Custom stand - aquarium mat?

Hey guys,

I’m putting the final touches on a custom built wooden stand for a new 180 gal Marineland rimmed tank. I understand that a rimmed tank is only going to touch the outside edges of the stand but added 1/2" plywood on the top and bottom to keep it structurally sound and provide a smooth surface for the tank to sit on. I’m doing my final checks on the top of the stand with a 4’ level and noticed that there are a handful of places where there is a “credit card” size gap.

I plan to use wood shims where I can to fill these gaps. Additionally would an aquarium mat (link below) also help distribute the weight across any tiny gaps?

Innovative Marine DIY Self Leveling Mat

Appreciate your thoughts. Stay safe.


Happy first post @SizzleFun :wave:

That’s a small enough gap that you could ignore it if you wanted. I personally would use something like foam posterboard underneath. It’s cheap and will do what you are looking for. Next step up from that is a super cheap yoga mat from Marshall’s (usually about $8-10). Granted getting either of those things from a store is a challenge at the moment :slight_smile:

Can we see the new stand?

Thanks for the suggestion @TheEngineer. The stand is still a work in progress but had some extra time this weekend to work on it. I decided to make a custom stand to make it easier to maintain down the road. All the panels are magnetically held in place and the front opening is wide enough for me to get my 40 gallon sump in and out in case I ever want to try something different in the future. I’m a so-so carpenter so I was sure to over-engineer everything.

For anyone interested in building their own much of it is based on the King of DIY fish tank stand video. HOW TO: Build an aquarium stand - YouTube

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That looks awesome! Plywood construction?

Hey thanks. It is 1/2" plywood for the sides and 2x6 boards for the frame.

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Looks great man. Looking forward to see the tank come together.

I used to used suspended ceiling tile on top of my stand …when the heavy aquarium is placed on it and filled with water it will self level and sink into the ceiling tile in all the right places…NEVER had a tank break or leak using it.

Nice job on the stand, it looks great. Just a suggestion, wish I had done this on my DIY 180 gal stand, buy a good MIL pond liner, big enough to cover the bottom of the stand and run it up the sides. In case of a water leak, it will contain it in the stand.
Please keep showing the tank build progress.
Good luck with it.

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Very nice looking stand. Can’t wait to see the finish project with water in it.

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Solid suggestion! I ran a bead of silicone up and down all of the seams and used marine epoxy to seal all of the wood. I think a liner would have been easier :crazy_face: