How to Make a Stock Tank Pool: A Do-it-Yourself Swimming Spot

Heard of the stock tank pool craze? Stock tanks are typically used to water livestock, but lately they’ve begun catching on in a big way as swimming pools, too.

And for good reason: A stock tank’s metal construction makes it sturdier than a kiddie pool, but it’s still much cheaper than a real pool—costing as little as a couple of hundred bucks.

Although stock tanks have been used as swimming pools on farms for many generations (my grandparents had a vintage painting on their wall of kids swimming in a stock tank under a windmill), these “hillbilly pools” are enjoying a Renaissance today among the hipster set.

Farm and ranch equipment stores have seen a recent spike in stock tank sales for uses other than livestock.

“Sales of galvanized stock tanks have doubled since last year,” says Kayla Maddox, product specialist at Tarter Farm & Ranch Equipment in Dunnville, KY.

Want to dip a toe into this trend yourself? Here’s what you need to know about DIY stock tank pools and setting one up for all the refreshing soaks you deserve this summer.

Where To Find Stock Tanks

An array of galvanized stock tanks in many shapes and sizes can be found at most farm and feed stores or their online sites; more and more are also popping up on

Whatever stock tank you choose, make sure it comes with a rust-resistant coating on the inside, like a heavy-duty zinc G90 coating that’s designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. This type of coating is a must-have if you intend to keep your stock tank pool in good shape for years to come.

How Large Can Stock Tanks Get?

Most stock tanks are fairly shallow—about 2 feet deep seems to be the average. There are oval-shaped ones that are sized like a bathtub and could fit a couple of kids or one adult—maybe two, if you really like each other.

Maddox says that two that are selling well as swimming pools include the Round Mega 390, which is 6 feet wide and 2 feet deep, and the Mega 700, which is 8 feet wide and 2 feet deep.

How Do You Set Up A Stock Tank Pool?

Setting up your own stock tank pool is really a simple weekend project. Probably the easiest place to buy the tank and equipment you need (and the bonus accessories you want!) is online at The vendor has created kits with purchase links for everything you need to set up a stock tank pool in three different sizes.

How To Clean A Stock Tank Pool

Since you’re probably not going to want to drain your stock tank pool every other day, it’s recommended that you use swimming pool chemicals (ask at your local pool supply) to keep the water balanced, sanitized, and bacteria-free while it’s filled with water. Attaching a small pool filter will also keep the water moving to guard against impurities and mosquitoes.

And what if you need to drain your pool? Many stock tanks have a spigot for easy drainage. Look for this handy feature before settling on a model.

Are Stock Tank Pools Safe?

As with any pool of any size, never leave children unattended in or around a stock tank pool. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drownings are a leading cause of injury death for children aged 1 to 14. So while stock tank pools are shallow, it’s important to follow these key pool safety tips at all times.

Don’t Those Metal Sides Get Too Hot?

Experts say that no, the sides don’t get too hot to use. However, if you’re still worried, set up your pool in the shade or under an umbrella. Or try this cool hack of lining the side with pool noodles. This can also add a little “padding” for pools frequented by kids.

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