Building a Multi-Tank Stand

I recently decided that I want to reach a professional level designing planted tanks. After the last year or two of constant researching, planning, plotting, saving…I finally placed an order for six nano tanks. Four were from, the least expensive yet super swanky tanks I could find available. Two others were from Blooms and Branches, a popular site among aquarium enthusiasts, mostly for its manzanita branches. (Sidenote: get the sand blasted ones! The red bark, while beautiful, will mold and fall off anyway.)

Anyway, with six new tanks, ranging from 1 to 11.5 gallons, on the way, I knew I needed a place to put them all. This was my solution:

And here is that same stand, loaded with the tanks and a nice big mess in front of it after a long week of tank work and being too lazy to clean up after:


Here’s how I did it… And I’ll also post some nice pictures of it all cleaned up and pretty looking soon.

  1. I wanted something that could hold more weight than I could imagine putting on it, but I also wanted something that would give me flexibility. Annnnd, I definitely didn’t want to have to build all of it from scratch. So I selected this Edsal 48 in. W x 72 in. H x 24 in. D Steel Commercial Shelving Unit from the Home Depot. Sturdy and adjustable, and on sale when I got it.
  2. I wanted to add cabinets of some sort to the unit, but adding hinges and such seemed like a lot of effort. My original plan was to simply add screws that slip into the rivets holders of the shelving unit. This worked decently, but I plan on moving over to magnets in the future. I used thin, prepainted “chalk board” plywood for the doors. I added in a panel between the two side-by-side shelving units to allow to left side to be used for storage. As you can see in the messy pictures above, they give me a ton of useful storage space.
  3. The shelves that came with the unit weren’t exactly the most pleasing looking. On top of that, I wanted the entire unit to effectively be a single construct so that no tanks on top could wind up with an uneven surface. Thus, I took a 1 inche thick board, cut notches halfway through the board to fit the shelving frame, and laid it across both shelf sections. Then I took a piece of carpeting (~$0.45 per square foot) and attached it to all shelving tops with a staple gun. The carpeting wrapped around the edges and was stapled into the bottom of the shelves, and then I added a few extra staples on the top to stop the carpeting from bubbling up.
  4. To make the doors look a bit classier and cover any cuts I made that weren’t quite nice looking, I bought trim, painted them black, then used a few small nails to fix them on the edges of the cabinet doors. Then I painted the tops of the nails with a dab of the black paint I’d coated every other unpainted edge in, and called it a day.

I’d love to see other multi-tank stands people have designed! And let me know if you have any questions about how to do this project for your own tanks!

2 thoughts on “Building a Multi-Tank Stand

  1. Pingback: DIY Multi-Tank Stand Update | My World of Planted Freshwater Aquariums

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