L/29 size and insert wooden boards to hold the 10 and 5 untill the upgrade. Or should I get a basic metal petco/petsmart stand and modify the bottom with a piece of wood to hold the 5 gal. Or should I just go to a furniture store and buy a sturdy, solid wood cabinet to put them on?? What is better and more functional? Most importantly, what is my SAFEST option. I don't want warping or tipping or collapsing.
 

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Pixel Prestidigitator
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I use the welded iron stands myself. I've got a few of them.
 

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Has anyone heard of any of the "cheap particle board" stands from PetSmart or Petco, or any other store collapsing? I haven't, and I have purchased used tanks, with stands, from Craigslist several times, which have had stands that were in really bad shape, but did not collapse. We tend to underestimate just how strong any form of board is when used vertically to hold something.
 

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I have a PetSmart pressed board stand hold up my 36 gal bowfront that was made for it and it's held up nicely, very sturdy. If you're handy, you can always make your own stand, which I plan on doing when I get a 75 gallon. I wouldn't count out the "made-for-tanks" stands.
 

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If you have the means you should just build one out of 2x4's and skin it with 1/4" plywood. That's what I did for my 26 bowfront(24x15x20). I have 2 small kids under 5 and live in an apartment so stability was a huge concern of mine. I built it with about 6" of top surface around the sides and font of the tank, stand measures 36" wide 28" tall 22" deep. Spray painted it black. Not ADA asthetics or anything but cost under $100 when finished and I could park my Chevy hhr on it if I wanted to :)

I did it this way 100% for piece of mind. I have zero worries about the stability of the stand. If I can figure out how, I will post pictures of it. It's been up for roughly 2 years and my kids play on the top of it constantly, running cars on it, playing with small dolls, still no worries of failure.

You could also use Simpson Strong Ties (building connectors for decks and such) and stain a few 2x4's and make a nice stand. There are several examples of this on the forum. Google "strong tie aquarium stand" and theplantedtank should come up with results for easy searching. You should also be able to this for under $100. Any furniture store you go to will more than likely have furniture made from the same "crappy" press-board as most commercial aquarium stands and if you do find one made of solid quality wood, it's going to be expensive, especially if you go to a cabinet maker. As Hoppy stated, I've never really heard of any of these commercial press-board stands failing and I also think people underestimate the rigidity of a board on end.

I understand this only helps if you have the means to build but you really only need a saw (hand saw would work just fine, just slightly more labor), a drill of some kind, and a level surface.
 

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I agree with RyRob. Building a stand is not incredibly difficult if you have access to basic power tools and have ever done any kind of work with them. There's a template floating around ReefCentral that's very straightforward and unbelievably sturdy.

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