Everybody Needs a Little Support
I suppose you could, if hard pressed, place your tank right on the floor but that doesn't seem like such a great idea, does it? I mean, you'd have to get down on the floor to enjoy your fish! You'd also spend a lot of time down there tending to your tank as well.
A Matter of Style
- Stands. The stand, your basic four legged piece of aquarium "furniture", works, especially for smaller aquariums. You're going to want something sturdier if you have a larger aquarium. Beginners usually go with simple stands because they're cheaper.
- Cabinets. Cabinets, specialized aquarium furniture, provide more stability and storage space than basic stands.
Consider these tips when buying your aquarium stand:
- For style purposes, it's nice to have the stand coordinate with the tank frame. So if you're buying a tank with dark wood accents, it makes sense to get a stand made out of the same material.
- Consider the optimal height for viewing the tank when you buy your stand. Most stands come at the standard 30 inches in height. Many custom made stands are made between 32 inches and 46 inches in height.
When looking at various aquarium stands, consider the following features:
- Storage. Storage to hold your supplies nearby makes a lot of sense. If you've got fancy filtration systems going on, you might want to use the cabinet space for that as well. Make sure you've got plenty of air circulation to prevent overheating within a cabinet.
- Precut Holes. Precut holes in the back makes sense for power cords to go through as well as any additional "plumbing" you may have set up.
Let's look at your choices as far as what manufacturers make aquariums out of next.
Different Building Materials
When looking at aquarium stands today, you basically have three choices: wood, wood byproducts, and metal. Let's look at each one in detail:
- Wood. The most expensive choice in terms of what your aquarium stand will be made of, wood is also the sturdiest. If an aquarium stand is made out of wood, it is usually hardwood like Oak. Compared to the other building materials, wood holds up well under weight and is usually not as easily water damaged as Wood Byproducts.
- Wood Byproduct. Fiberboard or pressed board are common wood substitutes. While more expensive than metal, wood byproducts are cheaper than straight wood. When they don't come predrilled, cutting through them exposes the middle layers to moisture which causes them to swell and weaken. You don't want this situation.
- Metal. Your basic aquarium stand will come in either Iron or Steel (painted or unpainted). Metal is not a feasible choice for a saltwater tank as it will rust. Metal tanks are usually your least expensive choice but also won't come in cabinet styles (obviously) to provide storage like the other two materials.
Determining your weight requirements may help you decide what type of material your aquarium stand should be made out of. Let's look at this next.
Most stands will tell you how much weight they will support based on the size of the tank (100 gallons for example). If the stand doesn't say how much it will support, you're taking your tank and its inhabitants into your own hands! A gallon of water will weight about 8.5 pounds so that should give you an idea of how much weight the stand will need to support.
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