Stock Tank Pool Setup Tips
Stock tank pools are appealing because of their simplicity, but there are a few things your should know about setting up yours. Whether you're starting with the bare necessities (tank only) or installing a Bellagio style water feature with a laser light show, start here for simple tips to get you going. For even more tips, check out Tractor Supply's great article on stock tank pools.
Tip 1: Find a flat, level spot
Sounds simple, right? No matter where you put your pool, you'll need two things for its location: 1) it should be flat (free of rocks, roots, and humps), and 2) the location should be level. Many owners already have a spot in their yard that fits this requirement, but double-check with a construction level and visual inspection first.
If you're placing it on a deck, be VERY careful about weight. The largest stock tank can weigh as much as a Suburban when filled, so be sure the structure can hold it.
Lastly, if submerging the pool in the ground, be sure it isn't TOO low. The last thing you'll want is the first rain storm to flood your pool with mud, rocks, and debris. Find a spot that is elevated and/or leave a minimum of 4" of height between the top of the tank and the ground level.
Tip 2: Consider shading
Metal is an excellent thermal conductor, so stock tank pools can be susceptible to large temperature swings, especially in direct sun. So shading can be an important factor when selecting a location for your pool. For cooler northern climates, you may want the full sun to warm up the pool. However, in hot climates, shade from trees, your home, or a fence can help keep your stock tank pool up to 25 degrees cooler than in the direct sun, making it much more pleasant in the summer.
If you want to avoid the heat of the afternoon sun, find a spot that is either directly under or slightly east of your shade source. The best way to check is go outside around 2:00 PM and find where the shade is, whether east of your home or adjacent to trees. That's where you'll get the most shade and relief from the heat and where you should consider putting your pool.
Tip 3: Drain or maintain?
Stock tank pools are great when they're clean and clear. They're not so great when murky, grimy, and full of debris, so don't forget that stock tank pools require maintenance and upkeep. The two options are:
To get around this, some people choose to simply fill their tank only when they use it, then drain the water when finished. This is probably the easiest way and lowest maintenance, but also requires more water. Depending on your climate and temperature, a filling can last a few days before it gets too much of "the funk." Be sure that your tank has a way to drain: some tanks include a built-in drain spigot, otherwise you'll need to buy a utility pump like this for $55 from Amazon (bonus: included suction attachment removes water down to 1/8-inch) or install a drain yourself.
The other option is to fill the tank once then add traditional pool chemicals and "shock" once a week. Stock tank pools are much smaller than traditional pools, so they don't require nearly as much chemicals, saving you costs. Here's a good pool chemical starter kit from Amazon for $24 plus $5 shipping (it handles up to 7,500 gallons, so the kit will last you a while).