Small cheap tank stand build (for betta in college room)!

  • #1
Last year at college I had my 15L (3.8 gal) betta tank on a little set of drawers that came with the room. It was non-ideal for a lot of reasons - I wasn't totally confident in its sturdiness, it looked really bad, and it was much bigger (wider and deeper) than the tank, so it took up unnecessary space.

So, this year I decided to make a new stand! My criteria were:

1. Confidence in its sturdiness - well, that's the most important thing really!
2. No bigger "footprint" than necessary, since floor space is limited.
3. Small/light enough to be moved each year.
4. Somewhat water resistant.

I decided to use an old chair for this purpose, since they're built to hold weight, unlike cheap chipboard nightstands etc. Obviously I needed one with a flat and level seat to hold the tank.

Here's the one I found. I believe this is Cold War chic, and sure looks like it could take a direct hit from a nuke:

The seat is level, and built around a flat bit of wood which turned out to be some sort of very hard chipboard. I also liked it because the legs are perfect so it doesn't wobble.

Anyway, I removed the back and seat and took off their vinyl and padding, so now they look like this (still need to sit down and remove the rest of the foam, which was glued to the seat):

Chair back and seat.jpg

But they'll look much nicer when I staple on this fabric, which I have a huge amount of because it was almost the end of the roll so they gave me the whole rest of the roll for the price of one metre!


I was thinking of replacing the seat with plywood, but I couldn't find anything suitable. The chipboard is pretty sturdy and I'm going to cover it with a waterproof plastic under the fabric (I have a fridge in my room and we're required to buy plastic to put under that, so hopefully I'll have some left over).

Anyway, it's a work in progress! Hoping to be done by Sunday.

ETA: Also, it may seem kind of weird that I'm keeping the chair back, but I have a plan in store for that! Watch this space!
  • #2
Looks like an interesting product, look forward to seeing the finished stand
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Here's the chair covered and (almost) reassembled - I can't get the last two screws back in!

Covered chair.jpg

I couldn't quite get all the foam off the seat, which is why it looks a bit bumpy. :-\ As foam is pretty soft (and the bumps aren't huge) I'm hoping it won't make the surface uneven and break my tank. Does anyone think this will be an issue?

ETA: Also I couldn't get a stapler to do the fabric, so I just had to tape it and hope it'd hold once the screws were in. Which seems to be working, except some of the fabric on the top needs to be secured.
  • #4
If the surface is bumpy and un-level, you could potentially have problems. 3.8 gals does not weigh very much, and it will be effected greater by an un-level surface than a bigger tank would.

The only real way to find out at the end of the day is try it Put the tank on it -without the fish- and see what happens. If it appears sturdy, you are good to go.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks Danjamesdixon!

Do you think some aquarium foam would help? Or would that make it worse?
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Haha guys, I feel a bit sheepish now! I took the piece of foam-covered wood home to my parents' place, to see if my brother could help. While there, I found some sandpaper... so yeah, turns out a product designed to remove bumps and make surfaces really smooth is really the best (and easiest) thing for removing bumps and making surfaces really smooth!

Now I've actually managed to make the seat not just tank-safe smooth, but paintable smooth, I've decided to paint it instead of covering it with fabric. Hoping to be able to show you pics of the completed product in a couple of days.
  • #7
That's real progress. Congrats. Be done before Finals. Good luck.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Hey guys! Well this project has been temporarily put on hold for a happy reason - seems either my filter has slowed down or my desk is less vibraty this year, because I had to put my tank on my desk temporarily and so far - knock on wood - it is actually not vibrating my whole desk! So I can have the tank on my desk!

Even though the fewer pieces of furniture in this tiny room, the better - and also I can see Smoky more as a chair is a bit lower than ideal viewing height, I'm kind of sad I didn't need to finish this project!

Anyway, sorry to disappoint anyone who's been following this stand's progress! I'll post back here if I do need to finish it for some reason.

ETA: Here he is, all ready for another exciting semester of college life... er... watching me struggle over essays.

Smoky on desk.jpg
  • #9
Glad it worked out for you

  • #10
Pretty boy!

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