More affordable than an in-ground pool, with a rustic style you won’t find in a standard above-ground or kiddie pool, stock tank pools are as popular as ever this year. If you've added one to your home this year, you may be wondering how to maintain it and keep it operating year after year. If you're in the market, you probably want to know if stock tank pools are a good idea.
While we love this fun throwback to good ol' country living—and it’s certainly our favorite way to repurpose a galvanized container—when you use this farm staple as a pool, some basic pool maintenance comes with it, as do pool safety considerations. You’ll also have some upkeep specific to stock tank pools, like preventing rust. The good news? There are simple solutions to the most common stock tank pool problems. Read on for expert answers to your biggest questions.
Credit: Tractor Supply
"We definitely recommend getting a small pump and filter or aerator," a spokesperson tells CountryLiving.com. "As they transfer and move the stock tank water, they keep the water from getting too hot, prevent algae and other buildup, and prevent mosquitoes from breeding. We sell and , or you can get a from a pool store. A small aerator is also a good option if you want to avoid lots of chemicals ... If the water starts to get mucky for whatever reason, just drain and refill. Our stock tanks come with spigots for easy drainage."
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If you don't keep it clean, you'll see slime build up on the surface. That "slime" is actually algae, and it can (and does) happen in any pool—even if you can't see it. Yes, "slime" is gross, and it can lead to other problems, like bacterial growth, slippery surfaces, and skin irritation, but it's totally preventable and treatable. You'll want to buy a and regularly skim the surface, plus maybe even a to remove buildup from the bottom.
Of course, will also help keep the water clean. Depending on the levels of chlorine in your water, you may want to add a small amount and often. We also love this that soaks up body oils and sunscreen in the water.
If it all sounds overwhelming, check out the video tutorials created by bloggers Casey and Savannah of Stock Tank Pool Authority. They walk you through how to install a pump on your stock tank pool and how to keep it clean.
Speaking of pool chemicals, they're to blame for this other issue: If you're using chlorine tablets, be sure to put them in a rather than dropping directly into the metal pool to avoid corrosion and rust, Hawkins says. You can also seal the inside of the tank (Tractor Supply Company customers have applied ) to prevent rusting.
Katie Mansfield/Let's Add Sprinkles
As we all know, standing water can be breeding sites for mosquitoes. Again, a pump will keep the water moving, but if bugs are still, well, bugging you, blogger Katie Mansfield from Let's Add Sprinkles recommends installing around the tank.
"If you're worried about the water getting too hot, you can create your stock tank pool in an area where there is some tree cover, or, use a ' ' or , like many of our customers," the TSC spokesperson explains. "However, even our customers in Arizona, California, and Nevada who use our stock tanks for pools report that they don't get too hot to use." Remember, the metal conducts heat and cold, so the tank will cool down a lot overnight.
McKinney, Texas-based Brandon Coston, who built his pool with Justin Preston of Barn Dance Design, made it through a Texas summer without any heating issues. He reports, "The metal and water cools off at night. If you keep the pump circulating the water during the day, that helps too. I also have an umbrella and I cut pool noodles and placed them as head rests. It never was a problem for me, we used it every day last year!"
"Our tanks have coating to withstand harsh weather—after all, they are designed to be outside watering your animals year-round—but if your pool is free-standing, and not surrounded by any decking, you can flip over the tank in the off-season or store in a garage, shed, or barn," the TSC spokesperson says. Otherwise, drain and top with a .
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