For many people, a 55-gallon fish tank is an ideal size. It’s not really all that huge, but it’s big enough to have zones for lots of smaller fish or for aggressive African Cichlids. You can also use it to house big fish. But the thing is, its size and weight when full can present a problem.
Its dimensions can reach 48” x 13” x 21” and its weight with water can reach up to 550 pounds. You can’t just put it on a flimsy table or shelf. You need a robust 55-gallon fish tank stand.
My recommended 55-gallon stand is the Aquatic Fundamentals, continue reading for more options.
Types of Aquarium Stand
There are different types of stands to choose from. However, you basically have 3 options: wood, metal, or a mixed media stand. They each have their own pros and cons.
For many this is a popular choice, and one reason for that is because it is typically the most affordable of them all. They’re usually designed to support the edges of an aquarium, so that means they’re only good for glass fish tanks and not for acrylics.
You will have to make sure that the metal fish tank stand is treated properly for corrosion-resistance. This s an absolute priority, as there’s a good chance it’ll get wet and if it rusts you’re going to have a big problem. It can all come crashing down.
There’s also one common problem with metal stands, and that’s the lack of storage space for your additional aquarium equipment. That means you’ll have to buy more stands to place your accessories near the fish tank.
For many, wood is a good choice. It’s like buying another piece of furniture, and the material makes a good match for the other pieces of furniture in the room. It’s also the ideal stand for acrylic tanks, as they provide full support for the bottom of the aquarium.
One distinct advantage of this type of stand is that you can find many that offer cabinets and drawers for your accessories. Also, there’s a lot of variety in wood styles and finishes, so you can pick one that matches the room’s overall interior design.
With wood stands, you’ll again have to be very concerned about how it deals with getting wet. It must be finished properly so that it can stand getting wet on a regular basis.
Wood stands can be made with particle board or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Particle boards don’t make for high-quality stands, however. They don’t do well with high-moisture situations. When you get them wet on a regular basis, there’s a very good chance that it will eventually fall apart. MDF is a much better option.
The main drawback of wood is that it’s much more expensive than metal stands.
Usually, this type offers a wood support, but the metal provides the material for the locking fasteners. That makes it able to support acrylic tanks firmly. However, the cost can be so much higher.
There’s a 4th type that’s being introduced to the market, and that’s stands made from special plastics. There are a few laminate stands, and even an acrylic stand. These can hold up to water very well, and they can usually match the look of a tank so that you get a more visually appealing tank/stand combination. But these stands are very uncommon.
Advantages of a Ready Made Stand
When you have a stand for your aquarium, it solves a lot of your problems but only if you get the right one. You have to specifically look for a 55-gallon aquarium stand so that you know it can bear the weight, and that its design is built for the right dimensions.
However, it also matters whether your aquarium is glass or acrylic. With a glass aquarium, it’s enough that you provide support for only the outer edges of the tank. But acrylic is a different matter, and you’ll need bottom support for the entire width and length of the tank.
Disadvantages of a Stand
Of course, the most obvious drawback is that you’ll have to spend more money, and it may seem that this hobby is all about buying stuff. What can be annoying is that you need to buy the right stand, or else you’re going to waste your money.
That means you need to devote some time and effort in making your choice of stand. That means reading reviews and factoring in your needs. You don’t just consider the need of your aquarium, but also the look of your room so that the interior design is coherent and appealing. The wrong choice can make your room look worse.
Hopefully, you already know the basic rules of aquarium placement. You don’t put them in direct sunlight or near vents, or any place that can rapidly change the temperature in the fish tank. You’ll want to avoid putting it near doors, speakers, or heavy foot traffic so the noise and constant activity don’t stress the fish.
You also need to make sure that your stand is near a power outlet for your accessories. Plus, you’ll need to be near a water drain and source.
But you’ll have special concerns with a 55-gallon fish tank stand because of the dimensions and the weight. Avoid putting it in the middle of a room, where it can cause the floor to sag. Instead, place it right next to a weight-bearing wall.
55-gallon Aquarium Stands Reviews
If you’re a beginner, here are some stands that offer good value for money.
1. Aquatic Fundamentals 55 Gallon Upright Aquarium Stand
This mixed-media measures 49.4 x 13.1 x 28.2 inches which makes it suitable for the typical 55-gallon tank dimensions.
It’s a cabinet-style stand that offers full bottom support and storage space. It weighs 74.6 pounds.
- It’s easy to assemble with its clear instructions.
- It’s good for acrylic tanks too.
- It’s made of dense fiberboard, with moisture-resistant powder coat finish.
- The locking cam assembly is made with metal parts.
- It looks great and classy.
- It’s the most expensive on this list, although the price is still reasonable.
- There aren’t any adjustable feet for leveling.
2. Petco Brooklyn 55 Gallon Metal Tank Stand
This metal stand is very basic, and it measures 48.5 x 13.5 x 29.5 inches. That’s good enough to fit nicely with the standard 48" x 13" x 21" dimensions of a 55-gallon tank.
It only provides support for the edges, however, so it’s limited to glass tanks. It weighs 34.5 pounds.
- It’s made from durable solid steel, and it’s strong enough to support much more than 550 pounds.
- It comes with powder coated finish for moisture resistance.
- It also has adjustable feet so you can level the stand before you add the tank.
- It’s very affordable.
- It’s easy to assemble.
- It’s limited to glass tanks.
- There aren’t any adjustable feet for leveling.
- Its look is more functional than stylish.
- The finish scratches easily.
3. Aquatic Fundamentals Mixed Media Series with Storage
This stand measures 48" x 13.5" x 27.87" and weighs 69 pounds. It comes with a top shelf, along with two cabinets at the bottom.
It’s made from MDF, with the locking cam assembly made of metal.
- It’s easy to put together.
- It looks quite stylish, and the top shelf allows you to accessorize it further.
- You’ve got ample storage space.
- When it gets wet, you should wipe it down right away.
- You’ll also have to make sure the feet are level before you put in the tank.
4. Caitec Bird Toys Double Aquarium Stands
This metal stand measures 50.5" L x 32" H x 13" W, with a dimension opening of 46.5" x 11.25".
The top shelf holds a 55-gallon tank, with the bottoms shelf supporting the same type of tank or something smaller as well.
- With this configuration, you don’t take up as much space in the room.
- It’s powder-coated to resist corrosion and water damage.
- It’s very easy to put together because of its very basic design, and you don’t even need tools for the assembly.
- You’re going to have to really make sure that the feet aren’t wobbly.
- The configuration can also be very heavy, so make sure your floor placement can take the weight.
5. Aquatic Fundamentals 50/65 Gallon Upright Stand
What really sets this aquarium stand apart is that doesn’t just support the aquarium at the corners. It’s a solid top stand, and so it supports every square inch of the tank bottom.
This means it can support a wide variety of aquariums, including smaller or rounded tanks that don’t have corners at the right spots (or any corners at all).
The high quality of this stand is also demonstrated by the use of a metal to metal locking cam assembly. It’s very different and much longer-lasting than those cheaper stands that cut costs by using wood screws and glue in their construction.
Finally, unlike metal frames, this stand functions double as a storage compartment inside. You just push the front panel and it functions as a magnetic door. Inside, you have lots of space for your supplies, and when the door is closed you get a very attractive stand to complement your aquarium.
- It’s very easy to assemble. All the parts are labeled, and the instruction sheet comes with understandable instructions. Just lay out the parts and read the directions, and then read them again for good measure. All the predrilled holes are in their proper locations, and all you need is a screwdriver.
- It’s very beautiful.
- You don’t have to worry about its sturdiness and durability.
- The room bottom is very handy, and with the door it looks good.
- People who rush the assembly may have some trouble at first because you really should take the time to read the instructions first.
- Some people may wish for a shelf in the storage compartment, but this may compromise the integrity of the entire stand.
It really depends on the type of aquarium you have.
If it’s a glass tank, I’d recommend the Petco Brooklyn. It’s very strong and easy to assemble, and it looks good. But its winning feature is that you can adjust the feet. With these heavy tanks, you really want to make sure you don’t have a wobbly stand at all.
Now if your aquarium is acrylic, I’d go with the Aquatic Fundamentals Mixed Media Series. It looks fantastic, and its MDF material is durable enough. Also, the two cabinets offer a lot of storage space for your accessories.