What to Do When an Aquarium Stand is Bowing in the Middle?

Large aquariums or fish tanks typically need an aquarium stand. But occasionally, the aquarium’s central section tends to bend considerably. Your eyes might not immediately be able to see it.

Usually, this issue arises when the aquarium is excessively heavy. The aquarium’s weight might distort and deform the platform of the stand if it is too frail to support it.

I’ll explain the causes of an aquarium stand bowing in the middle problem in this post. I’ll also tell you how to avoid this problem from happening in the first place.

So continue reading to find out more about the warping of an aquarium stand.

Why Does the Aquarium Stand Bow in the Middle?

Typically, wood or metal is used to create the aquarium stand. If the aquarium is large, the support is often built of wood. Metal is preferred for smaller aquariums.

Due to their tendency to bear less weight, steel ones rarely become bent. But after time, the wooden ones appear to distort. Let’s look at the reasons why this happens:

  1. If the stand is made out of bad quality wood.
  2. The wood has not been processed properly.
  3. There are not enough legs or supportive pillars on the stand.
  4. The stand is too fragile to hold a large fish tank.
  5. The wood has become weak due to water leaking or spilling from the aquarium.
  6. There is no structural foundation underneath the tank’s middle part.
  7. The aquarium is not flush with the stand.

You should thoroughly examine the foundation of your aquarium stand and get it repaired if any of these problems are present.

How Do You Fix a Bowed Aquarium Stand?

If your aquarium stand is bowing in the middle, you should get it fixed immediately. The chance of the base getting broken is slim. But the more you delay, the more deformed the stand will get.

Follow this step-by-step guide to fixing a bowed stand:

  • First of all, take out the fishes inside the aquarium carefully and place them inside big buckets of water. Then, take out the water and the aquarium from the top of the stand.
  • Then, unscrew the bowed platform. Take it apart from the rest of the stand. If there are pieces of wood columns on the inside of the stand, take those off using a screwdriver and hammer.
  • Now, you will need to add some strong 2x4s. Measure the length and width of the base and cut the 2x4s. Now, put the four 2x4s on each corner of the inside of the aquarium and drill it with the frame.
  • Now, you have to build a top frame. Cut out two more 2x4s and install those on top of the other four 2x4s on the longer side.
  • Then, you have to cut out two 2x2s by measuring the gaps between the two 2x4s on the top.
  • Drill the 2x2s with the 2x4s. You should also drill them into the side of the aquarium stand.
  • Now for the middle part, you should install two 2x4s according to the stand’s structure. You should also install two supports for the 2x4s connecting with the base of the tank.
  • You should also add support on the side of the stand. Install two smaller lumber columns on each side of the inside of the stand.

While drilling, you should drill out the holes first and then drill in the screws. If you drill the screws in without making holes, the wood may crack.

How to Prevent the Aquarium Stand Bowing in Middle Problem?

You should stick to a few guidelines in addition to designing sturdy support for the aquarium to avoid the stand from bowing. Precautions are always preferable to having to reconfigure the stand.

The aquarium stand should be leveled as your top priority. If there are gaps between the aquarium and the stand on either side, the aquarium puts a strong load on the center of the stand.

You need to use an aquarium leveler, a spirit level, and a leveling kit to correctly level the aquarium.

To make sure the aquarium is level with the stand, you should also place rubber mats, Styrofoam, polystyrene, or other objects underneath it. You should also ensure that there is no water spilling on the frame.

How to Make a Strong DIY Aquarium Stand?

Making an aquarium stand from scratch requires some carpentry skills. But the result will be far better than purchasing a stand from the market. It is also less expensive to build your own.

So, let’s take a look at how to make a homemade aquarium stand that will not deform and bow in the middle.

  1. Measure the size of the aquarium to establish the stand’s measurements. Use sturdy wood like oak to make the stand. To fit the appropriate proportions, cut off the pieces of wood.
  2. Using four smaller and two larger pieces of lumber, construct a frame. They may be joined to create three squares. To create two such frames, repeat this technique.
  3. Next, attach height-cut columns to the cross braces at each corner. To make the middle part strong, install four more height-cut columns in the middle of each row.
  4. Next, use a drill to place a piece of plywood on the bottom portion after cutting it to size.
  5. Attach four pieces of plywood to each of the stand’s four sides. Add trim to the frame’s sides to make it stronger.
  6. The structure is now prepared. To make it look great, all you need to do is sand the wood and paint it.
  7. The stands bought from shops are made of thin pieces of lumber. So, keep in mind that you can use bigger pieces of wood to make a strong structure that can withhold the weight of a big aquarium.

Which Tools Do You Need to Fix a Bowing Aquarium Stand?

If you wish to repair an aquarium stand bowing in the middle issue, you might need to purchase a few items. Look at my recommendations below:

  1. Black + Decker 8v Max Cordless Drill Kit
    – A versatile 43-piece set including level and fasteners.
    – Cordless, lightweight, and compact for woodworks.
  2. 2 in. x 4 in. Construction Premium Wood Lumber 4FT
    – Strong piece of wood ideal for making furniture.
    – Needs to be dried up before using.
  3. Craftsman Torpedo Level 9-Inch
    – Molded with rubber for shock resistance and accurate reading.
    – Maximum accuracy of 0.5 millimeters per meter.
  4. Metabo HPT 10-Inch Miter Saw Single Bevel 15-Amp
    – 24.2-pound weight for better portability.
    – Provides a large table for better support while cutting wood.
  5. Fluval Flex Aquarium Anti-Slip Pad
    – It is perfect for levelling the aquarium with the stand.
    – 32.5 x 15.75 inches anti-slip pad.


It is not difficult to make sure that the aquarium stand is not deforming. Regular aquarium and stand maintenance will help you avoid this problem.

You now know how to prevent the aquarium stand bowing in middle problem. Additionally, I discussed the causes, solutions, and DIY stand-building process.

For a smart solution and a wonderful fishkeeping experience, follow my instructions properly.

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Arif H Fahim

Welcome to PetFishTank! My name is Arif. I make an effort to publish educational articles using my many years of expertise as a fish owner.

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