DIY stand question


New member
I want to build a stand for a 90 gal. long tank, and all of the online plans consist of building a frame of 2X4's or larger lumber. But the stands in the stores all appear to be made of 1" boards, some 1X4 bracing inside, with maybe some trim on the outside. I guess that's plywood? (oak or maple)? Is that strong enough or I am I missing something?


New member
From what I have been told is 3/4" plywood is structurally very strong. Actually building two tanks now and good friend is helping with the stands just did the plans and bought material. He said we could do it without big 2x4 supports because plywood is going to support most the weight a few 1x4"s included but nothing crazy like I thought? Told him the weight of a 100 gallon tank and didn't change his mind. He builds cabinetry and remodels kitchens I trust his opinion. Did a hell of a job for my sister on a built in entertainment center. Guess I will see lol
I can't speak for others, but I built my stand for a 120g 2'x4' tank out of 2x6 crossmembers with 4x4 posts. I did this for peace of mind. My buddy has a 90g 2'x4' tank with a store bought stand. His stand is made of 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch plywood, not sure which. The difference between his stand and mine is that mine doesn't have a center vertical brace on the long side so I have full access underneath to the sump and it's easy for me to replace my sump. For him to get his sump out he has to drain his tank and move the whole thing out from the wall to get to the back side of the stand where there isn't a center brace.

I am positive my stand isn't going to fail and dump 120g of saltwater into my living room. The tank on the other hand I'm not so sure about since I rebuilt it as well and I'm more confident in the 2.5 inch screws on the stand than my siliconing ability.


Active member
2x4's are way past overkill unless your tank is exceptionally large, and even then, with the proper use of supporting legs will hold an amazing amount of weight. They (or 2x5 or even 2x8) are used frequently by DIY'ers due to availability and, because of their great strength, to allow for less than perfect construction techniques.

3/4 plywood is a great choice for stand construction due to uniformity and compressive strength. Use pocket hole joinery and glue and a few corner braces and you will be good to go.

I built the stand for my 120 out of 3/4 cherry.

What you chose to make your stand from is limited only by your skill level, time, and budget.
Oh why did you have to post that billdog? Now my stand which looked perfectly fine to me before stands out as the rank amateur creation it really is.


Get busy living...
There are plenty of stands out there that are not made out of 2x material.

Billdogg explained very well why many people choose to go the overbuilt route.
It is a matter of one's personal confidence in building one's own stand and the availability of materials and tools.

I built a cabinet-style stand for my 120 gal system with solid rift-sawn red oak.
It was built without any 2x material and has been in use for about 18 months with absolutely no issues.
I actually just completed a second build of the same design (photo) for another RC member this week.

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt=" photo Salinero-finalstand-2-email.jpg"/></a>

If you would like to get more information about cabinet-style stands, read through billdogg's thread or my own build thread or any number of others.
The build thread's include a lot of photos and instructions to help you along the way.

Good luck with your build.


New member
Thanks all for the quick replies, and big shout out to billdogg for his beautiful work.
Unfortunately, I don't have a shop like that.
The reason I wanted a stand of plywood is for the extra room inside for sump, etc. And I'm looking for a plan without a center brace in front - I know I've seen them (although some have a dummy that is really attached to one door).


New member
like the others said there are a few options and all of the above will work and look amazing. the 2x construction will give you the strength you need and the ability to open up the center for more space, its also fairly easy to accomplish with a good plan.