The Best 20 Gallon Aquarium Stands And Cabinets For Standard Or Long Tanks

Whether you own a standard or long tank, our guide to the best 20 gallon aquarium stand will help you choose the right fit for your tank and your home.

By Julie Millis
Last updated on

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best 20 gallon aquarium stand

A 20 gallon fish tank is a very common size for the home as it’s a good size for a small community of fish without being too large for your room. The best way to properly support this size of aquarium safely is to find a 20 gallon aquarium stand.

We spent hours of research and assessment to bring you the best 20 gallon aquarium stand picks, and overall chose the Aqueon Forge Aquarium Stand for its design, sturdiness, and versatility.

But choosing the best 20 gallon fish tank stand is as much about finding a beautiful piece of furniture for your home as it is about your tank. That’s why we also assessed a range of modern and traditional frames and cabinets for you to choose from.

Remember, a 20 gallon fish tank can weigh 220+ lbs when filled, so we always recommend you use a 20 gallon aquarium stand.

So, that said, let’s go ahead and get started!

  1. Best Overall: Aqueon Forge 20 Gallon Aquarium Stand
  2. Best For Versatility: Ameriwood Home Flipper 10/ 20 Gallon Aquarium Stand
  3. Best For Budget: Aquatic Fundamentals Aquarium Stand
  4. Best For Long Tank: Imagitarium Brooklyn Metal Tank Stand
  5. Best Modern Frame: Aquatic Fundamentals Steel X
  6. Best Large Cabinet: Ollie & Hutch Farmington 10/20 Gallon Aquarium Stand
  7. Best Wooden Frame: Imagitarium Newport Wooden Tank Stand

Best 20 Gallon Aquarium Stand Picks Reviewed

We assessed a range of fish tank stands and cabinets against durability, functionality, versatility, and design to bring you our top picks for the best 20 gallon aquarium stand available.

1. Aqueon Forge 20 Gallon Aquarium Stand

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Material And Style: Powder-coated steel frame
  • Dimensions: 27.25 (l) x 18.25 (d) x 28.25 (h) inches
  • Maximum Gallons: Top shelf 20 gallons, bottom shelf 10 gallons
  • Key Features: Duals shelves to support two tanks, reversible black/ light brown front wooden panel that hinges for access to bottom aquarium, reversible black/ light brown bottom shelf
  • Best for: Overall

Our overall top pick is the fantastic Aqueon Forge, which has two shelves to support a 20 gallon and 10 gallon fish tank. The stand will hold a standard 24 x 12 inch 20 gallon tank on top. But as the top shelf is actually 27.25 x 18.25 inches, it’s fine if your aquarium is slightly bigger.

Access to the bottom aquarium is easy as the center panel hinges upwards, allowing you to get to it for maintenance. Alternatively, the bottom shelf is great for storing supplies. The panel and shelf are also reversible, so you can choose black or brown wood to suit your decor.

We found the instructions clear and well illustrated, and it’s incredibly simple to assemble as there are just 7 easy steps. Overall this is an awesome stand for your 20 gallon tank, and is deserving of the praise from customers for being a sturdy and stylish piece of furniture too!

2. Ameriwood Home Flipper 10/ 20 Gallon Aquarium Stand

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Material And Style: Laminated MDF and particleboard cabinet
  • Dimensions: 25.0 (l) x 15.69 (d) x 28.0 (h) inches
  • Maximum Gallons: 20 gallons or 10 gallons
  • Key Features: Supports 20 gallon tank or can be ‘flipped’ over to fit 10 gallon fish tank, single cabinet and 2 shelves for storage
  • Best for: Versatility

Ameriwood’s Flipper is our pick for the most versatile fish tank stand as it can support your 20 gallon aquarium, or be ‘flipped’ right over to support a 10 gallon fish tank. And the 25.0 x 15.69 inch platform can hold up to 240 lbs – perfect size and support for a 20 gallon fish tank!

The stand is very stable, and comes in several colors including Black Oak, Rustic Oak, and Ivory. In fact, Ameriwood have many TV stands and tables in their Ameriwood Home range which you can pair perfectly with the stand.

You get plenty of storage with the 16.5 x 14 x 12.5 inch cupboard with an easy access slot at the rear if you want to wire in equipment. And it’s sandwiched between two shelves for more storage or home decor. Overall a beautiful piece of furniture and an excellent aquarium stand!

3. Aquatic Fundamentals Aquarium Stand

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Material And Style: Powder-coated traditional steel frame
  • Dimensions: 24.3 (l) x 12.5 (d) x 27.8 (h) inches
  • Maximum Gallons: 20 gallons
  • Key Features: Powder coated frame, supports 20 gallon fish tank up to 200 lbs, traditional style frame with scrollwork
  • Best for: Budget

The Aquatic Fundamentals powder-coated steel framed aquarium stand is an excellent choice if you are on a budget. It may be cost effective, but it looks very stylish with its scrollwork, so great if you want a classic look for your home.

Whilst its a slimline frame with a footprint of 24.3 x 12.5 inches, it’s still incredibly sturdy and can hold up to 200 lbs. Note that it needs to be completely level to prevent any wobbling, and that some 20 gallon tanks can weigh up to 220 lbs when filled so do check yours first.

The frame only supports the edges of your tank which does mean you need to carefully check the base measurements to ensure a good fit. Overall, a strong but beautiful frame that is cost effective with a classic look!

4. Imagitarium Brooklyn Metal Tank Stand

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Material And Style: Powder-coated modern steel frame
  • Dimensions: 30.0 (l) x 12.5 (d) x 29.5 (h) inches
  • Maximum Gallons: 29 gallons
  • Key Features: Powder-coated frame, supports up to 29 gallon fish tank, adjustable feet for leveling
  • Best for: Long Tank

The Imagitarium Brooklyn stand is a fantastic option if you have a 20 gallon long tank. Whilst it can support a 29 gallon aquarium, the 30.0 x 12.5 inch dimensions are actually perfect for most 20 gallon long tanks too.

It’s very easy to assemble without needing any special tools, and comes with adjustable feet – really useful when trying to get a long aquarium fully level. We found the fixings to be simple to fit together, and the whole thing can be taken apart easily in case you ever need to store it.

Overall this stand receives high praise from owners for its durability and stylish looks, with many remarking that the bottom shelf can also support a second smaller tank if you add a plywood shelf.

5. Aquatic Fundamentals Steel X

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Material And Style: Powder-coated modern steel frame
  • Dimensions: 24.25 (l) x 13.0 (d) x 28.0 (h) inches
  • Maximum Gallons: 20 gallons
  • Key Features: Powder coated frame, supports 20 gallon fish tank up to 200 lbs, modern frame with X-brace style
  • Best for: Modern Frame

The ‘Steel X’ aquarium stand from Aquatic Fundamentals is a sleek and modern looking frame that’s capable of supporting up to 200 lbs. Given that some 20 gallon aquariums can weigh around 220 lbs when filled, it’s important you check your weight first.

It comes with stylish wood-grain effect laminated shelves, and the 24.25 x 13.0 inch top is the perfect size for most standard 20 gallon fish tanks. You also have a second bottom shelf which gives room to store your supplies or equipment, and the open back makes wiring easy.

Although some owners report the stand can wobble, we found that as long as you bolt it together firmly it will sit rock solid. And overall owners give fantastic feedback on the Steel X for its modern looks and sturdiness.

6. Ollie & Hutch Farmington 10/20 Gallon Aquarium Stand

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Material And Style: Laminated MDF and particleboard cabinet
  • Dimensions: 26.7 (l) x 15.67 (d) x 30.0 (h) inches
  • Maximum Gallons: 20 gallons
  • Key Features: Cabinet style stand constructed of laminated MDF, two storage shelves, access slot at rear to accommodate wiring, easy to assemble
  • Best for: Large Cabinet

If you want a contemporary, cabinet-style aquarium stand the Ollie & Hutch Farmington is the perfect choice. It’s designed for either a 10 gallon aquarium or 20 gallon tank, and given it can support up to 240 lbs this is plenty strong enough to hold the weight of either.

As well as stylish looks, you get fantastic storage due to the large cabinet. It has a fixed shelf that can hold up to 50 lbs and an adjustable shelf that holds 30 lbs. So if you want to remove the adjustable shelf you can do so to make room for larger equipment like a sump.

Overall this is a sturdy, well-built aquarium stand that doubles as a beautiful piece of furniture for your home too!

7. Imagitarium Newport Wooden Tank Stand

Photo: Amazon.com

  • Material And Style: Laminated particleboard frame
  • Dimensions: 24.75 (l) x 12.75 (d) x 30.25 (h) inches
  • Maximum Gallons: 20 gallons
  • Key Features: Frame constructed of laminated particleboard, two storage shelves, adjustable nylon leveling feet
  • Best for: Budget Wooden Frame

The Imagitarium Newport Wooden Tank Stand is another great option if you are on a budget but looking for a stylish stand. The particleboard construct is sturdy and the 24.75 x 12.75 inch top is just the right size for most standard 20 gallon tanks.

One word of caution is that it’s designed to support up to 180 lbs in weight. Given 20 gallon tanks can get up to 220 lbs when filled, this is a little under. So do check your tank’s weight first and we’d advise keeping the decor light, such as no large rocks!

The stand comes with two further large shelves which are great for storage, equipment, or to display your decor on. But note they are not strong enough for a second aquarium. It also comes with adjustable nylon leveling feet which really help when trying to level it up!

What to Consider When Choosing the Best 20 Gallon Aquarium Stand

A 20 gallon fish tank is a large enough size to need a proper aquarium stand to support it correctly. Here are some of the main things to consider before choosing your stand.

fish tank on wooden stand

Size And Shape Of Your Aquarium

20 gallon fish tanks are a perfect size for starting a small community and come in many shapes and styles. These include bow fronts, cubes, and even large fish bowl shapes. But the most common is the rectangular prism, which gives great horizontal swimming space for your fish.

You’ll generally either find a standard rectangular tank with dimensions of around 24 to 27” length x  12 to 16” width x 16 to 20” height. Or you’ll find the long style which is around 30” length x  12” width x 13” height.

Whichever style you choose, make sure your 20 gallon aquarium stand is large enough to fully support your tank. Any overhang of the aquarium can lead to an uneven distribution of weight and the pressure could cause cracks. 

You’ll sometimes find 20 gallon long aquariums have similar dimensions to a larger 29 gallon aquarium stand. In this case the 29 gallon fish tank stand is the right choice, but always check the measurements to ensure the correct fit.

Weight Of Your Aquarium

An empty 24 x 12 x 16 inch glass 20 gallon fish tank can weigh around 33 lbs. When filled with fresh water (another 167 lbs [1]), substrate and equipment the total can be around 220 lbs. This weight needs to be evenly distributed to avoid excess pressure on the tank’s seams and panels.

Unlike standard furniture, 20 gallon aquarium stands are designed to be reinforced in the right areas to evenly support this weight. This applies whether you are looking at a simple metal frame, or a wooden cabinet.

Height Of Your Aquarium Stand

There are a few factors when considering the height of your aquarium stand. Firstly, you’ll want a height that puts your tank at a good viewing level when seated so you can enjoy the best view of your fish. You’ll also want to make sure your aquarium is accessible for maintenance.

20 gallon aquarium stands are usually around 28 to 30 inches in height. A taller tank may need a slightly lower stand so you can reach inside for cleaning. And if you want a dual stand which can hold a second tank at the bottom, ensure there’s enough clearance to access it too.

Design Vs. Functionality

Like any other piece of furniture for your home, design is mainly going to come down to personal taste and whether your aquarium stand fits your decor. There are numerous metal frame stands in black, gray, and other colors, if you want a sleek, minimalist look.

But many people prefer the functionality of a cabinet, where supplies and equipment can be stored out of sight. In fact, dedicated saltwater stands are often cabinets to hide sumps or external filters. Again, there are many stylish, colored cabinets, and also rustic wooden types.

How To Choose The Best 20 Gallon Aquarium Stand

The following factors are key when choosing the best 20 gallon aquarium stand for you and your home.

Build Quality And Materials

The material your aquarium stand is made from is one of the main factors when it comes to build quality. Most fish tank stands are either made of:

  • Particleboard: This material tends to be the least expensive option but is certainly strong enough for 20 gallon fish tanks, and used by many top brands.
  • MDF: Medium-Density Fiberboard is a stronger version of particleboard which is more dense and is heat-compressed with resin. Many cabinets use MDF and particleboard.
  • Plywood: This is stronger than MDF and standard in more expensive cabinets. It can still react to water though, so plywood stands are again coated for water resistance.
  • Metal: For larger aquariums you’ll find many stands use metal, usually powder-coated steel, to support the heavy weight. 

Whilst metal is also used in 20 gallon aquarium stands, you can confidently choose any of these materials to support a 20 gallon fish tank. Although a note of caution, particleboard and MDF are not ideal for marine tanks as exposure to saltwater can degrade the fiber and resin mix.

Whichever type of material you choose, keep an eye on the quality of the specific product you are looking at by reading reviews on sites like Amazon and looking for factors like a steady base and good weight distribution.

Space And Your Environment

dining area with chairs

When choosing the best 20 gallon aquarium stand for you it’s also important to consider the space and environment you have at home. Do you have room for a cabinet with enough space to get around for maintenance? Or would a slimline steel stand be more suitable?

If you keep your fish tank in an area with kids or pets you may also want to look for certain traits. Stands with a tapered wide base, for example, are great for extra stability. And some stands have a raised edge which prevents the aquarium from sliding off if it is knocked.

Steel aquarium stands are a great choice if you’re worried about scratches. These metal stands resist scrapes better than wooden cabinets, but of course there’s the trade off of a cabinet providing more hidden storage.

Store Bought Vs. DIY Aquarium Stands

As a 20 gallon aquarium is a common and relatively small size, you’ll find plenty of store bought options to support your tank. This is by far the easiest option for this size of tank, and we’ve featured a range of them in metal and wood finishes in our reviews above.

The other alternative is a custom or DIY stand. If you choose this option just ensure you use the right materials discussed, and check your stand is level and can support the 220+ lbs weight.

Our Verdict

We chose the Aqueon Forge Aquarium Stand as our top pick for the best 20 gallon aquarium stand based on its sturdiness, beautiful design, and ability to hold a 10 gallon fish tank too.

But if you’d rather choose a cabinet for your home the Ameriwood Home Flipper is another highly versatile stand, which you can even pair with other matching furniture in the Ameriwood Home range.

At the end of the day, the choice comes down to personal preference and what will suit your home best, as all of the aquarium stands in our list will work brilliantly for a 20 gallon fish tank!

FAQs

We’ve answered the most commonly asked questions about 20 gallon fish tank stands. Check out the answers here.

How Much Does A 20 Gallon Aquarium Weigh?

A glass 20 gallon aquarium weighs around 220 lbs when filled with fresh water, substrate, and decor. It can be slightly more for saltwater, so check your stand can support at least this weight.

Does A 20 Gallon Aquarium Need A Stand?

If you have an aquarium around 10 gallons you may be able to support it using a very sturdy desk, but a 20 gallon aquarium weighing 220+ lbs must be supported by a dedicated stand

Can I Put A 20 Gallon Fish Tank On A Desk Or TV Stand?

TV stands aren’t designed to support or distribute the weight of a 20 gallon aquarium and must not be used. Most desks are unlikely to support it either, so a tank stand is the safer choice.

How Do I Level An Aquarium Stand?

Place the stand in its location and check the top using a level. If it’s not level, use plastic shims (i.e. wedges) under the feet. Once level, you can screw the shim to the frame for added security.

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AUTHOR
Julie Millis
Julie has worked in aquatics for over 15 years. She is passionate about freshwater and saltwater tanks. Julie loves helping with all your fish-keeping questions!

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