Nano Aquarium Stand: What is the Best Nano Tank Stand?

If you own a nano aquarium, chances are you’ve placed it on a table or on an existing shelf of your own. Nano tanks are small and lightweight, so most of them can easily fit on top of an existing furniture in your home. Unlike larger aquarium with substantial weight, a dedicated purpose built stand may not always be necessary. However, if you really want to make your nano tank stand out, you may want to get a tank stand. No pun intended here.

A good nano aquarium stand should be built with quality material so it can support the tank and all of its accessories. In addition to having a quality build, the best nano aquarium stand are able to highlight the good features of the tank, without attracting too much attention to the stand itself. Small details are amplified in a nano tank setup, so the design of the aquarium stand is very important.

Some of the best aquarium stands for nano tanks are manufactured by Aqua Design Amano (ADA) and Ultum Nature Systems (UNS). The manufacturers incorporate both quality build and design to their products. The simplistic design of the stand would help the viewer appreciate the beautiful fish and plants inside the aquarium, rather than the aquarium stand. For the same reason, a rimless nano tank placed on top of these aquarium stand would really complete the setup. While they aren’t the most affordable options, if you value the aesthetics of your nano tank, aquarium stands from both ADA and UNS are recommended.

With that said, they are not the only manufacturers of quality nano tank stands. There are many great aquarium stands on the market, and you can even build your own custom stand. Compared to building a stand for a larger aquarium, building a nano tank is more beginner friendly. While building a custom stand requires time, being able to customize the dimensions of the stand to make it fit the aquarium like a glove is priceless. Many of the best aquarium nano tank stands are custom built.

Regardless of whether you build your own stand or purchase on a pre-built stand, finding the best stand for your nano tank comes down to understanding what options are available. This includes an understanding of the types of aquarium stands and the materials used as well.

nano aquarium stand
Nano Aquarium Stand

Choosing the Best Nano Aquarium Stand

The best aquarium stand is one that suits you and your nano tank the most. Therefore, it is important to understand what is available to make this decision.

In regards to the type of aquarium stands on the market, there are many companies that produce stands specifically for aquariums. However, most stands are built for medium to large size aquariums. Therefore, the selection of nano tank stands are more limited. Rather than limiting your shopping to retail stores, it may be wise to check out selections of online retailers as well.

Types of Nano Tank Stands

The two most common types of aquarium stands are bare aquarium stands and aquarium cabinets. Both types of aquarium stands offer their benefits.

Bare Aquarium Stands

Bare aquarium stands are usually the least expensive option. These types of aquariums stands are often built with metal frames, so they are structurally sound. However, the area underneath the aquarium is open. Therefore, anything you store under the tank will not be hidden. This is usually where canister filters and other equipment are stored. Unless you are purposely going for an open display setup, you may need to find a place to store your equipment elsewhere.

Aquarium Cabinet Stands

The majority of aquarists prefer a cabinet style aquarium stand. In fact, the majority of nano tank stands are built with a cabinet. This is beneficial if you wish to store equipment out of sight. While cabinets for a nano tank are usually not very large, a narrow canister filter would most likely fit snugly.


Before choosing your stand, take the measurements of all the dimensions of your nano aquarium. The measurement of the base of your tank is especially important, as the entire bottom of your tank will need to be supported by the stand that you use. If you end up buying a stand with a top dimension that is too small for your nano tank, it may become a safety issue.

In addition, be sure to carefully consider the height of the stand. The optimal height for the stand may be different depending on whether you prefer to view the tank in a standing position or from a chair. Whichever option you choose, you should try to maintain the view of your tank as close to eye level as possible. The average height of aquarium stands are approximately 30 to 36 inches tall.

Materials Used for Nano Tank Stands

There are 3 main materials that are commonly used for aquarium stands. These are MDF, Plywood and Metal.  

MDF / Particle board

MDF, also known as particle board, is an affordable wood that is used for manufacturing all kinds of wood products, including aquarium stands. Raw MDF is prone to warping from humidity, which means that if you have a saltwater tank with high humidity – you’re going to have to take some time and effort beforehand to paint and seal it properly before using it to hold your tank.


Plywood aquarium stands are the most common type you’ll find on the market today. It is used as a go-to material from anything from the lower cost options to the higher end brands of aquarium stands, and is especially popular in DIY setups. It is strong, flexible, durable and less susceptible to water damage as compared to MDF. While they are better in quality, there is still a good reason to have one that is painted and sealed. This will help keep it protected for a longer time from any unexpected damage in years to come.

Metal Aquarium Stands

Metal is the strongest material to use in an aquarium stand. Metal provides unparalleled structural support, which is especially important as a foundation. In addition to the strength, metal is beneficial because it is less prone to water damage. Of course, rust could be an issue, but this should not become a problem as long as the metal is properly coated.

Some aquarium stands use both metal and wood. The main structure is made out of metal and the external components are built in wood.

DIY Nano Aquarium Stand

If you have a particular design in mind, you may want to build your own aquarium stand for your nano tank. Why not construct it yourself? As mentioned, the selection of aquarium stands for nano tanks is usually limited compared to aquarium stands for standard sized aquariums. Building your own stand may allow you to achieve the perfect nano tank setup.

There is an abundance of tutorial available online regarding how to build an aquarium stand. Building a large aquarium stand may be a challenge, but a nano tank stand may be a manageable project even for a beginner. However, keep in mind that there will be some planning required. Basic tools, some carpentry skills, and patience will be required if you want to build a quality aquarium stand.

Here’s Dave from Twisted Woodshop showing you how he built an aquarium stand. The results are quite amazing.