Stock Tank Pool Design Guide

Stock tank pools have exploded in popularity in recent years and for good reason – they are an affordable way to have a relaxing swimming pool environment in your backyard, even if they aren’t big enough for swimming. Below are some of the basics when it comes to stock tank pools, some of the main benefits, watch outs, design inspiration, and how to get started installing one in your backyard. Ready? Let’s get started.

Main Benefits

Stock tank pools offer a ton of benefits, here are the main ones to consider.

Affordable

Stock tank pools cost a lot less than an inground pool. A full inground pool will run you $37,000 on average, but a stock tank pool will only set you back about $200 to $500, depending on the size and type you get. You also need to factor in the cost of maintenance, but those monthly costs will be much lower than an inground pool as well.

Beat the Heat

Stock tank pools are a great way to cool down on a hot summer day. Especially if you don’t have much room in your yard (more on that below), you may not have room for a larger pool structure.

Great for Small Yards

If you don’t have much space to work with, a stock tank pool can be a great option to get a pool in your backyard. While size will vary depending on the type of stock tank you go with, you should be able to find a size that fits the look and design you’re looking for.

Watch Outs

While they aren’t necessarily “cons,” here are a few things to have in mind before you make a decision on building a stock tank pool.

Material

Not all stock tank pools are created equal. You typically have two options to choose from: plastic tanks and metal tanks.

Plastic tanks are good for a few reasons:

  • Lightweight and easier to move
  • Resists corrosion and rust
  • Stays cool longer

However, plastic pools are also less durable and more prone to cracking.

Metal tanks are pretty much the opposite. Heavier, more susceptible to rust and corrosion, and heat up a lot easier. However, they are also going to be a lot more durable and it’s going to be easier to clean and remove algae.

Site Selection

Another watch out with stock tank pools is where you place it in your yard. You want to make sure you choose an area with a flat surface that can support the weight of the tank and all the water that will be in it. Make sure the area is level and free of rocks or other obstructions that could puncture the bottom of the stock tank.

If you opt for a larger tank, I would recommend laying a solid concrete foundation to support the full weight of the pool.

Cleanliness

Even though it’s less expensive and easier to setup, stock tank pools are not immune from cleanliness issues. Stock tank pools require the proper filter and pump equipment and a regular maintenance schedule to make sure they are free of algae, bacteria, and other contaminants.

Make sure to clean your pool regularly and drain it a couple times per season so you can give the sides of the tank a good scrub.

Types of Stock Tank Pools

Like I mentioned above, you can go with a plastic or metal tank. There is also the size and shape of the tank to consider. I have several examples below of a common circular tank, but bath-style stock tank pools are also popular if it’s just you hanging out in the yard.

Stock Tank Pool Design Ideas

Photo credit: Joey Mastropietro, Pinterest

I really like the wood deck built around this stock tank pool and the wood backdrop. This style is a very popular option.

Photo credit: Stock Tank Pool Authority

This stock tank pool resembles a traditional inground pool. The low profile deck with sofa give this pool a very cozy vibe.

Photo credit: Stock Tank Pool Authority

The wood paneling here around the outside of the stock tank pool is a great option worth considering. I like how it blends in with the surrounding heavily wooded area.

Photo credit: Lolly Jane

This pool is very much a centerpiece of the yard, without much around it to soften its dominating presence. The pavers leading up to it also attract your eyes there.

Photo credit: WSJ

I like how this stock tank pool is built in to the larger deck, presumably attached to the house. The ladder is also an accessory worth considering.

Photo credit: Southern Living

This pool is a great example of using a stock tank pool to its full advantage in a small yard. This owner built a nifty seating area around the stock tank as well, hiding the more rigid features of the tank.

Photo credit: ditchingnormal.com

This stock tank is truly an inground setup. I really like the pavers around it. Once filled with water, the stock tank is hardly noticeable.

Photo credit: Backyard Boss

Finally, I like how these folks painted the outside of their stock tank to give it a unique feel. The terraced deck around the stock tank makes for a cool hangout area as well.

Installing a Stock Tank Pool

Installing a stock tank pool can be done DIY or by a professional. If you go the DIY route, installing it really boils down to 4 major steps.

First, you need to determine your tank size and location.

Like I mentioned earlier, the area should be flat and level and free of stuff like rocks and roots. If you opt for a larger tank size, make sure it is sitting on a well supported concrete foundation. Do not place it on a wood deck, which likely won’t be able to support the weight. Also consider where the tank is going in your yard and that area relative to the total space. Is it going to be too overbearing? Too small? Map it out with a tape measure to make sure you feel comfortable with the total size and yard setup you’re going for.

Next, pick your tank.

Also mentioned earlier, you can go with a plastic or metal tank. You also have the choice between a round or oval tank. Round options are going to be similar to a hot tub, good for multiple people. Oval sizes are good for 1-2 people.

Up next, install your equipment, including your filter and pump.

You need to make sure your pool is looking fresh and clean all summer long. Fortunately, there are a lot of stock tank pool kits out there that you can purchase and include all the necessary equipment.

Lastly, make sure to maintain your stock tank pool.

Algae and bacteria can run rampant if you aren’t diligent about your regular pool maintenance schedule. I mentioned a couple of tips above, but make sure to clean it regularly, replace the filter as necessary, check your pool chemistry often, and drain it a couple times per season to give those tank sides a good scrubbing.

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If you’re looking for other pool design inspiration, check out my main guide on pool design ideas.

Questions about stock tank pools? Let us know!

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