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   I've always used Styrofoam  under my tanks to make up for the unevenness 
of the stand. The kind I've used is 3/4 inch thick and appears to be the
same stuff they make drinking cups
   The last stand I made I used it up the back and as a frame around the 
front and
cut it to pressure fit the PVC lumber. This is the best stand I've made to 
date for several reasonsFirst it gives a very even surface for the tank to 
sit upon it 
insulates the tank from both heat and cold and it allows the entire front to 
removed  Every Square inch of the stand is easily accessible and it's 
impervious to
water. Of course , it looks like Styrofoam but I've been experimenting with 
ways to
make the material look better. One of the most promising is heating seashells 
the oven and letting them melt into the surface of the Styrofoam. After a 
coat of
latex paint. it looks a lot like fossilized limestone.
  Another great thing about this stand is it cost around 50 dollars for the 
and ventilated canopy.(not including the lights of course}
                                                        Gary     fla.