Things You Should Know Before You Purchase an Aquarium StandNothing sets fish owners apart more than the manner in which they display their aquarium. You can always tell a proud fish owner by the materials and quality of the aquarium stand which holds their aquatic investment. Aquarium stands are available in many sizes, shapes and price ranges.
Although most aquarium stands are for fish tanks that are 20 gallons or more in size, there are stands available to hold aquariums from 10 gallons on up. There are several styles of aquarium stands, from the simple rack style, to the more robust cabinetry style. Materials are also varied, as the bigger the fish tank, the sturdier the stand materials must be.
Rack style stands are usually for the lower gallon sized tanks, and are made of light metals such as aluminum. The racks for larger fish tanks or for double tank display are made from sturdier steel construction with welded joints.
Next up the line in stands is what is sometimes referred to as aquarium furniture. These stands can house the aquarium, or have it placed atop the stand, depending on model chosen. These aquarium stands are made primarily from wood and wood products. Almost any décor can be matched when using this type of stand, as they can be attained in almost any style and color. Types of wood construction available are solid wood, Medium Density Fiberboard, and a mixture of the two.
Solid wood construction has all solid wood, with none of the components made of a fiber composite wood known as Medium Density Fiberboard, or MDF. None of the panels on the aquarium stand can be made using MDF to qualify as solid wood construction.
Stands which are constructed using MDF are often times simply referred to as fiberboard construction. These units will have little if no solid wood components. These stands can be very attractive, and can match the décor of most any home because they are available in a wide range of veneers. These veneers will match the existing furniture because they are real wood, which is thinly sliced. If you have a room with mainly oak furniture, then an oak veneered aquarium stand will match perfectly. The advantage to using fiberboard construction is mainly the cost. MDF units will always be cheaper to purchase than their solid wood counterparts.
Mixed construction can have more than one meaning. One such assembly would be that the sides, front and top are made from solid wood, while the back, flooring and drawers would be made of MDF. It could also mean that the main construction is done in MDF, with the front and drawer fronts made from solid wood. Each manufacturer will have its own definition of mixed construction, so do your due diligence. It’s always in your best interest to ask the salesperson about how the aquarium stand is constructed before you purchase.
For those who have very large aquariums, an aquarium stand alone just won’t do. This is where the wall aquariums come into play. These units are built either into the existing wall, or are used as a wall themselves. Units which are incorporated into existing walls are fully wired for lighting and offer a large viewing area. This type of aquarium construction can be made to be viewed only from one side, or on both sides.
Aquarium stands which are large enough to use to define home space are not only visible from both sides, but in some cases, they may be viewed on one or both ends depending on the type of construction. More times than not these are saltwater aquariums, and this type of unit is very costly.
Here are a few aquarium stand tips:
1) You’ll want to consider where the aquarium will be placed. Be sure to measure and consider the viewing height before you select and buy your stand. The standard height in stands is in the 30 inch range, unless you opt for a custom built stand.
2) Although wood is the most expensive choice for your aquarium stand, it will be the sturdiest. Wooden stands are usually made from hardwoods such as oak. Wood has the tendency to hold up very well under heavy weight, and will not suffer damage from water as easily as MDF.
3) When purchasing a wooden aquarium stand, check for precut holes to allow for ease of installation. If you find a unit you like that doesn’t have precut holes, ask if they can be cut prior to delivery.
4) Most metal aquarium stands are made from either steel or iron. If choosing a stand for a saltwater aquarium, don’t choose metal as it will suffer rust damage if it gets wet. Metal aquarium stands also usually don’t come with storage space to hold and conceal aquarium supplies.
5) Cabinet style aquarium stands are more stable and provide more storage space than regular stands.
By keeping these tips in mind, hopefully you will purchase a stand which will not only display your aquarium nicely, but also provide the storage needed, and look good in the process.