stock tank pool

How To DIY A Stock Tank Pool

On hot days in the summer, do you find yourself wishing that you had a swimming pool? Probably! I know I have. If you’ve ever shopped around to check out costs of pool installation, you know it can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the size and quality of the pool. That’s a little bit steep for some summer heat relief, right? Thankfully, a new trend in economical summertime fun is taking root: stock tank pools.

What are stock tanks?

Stock tanks are large tanks, typically made from durable plastic or galvanized steep, used to keep lifestock hydrated. They are water-tight and usually have some kind of drainage valve to make it easy to drain and clean them. Stock tanks range in size and cost. The smallest stock tanks can cost as little as $50. Larger stock tanks, measuring eight feet wide and two feet deep, can exceed $400. This cost pales in comparison to the expense of putting in a traditional swimming pool. Stock tanks aren’t just less expensive but they’re a lot easier to set up too. Looking at a few of the stock tank setups on Instagram and Pinterest, you get an idea for just how easily they’re set up.


If you want an in-ground pool, you can dig out the necessary hole for the stock tank to fit into. You can also leave your stock tank above ground too. They aren’t generally very tall, so getting into the stock tank wouldn’t be an issue for most.


Common problems with stock tank pools

Stock tanks are smaller than regular pools

If you’re looking for a pool in which to swim laps, stock tank pools aren’t what you’re looking for. These pools are much smaller than standard swimming pools, making them ideal soaking pools but not ideal lap swimming pools.


Stock tanks can build up algae

Stock tank pools have a tendency to build up algae. This is technically true of all swimming pools! You can avoid gross, slimey stuff building up in your pools by regularly skimming leaves and other detritus from the surface of the pool and installed a small pump or aerator in the pool. An aerator will help you avoid needing to use any chemicals in your stock tank pool.


What about winter time?

Stock tanks are highly durable, which makes sense since their intended use is for watering animals in a ranch or farm setting. They need to be able to stand the test of time! During the winter, no special care needs to be given to your stock tank. To avoid snow and leaf buildup, you can flip the tank over for the duration of winter. These tanks are also usually small enough to store in a garage or shed over winter.


Chlorine can make them rust

Chlorine is commonly used to keep pools clean and free of algae and bacteria. In stock tank pools, however, chlorine can make them rust. You can use chlorine anyway, but it’s recommended that you use a floating chlorine dispenser as opposed to a tablet. This can help reduce the amount of rust that the chlorine causes in your tank.


Mosquitoes are an issue

Mosquitoes, as you’re likely aware, have a love for still, standing water. After mating, female mosquitoes will lay their eggs in still water, where they hatch and spend their larval stage. If you’re using a chlorine float, you can add what are called ‘mosquito dunks’ to it to help reduce the issue of mosquitoes. You can also add mosquito netting over the stock tank pool when not in use.


Metal stock tanks get hot

Taking a trip back to 4th grade science class for a moment, metal conducts heat. So on a hot day, your metal stock tank can get pretty warm. A warm pool on a hot day doesn’t seem all that ideal, right? It’s recommended that you position some kind of shade over your stock tank to help keep the tank cool.


Sharp edges?

If your idea of a good time is draping your arms over the edge of a pool, your stock tank might be a bit uncomfortable. The lip of the pool shouldn’t have any sharp edges if it’s been manufactured well, but it is hard and potentially uncomfortable. A simple fix for this is to slice a pool noodle down one side and attach it to the lip of the pool, creating a nice, padded barrier between you and the edge of your stock tank pool.

Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.