90 gallon aquarium stand and canopy

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Forum topic by Partsman19 posted 06-06-2018 06:12 PM 928 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 598 days

06-06-2018 06:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: stand

Hi all,

I have a 90 gallon aquarium that is 48.5×18.5×25.375 that I would like to build an aquarium stand and canopy on top to house my lighting. I would like the stand to be 36” tall. Can anyone let me know what size cuts I would need or send me the plans in order to build this stand and canopy.


5 replies so far

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

2135 posts in 771 days

#1 posted 06-06-2018 06:29 PM

do a cruise through Pinterest for an example cabinet that you like.
and – it is within your building skill set. is this a freshwater, saltwater or rock reef setup ??
that is a very heavy item that could come crashing to the floor if not fabricated correctly.
due diligence is required in something of this scale.
also – if you have a wood frame floor, you need to investigate if it will support
over 600 pounds in a concentrated area for a long period of time.
a concrete slab floor would not have any issues.

side note: you need to expand a little on your woodworking skills and equipment-tools
that you have or have access to. also, assuming you will be using dimensional lumber
and hardware right from the Big Box Stores ??



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Dustin's profile


706 posts in 1349 days

#2 posted 06-06-2018 06:52 PM

Just to throw it out there, a more common estimated weight for a 90 gallon is over 1,000 lb. And that’s just the main tank: the stand, sump, and other components all add to that. Take John’s caution to heart: I wouldn’t be doing this on a whim or if there were any doubt in my mind I could build something appropriately strong. I did the reef aquarium thing for a few years: it’s a lot of money, and would be terrible to see it all come crashing down on the floor.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View TravisH's profile


701 posts in 2543 days

#3 posted 06-06-2018 09:00 PM

Put your dimensions in and it will give you a cut list. Really easy to do and I know countless individuals with no skill set that built the stand using these plans (they had the big box store cut everything for them) and never had used any of the tools needed for assembly. Final look will end up on what materials you decide to use.

Typically you are going to find most stands fall into the big box store dimensional lumber category then skinned with plywood. Typically comes in about the cheapest and easiest to source materials. Typical construction will be similar to the GARF plans above. Just glue and screw assembly. From there you start to get some stands built with more complicated joinery and a lot of “cabinetry” inspired build. If you aren’t keen on building the extruded 80/20 aluminum stands are a look some are going for.

Several aquarium sites that will have a lot of information on the subject and ideas that you may want to use/incorporate. Reef Central, Finger Lakes Reef (a lot of good information on actually building plywood tanks), Aquatic Plant Central, Planted Tank, Monster Fish Keepers, are a few but really don’t follow them as much as I used to. I think most that get into aquariums end up building a stand at some point.

Remember most people with tanks end up buying the typical junk from Petco, Wal Mart, Petsmart, etc.. so we are talking particle board and screws. These literally hold up way longer than most will keep tanks (even after soaking up water a few times). I have kept aquariums for 30 plus years now and can tell you the stand collapsing isn’t a routine thing. You are much more likely to have a tank seam failure (which can be caused by a poorly built stand) or managing to smack the front glass with a vacuum handle sort of failure.

As mentioned flooring is something to think about. This pops up more on reef tank forums (do to weight) and you can find “builds” showing how to reinforce the floor joists to support the tank or better placement. A 90 gallon reef tank typically falls into the 1200 lb range.

View BrettLuna's profile


70 posts in 1170 days

#4 posted 06-06-2018 09:03 PM

I was a keeper, too. In addition to making it strong, I would add that the supporting surface the tank rests upon needs to be dead flat. If it’s out-of-plane…like a high corner or two…it can stress a tank to the point of cracking.

-- Brett — Peters Creek, Alaska

View becikeja's profile


1045 posts in 3421 days

#5 posted 06-06-2018 11:44 PM

Here is a site that will provide a lot of help if setting up an aquarium:
Don’t underestimate the weight on the floor.
Make sure all weight on the stand pushes down to the floor, don’t rely on nails or screws to hold the weight.
Hope these pics help. All built with Big Box Lumber

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

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