Having an appropriate stand for your aquarium is essential to the stability of your tank. As many aquariums in the 11-19 gallon range have unique shapes, finding a stand specifically made for it is generally ideal when possible. Even smaller aquariums can weigh 100lbs or more once water and gravel is added, making them too much weight for many average shelves. An aquarium stand is both safe for your tank and turns your aquarium into a stylish piece of home furniture.
While some shelving may work, a stand made specifically for the correct sized aquarium is the best way to ensure you have stable support for your tank. As freshwater averages around 8lbs per gallon of water, even smaller tanks can have significant weight once set up. A poor fitting stand can cause your tank to leak or crack, so caution should be used if not using a commercially manufactured aquarium stand.