Stock Tank Pool Are Your New BFF This Summer. Why?

Stock Tank Pool – As the temperatures rise, installing a pool in your backyard probably sounds like a really good idea — until you learn that the average cost of a backyard pool is $20,000 to $30,000. Instead of dropping a ton of cash just to stay cool this summer, you may want to consider a stock tank pool.

Yes, if having a pool in your backyard has always felt like a fantasy upgrade, we’d like to introduce you to your new BFF.

These inexpensive farm staples, originally designed as water troughs for livestock and affectionately referred to as “hillbilly hot tubs,” are popping up in more backyards across the country than ever before. “More and more, we see our customers turning to this innovative solution as a way to enjoy many of the benefits of a pool without the high cost,” reads the Tractor Supply Company’s website.

Stock Tank Pool DIY

stock tank pool diy

Not only are stock tank pool more affordable than traditional pools, they’re easier to set up, too. Once you’ve chosen a smooth area in your yard, you can seal and install the cow trough and even add a pump to make it easy to fill and clean.

Stock Tank Swimming Pool Cost

stock tank swimming pool cost

These “stock tank pool” are actually water troughs for livestock. But for those of us who are pool-less, they’re an easy, inexpensive solution for almost any outdoor space with a flat area around your house. They come in varying sizes and can even be setup with a pump like a traditional pool. Instead of dropping $30K on a traditional pool, these stock tank models typically cost just a few hundred bucks. Some affectionately refer to them as “hillbilly hot tubs.”

How To Make A Stock Tank Pool

how to make a stock tank pool

The first hillbilly stock tank pools (as they’re also known) started popping up on the ’gram around 2013, and over the past year they’ve become so popular as pools and ponds that “there’s been an increased interest in larger-size tanks because people are creating pools,” says Brettan Hawkins, the social-media manager at Tractor Supply Company, the Home Depot for people who live in rural areas, and the go-to seller of stock tank pools. In fact, Tractor Supply was getting so many questions about how to turn these tanks into pools that the only review on their website for the biggest stock tank is about turning it into a pond.

Here’s some chat record with Hawkins,

How did you discover stock tank pools?

When I first bought my house in Joshua Tree, I was desperate for some water to cool off in, and I was buying giant kiddie pools from Walmart, but when they get holes in them they’re useless, so you have to buy them a lot and they’re just silly. What really gave me the idea were these two guys who are pretty well-known out here: a couple named Steve and Glen. They have a giant water tank that they turned into a pool, and they built a deck around it, so it looks embedded in the deck. Initially, I had seen what they did and went swimming in their tank, and was blown away by how cool it was, but I had no idea where I could find a tank like that. So I was researching tanks when I drove past a feed store in the Yucca Valley that had a tank out front. I said, Look at that! That’s exactly what I need. That was in 2013.

So you bought it.

I set that up and was initially trying to clean the water by skimming the bugs with a net and dropping in chlorine tablets to maintain the water. But you can only keep the water clean for about a week that way, so you’d have to spill out and refill about 700 gallons of water. Eventually, I found a pump filtration system that I use now. I recommend the Intex pumps, so you cut a hole in the tank and insert one of those. That makes a huge difference in terms of keeping it clean, and it makes a really wonderful cascading water sound.

Have you noticed more people building tanks recently?

Since that first tank, I’ve built two more pools, and in 2015, I started renting them out on Airbnb. Back then, I didn’t see anyone else with a tank in Joshua Tree, now I see so many. I actually just had someone write to me this morning, asking me if they can come by my property to study my tank and see how I have it set up because they want to build a tank as well. There’s a flurry of tank activity and tank interest right now.

Galvanized Stock Tank Pool Sizes

galvanized stock tank pool sizes

So what are the basics of building one?

You need to pick out a good spot that’s close enough to a water source. I found my first tank at a mom-and-pop shop, but now that I get my tanks from Tractor Supply Company, I get the eight-foot-diameter tank, which is the biggest one. They also have a six-foot-diameter one, and a pill-shaped one that just one person can lie in. I think the eight-foot diameter is the way to go.

But they’re only two feet deep. How does that work?

It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s surprisingly good because when you sit in it, especially with the eight-foot tank, you can stretch out completely, put your arms on the side of tank, and you’re submerged up to neck. You can just float there. I’ll even sometimes swim around the perimeter.

What comes next for stock tank pools?

The great thing is, you can roll them into the garage for the winter, but my next thing is to figure out a way to heat them. Right now, they’re good for really hot days because the water stays really cool. I want to turn it into a giant hot tub. Talk to me in a year and we’ll see if I have my tank going strong in the winter, too.

Galvanized Stock Tank Pool Filter

galvanized stock tank pool filter

The standard galvanized metal look offers rustic charm, but you can also customize or enhance the pools to complement the style of your home. Some users position them in the ground and add surrounding rock tiles or flooring, while others add wooden decks or siding. For around $350, plus the cost of an $89 pump, you can easily add a country pool to your yard this summer.

To maintain the tub, drain it after use or treat it like any other pool. “We use an above ground pool pump/filter,” Annie McCreary, the owner of a stock pool, wrote on Instagram. “We do add chlorine as needed, just like a regular pool/spa. I test it daily with the pool strips, [and], I shock it once a week — so easy! If it gets too funky, it’s easy to drain and re-fill.”

Galvanized Stock Tank Swimming Pool

galvanized stock tank swimming pool

If you’re a crafty person who loves hands-on projects, you can even take it a step further. Rather than simply setting an area in the yard for your stock tank pool to live, you can add decks, stones, and other decorative aspects to the mix. In the photos below, you’ll find everything from a simple waterfall to a wooden deck to flagstone pavers around the private pool.

Stock Tank Pool Ideas

This is an incredibly easy way to spruce up your new outdoor swimming pool in a simple way. Here’s some inspiration you need to help guide you towards Tractor Supply to make your very own. The sky is the limit when it comes to this nifty country pool.

Pebble Beach

stock tank pool peeble

Create your own pebbled-out dessert oasis with stepping stones, cacti and of course, palm trees. An outdoor swimming pool has never looked more appealing.

Yes, that’s a donut float in the stock pool, proving that they really are big enough for comfortable and Instagram-worthy lounging.

Light It Up

stock tank pool light it up

To amp up the space you have, try adding some string lights over the tank pool for added pizazz.

Again, you should always have a float in the pool, y’all.

Shady Times

stock tank pool shady

Sometimes, it’s not so much about being in the sun as it is enjoying the day the sunshine has to offer.

By that we mean sitting in a shaded pool with crisp, fresh air surrounding us. This is also the only foolproof way to prevent sunburn while still enjoying the water.


stock tank pool waterfall

Sometimes, it’s not so much about being in the sun as it is enjoying the day the sunshine has to offer.

By that we mean sitting in a shaded pool with crisp, fresh air surrounding us. This is also the only foolproof way to prevent sunburn while still enjoying the water.

Tropical Escape

stock tank pool tropical

Escape to your own tropical island, all within your backyard.

Hang up a canopy around your tank pool for added privacy and protection for pesky mosquitos.

Covered Up

stock tank pool covered

If you live in a place that’s notorious for unreasonably high temperatures, creating a cover for your stock tank pool isn’t a bad idea. The galvanized metal surely gets warm around the edges, but a cover is an innovative solution to the problem.

This keeps the bugs out, the water cool, and gives you an enjoyable first-dip experience.

Country Castle

stock tank pool country

No matter where you live, there’s no reason you shouldn’t create an oasis for yourself. If that means going all in and building a deck and stone accents around your pool, then so be it!

Pup Friendly

stock tank pool puppy

You don’t have to take the pup to the public pool at the end of the summer or even leave your backyard to cool Fido down in stock tank pools.

The best part is that their nails don’t bother the lining because there isn’t any!

The Hillbilly Swimming Pool

stock tank pool hillbilly

If that’s what a hillbilly swimming pool looks like, then we’re all hillbillies because dang if that doesn’t look so serene.

Mom Tested and Kid Approved

stock tank pool mommy

Watching the little ones in a stock tank pool is a piece of cake since they’re probably as tall as the water level!

This is a great place to teach them how to swim when they’re just starting out.

Beautiful View

stock tank pool view

No need to worry about where in the yard you can actually place a pool since the stock tank sets up anywhere.

Angle it just right to catch a beautiful sunset every night.

Comfortable Seating

stock tank pool comfortable

Stock tanks are just the right size to comfortably sit down and enjoy the water in the privacy of your own gorgeous backyard.

Build a deck around it and you’ve got a serious backyard spot that the whole block will beg to visit.

Decked Stock Tank Pool

stock tank pool decked

Here’s another clever way to make your stock tank pool look a bit more buttoned up: build a deck around it. This is a great option if you have a lot of space and want to create an area around the pool where you can leave your towels, hang out or put down a drink.

Modern Stock Tank Pool

stock tank pool modern

Here’s a modern take on the typical stock tank pool. This pool was set up right outside the owner’s bedroom, so she can wake up in the morning and take a quick dip in the water.

Rock Garden Pool

stock tank pool rock garden

Another great idea for making your stock tank pool feel a bit more integrated into your backyard is to build a rock garden around it. They’ve also included a bench, fountain and some lovely landscaping.

Floating In The Pool

stock tank pool float

If you love to float around on a raft in the pool, choose a stock tank pool that’s big enough for your favorite floaty. You can choose from a wide variety of stock tank pool sizes, so you’re sure to find one that works for you and your family.

(another) Decked Stock Tank Pool

stock tank pool wooden deck

Here’s another beautiful stock tank pool with a deck surround. Stairs and a clever bench make this the outside spot to be in this lovely backyard.



Do you have any similar experience? Please share with us...