Common designs for tank stands include those constructed of iron, wood or particle board. Additionally, stands can be custom designed and built from concrete blocks or built directly into a wall.
When choosing a tank stand, consider the weight of the tank. As a general rule, a tank weighs eight to ten pounds per gallon of water. While many fish novices attempt to place their new tank on their own furniture and save money by not buying a stand, said furniture may not be designed to support the weight of a full tank. Additionally, that furniture can be made of particle board, which is notorious for warping and falling apart when exposed to too much water. Other materials that do not stand up to water include metal and unfinished wood; acrylic stands are preferred.
Tank owners should decide how their tank should be viewed before purchasing a stand. A long tank is best viewed while seated, while taller tanks look better while standing. Note the viewing requirements when purchasing a stand, and if building one, keep the viewing suggestions in mind.
Also consider storage when comparing tank stands for purchase. Maintaining an aquarium requires a lot of supplies, such as nets, skimmers, filters, food and pumps. Metal or acrylic stands may not accommodate for the storage of these, forcing owners to leave the supplies out in the open or further away from the tank than they would like. Properly finished wooden tank stands, however, are built with concealed storage in mind.