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Building a low fish tank cabinet like picture. The width and length is 60*60cm with height around 20cm. It's for fish tank of size 60*60*70cm (roughly around 250kg).

so, the question is whether required to have the bottom horizontal support?

I understand that the top horizontal support is required to spread the load.

1 Answer 1


The fact of the matter is that most of the time an aquarium doesn't have full edge support anyway. Given the extreme rigidity of glass, the center usually floats unless the stand's structure is extremely stiff itself, which would typically require steel and careful shimming. A wood rail flexes enough (if imperceptibly) that it offers virtually no support to the glass mid-span. The glass is quite strong in shear and carries the load itself.

If you support the four corners on a single plane you'll be fine. That is to say, if you set the empty aquarium in place and it doesn't rock on the diagonals, and if there's little or no jiggle in the stand, it should be ok.

For many years I've built stands for my 55 gallon aquarium and smaller ones using two stacks of concrete cinderblocks and two boards laying on them. This means that the aquarium is really only fully supported at two points (at 25% and 75% of the length), and I've had no issues.

  • 1
    Just to echo something said here. There are two modes of failure for the stand: buckle in the middle or twist out the legs. Removing the bottom support primarily affects the latter mode. So you should pay attention to how the legs are attached to the top. Use multiple screws or better yet a bolt or dovetailing to avoid building a table with wobbly legs. When you think it’s ready jump on it and you’ll know for sure.
    – Stanwood
    Nov 15, 2017 at 14:30
  • Good point. I thought about mentioning diagonal bracing, but a low stand with larger lumber like shown above mitigates some of that concern.
    – isherwood
    Nov 15, 2017 at 15:11

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