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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I’m a business student at Idaho State University currently finishing up my degree with one last project over the summer. My assignment is to work with a client who wants to build custom-made steel fish tank stands (all sizes) for the Southern Idaho/Northern Utah markets. To this end, I have spoken with numerous small, medium, and large pet stores throughout the area and have a good idea about product demand amongst this group. What I’m lacking, however, is information about demand from the actual end consumers and so I am seeking out help in this forum.

Is there anyone on here willing to share their insights? Specifically, in your personal experience what do most people use to hold their tank? How popular are steel tank stands? Is this an item most people buy directly from the store or is there a desire to have a custom design. Finally, how do people respond to price (e.g., is the cheapest option usually the best or do people appreciate higher end quality)?

I do realize that I am researching a small geographic area and this is a national forum. Please feel free to share your experience no matter where you live. Thanks in advance for any assistance. Any information is appreciated.
 

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I'm guessing that steel tank stands might be sought out more by people making serious efforts at breeding one or more type of fish. Or even by folks who may have a "fish room" and just want many tanks in a particular area. The ability to house multiple tanks on one tiered stand would be an advantage in these cases.

For display tanks in family living spaces, the cabinet style stands are more aesthetically pleasing and able to hold/hide much of the equipment for the tanks. I have 7 tanks in family living space. Two are small ones on my kitchen counter and the others are on the cabinet-style stands. Steel tank stands would not be a choice for me.
 

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I like the decorative stands best myself, and I think it could work well for certain breeding instances. My main thing is a place to house and heat individual containers since I breed bettas. I am currently using a commercial shelf to house them. A metal stand in the right dimensions or even a nice wooden one where I can hide my food cultures or equipment would be ideal. This one doesnt have enough shelving.
 

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Most people want cheap, that's why the most popular brands of any given product are the cheapest (cars, dog food, fish food, etc.).

If I use a metal stand I use the knockdown ones found on drsfostersmith.com (I get them from a local wholesaler too). They are cheap, strong, slim, look good, and since they knockdown they are compact when shipped and can be broken down for storage or moving.

In my experience with customers most want wood but go with the cheap end. The pine majesty type stands are usually the cheapest solid wood stands.

Custom metal stands would be most appropriate for large tanks, especially huge custom tanks) but they will have wood around them, the metal is just the physical support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi everyone,

Thank you very much for your feedback. I truly appreciate all the response. I'm getting great insight and it's all helping shape my final conclusions. The more I get into this, the more I am coming to find out the client will never be able to compete for the budget shoppers. There are too many cheaper options at the low-end that can beat them hands down on price. However, it does seem as though there is a market for higher end stands if they offer the right features. As majerah1 points out, being able to hide cords and equipment can be a real draw. Someone on another forum said they would appreciate a magnetic exterior that would conceal everything behind, but could also be easily swapped out for a new design. Other suggestions have been adjustable legs to help with the leveling process and adding those grommets to that allow electrical cords to pass through to the back and/or top. Point being there does appear to be some demand out there, they just have to target the right segment of customers.

Thanks again. You guys are the best.
 

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It's a little late maybe but I'll throw my 2 cents in. I think for the smaller tanks, 55g and lower, it's pretty easy and cheap to find a decent stand. Metal or furniture quality. But larger ones pose many problems. Cost, strength and aesthetics are just a few. (My 125g probably weighs around 1400 lbs and is 6 feet long) I would go for a metal stand with adjustable legs for leveling and removable shelving. Perhaps an assortment of different coverings for the exterior could be made available as well. Wood panels, doors, etc.
 
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