Why are tank stands so tall?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by superbutterfly12, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. superbutterfly12Well Known MemberMember

    SO I've been drooling over the 210 gallon display at my LFS for a long time. But I hate the stand. It's too tall. I'm short and want to be able to look into the tank. For some reason the bottom of the tank seems to always start 28-36 inches off the ground. Why? Who made this dumb rule? If I were making a stand for these giant tank I would make it 12-24 inches tall!

    Someday...like 10 years from now maybe I'll do that, build a short stand and just get the tank. I could have sooo many fish in there!
  2. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    If there is an answer, I want to know! For now the only explanation I can come up with is that tanks look bigger up high and people want them to look impressive.
  3. OP

    superbutterfly12Well Known MemberMember

    I'm not the only short fishkeeper? Lol

  4. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    I feel your pain I'm short too, I have to stand on a stool to do any cleaning in my 60 gallon & even then I can barely reach the bottom

  5. clk89

    clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    I'm pretty short too, and actually made my own tank stand so I could reach the tank lol. ;) Part of the height on stands may be for stability.
  6. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Surely it would be more stable on a lower stand!
  7. clk89

    clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    That a great point! I admit I am no expert on stands, could be they simply did it to make it look grander on display. ;)
  8. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    I think that's it;D I'm always seriously impressed by the 40 gallon tanks at my LPS because they're on stands that are also on display shelves. They look huge! Yet my 80 and 95 gallon tanks waiting in the wings on the floor look teeny to my eyes:;dk
  9. clk89

    clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    Ha, my 40 gallon breeder on the floor looks huge to me. Then again it's my first big tank, the ten gallon is pretty tiny compared to it.
  10. slayer5590

    slayer5590Well Known MemberMember

    It's for room to put equipment in the stand. Bigger tanks usually use larger and/or more equipment.
  11. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    So then why are the stands for 10 gallon tanks the same height?
  12. slayer5590

    slayer5590Well Known MemberMember

    Most metal stands are made to stack tanks on top of each other. Wood stands are made to hide canisters and for storage.
  13. rishoNew MemberMember

    I just joined, was looking for a similar topic but am compelled to comment. The world is designed for a human for average height of about 5 feet 7 inches. So if you're taller or smaller (and great things come in small sizes, just so that you know...) you don't fit the "mold". Having said that, physically there is no reason why the mid-line of your tank isn't at your eye level. You may have to have stand specially made and so you may already know about things specially made to order. So, the height of your stand is only limited to the height of your sump or filter or other equipment you're storing in the bottom of your stand.
  14. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    That is my height! So why are tank stands so tall?;)
  15. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    I think that's a big part of it.

    This is also correct.

    I am currently using a stand I bought back in the 1970s or early '80s, and it's made to hold two 55 gallon tanks. And that's how we're using it:


    I do also think that people often want to see a tank at more of "eye level" rather than looking down into it from the top, which is often ugly, not see-through, etc. So they don't want the average viewer to have to squat down to see inside.

    That means that the top of the aquarium is hard to reach for many people without using a stepladder or something.

    But the stands are really made for the "viewer" as opposed to the "maintenance crew". (That's us!)

    It falls into the whole mindset of people thinking of aquariums as "decor" for the home or office.

    Think about the height at which you'd hang a painting or photographs on a wall in a gallery or even in your home. You'd really like the center to top of the artwork to be at typical eye level, I guess.

    I remember installing a flat screen TV years ago when we finally broke down and got one. I read up about it on-line and found a number of articles about where and how high you should mount a big screen TV.

    I had to really work to convince my wife that where I wanted to put it wouldn't be too high. But I'd read article after article about it, and came to an average of the recommendations. We mounted it there, and after living with it that way, she agrees that the height is excellent.

    But you'd never think to mount it up that high at first. Probably because we were used to older, smaller, CRT TVs, and they always seemed to be in their own cabinet, or set on something fairly low.

    I suspect most stands are actually pretty well thought out with regard to "viewing height". It's just a pain when you're the one who has to work on it!

    For me, working in the bottom of the two tanks shown above is more of a pain. I've gotta get down on my knees on the floor when doing a gravel-vacuuming. It works, but it's not the best. At least with the top tank, I can work from a standing position. But that's for me, and obviously wouldn't be for everyone.

    It would be more expensive to make them so they were sturdy, but it might be nice to have adjustable stands. A lot of people might choose heights other than the standards we usually see.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  16. OP

    superbutterfly12Well Known MemberMember

    I guess that 5 7 person was wearing heels that day? I'm 5 4 with short arms how i supposed to maintain and aquascape a tank where the rim is over my head? I'm thinking one that's lower could even have a useable counter or shelf space above it..
  17. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    I keep a 25 gallon tank on a low stand, top of the tank is around armpit height, which is perfect for maintenance as far as I'm concerned!
  18. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Your short arms may be more of a problem than your height, now that you mention it. A step-ladder thing would get you up high enough, but that still won't let you reach down to the bottom of a tank that's tall itself.

    I think the 55s are 18" tall. I have to roll up my sleeve way up high to grope around in the bottom. For a shorter person, with shorter arms, this would be a real pain because you'd have to get your whole shoulder in there!

    I do put the gravel in pretty deep, though, so reaching the bottom is only about 16" on mine. ;)

    We do have some special "grabbers" we use for feeding worms to the crayfish when we don't want to get wet, and you could use something similar for moving stuff around, too.

    One of the grabbers even came with a blade attachment for trimming underwater plants. We've never used it, so I can't vouch for its effectiveness.
  19. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Good point actually, I seem to have longer-than-average arms;)
  20. OP

    superbutterfly12Well Known MemberMember

    Yea short arms are a bit of a hindrance. My 36 gallon is a great height for viewing but to do my initial hardscaping with rocks i had to stand on a chair and still had my husband out the larger rocks in because even on a chair i would have had to drop them an inch or two and was afraid of chipping the glass. If the stand was just 2 or 3 inches shorter it would be easier for me on that one!

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice