Easy Stock Tank Pool – No Tools or Drilling

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It’s gonna be a “scorcha” today. Here’s the set up for a 8 foot/2.44 meter stock tank without holes drilled in the side.

ARE THE TANKS DIFFICULT TO GET AND ARE THEY EXPENSIVE? The stock tank pool craze is taking off. If you can find one, snag it before they run out of stock. There are other tanks out there that I have considered that are deeper, wider but ultimately more expensive and difficult to obtain. This basic tank is a great way to cool off and you would be surprised just how refreshing it is!

WHY NOT DRILL HOLES IN THE SIDE? Most stock tank pool videos show how to drill holes in the side to set it up like a legit pool. I asked myself, “Why ruin the stock tank, use annoying tools and risk leaks?” More stuff to go wrong. I get the same results by simply draping the hoses of the pool pump/filter over the side. I don’t think that takes away from stock tank vibe – it reinforces the beauty of simplicity! And maybe someday I will want to sell the stock tank for its intended purpose. I’m more likely to recoup some of my money if it is not modified with holes.

DO YOU NEED A FILTER? Absolutely, YES! Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and bacteria. Use a cartridge or sand pump/filter (my choice) and a small chlorine tablet float. I weigh the hoses down with rocks attached with zip ties so they stay in the pool and simply attach them to the side using zip ties and clamps. If you were to drill holes you would need plunger valves, silicone and other tools to get the job done. (Plunger valves open and close the water flow. You don’t need those if you are not drilling holes in the stock tank.)

When buying a pool pump and filter, realize that the hoses may not come with end attachments. You need at least one strainer end for the intake hose (the one that sucks up the water) so your filter does not get clogged with debris. Shhhhh, sometimes I take that strainer attachment off to vacuum out the pool. It’s ok as long as you get the big stuff out first. The reason why you won’t receive these strainers or end parts is because pools have them already built in. You may want to pick up ends at a pool supply store or order online. A word of caution: If you have children that will put their hands inside these hoses, definitely get end attachments. Use safety precautions and realize I am not telling you what to do to protect your family. Use whatever methods, tactics and attention to prevent injury and drowning!

Because the hoses will drape over the side of the stock tank, the flow of water into the hoses is not automatic the first time you set the pump up. To start your pump up for the first time, you will have to add water to the hoses and keep the water fully flowing to ensure air does not get sucked in. I simply dunk the hoses, fill with water and even turn on my backyard hose and insert it in the pump hoses to ensure there’s plenty of water and little to no air. Carefully read the directions to the pump that you have chosen.

IS THE POOL DEEP? You will be surprised how deep two feet will feel. I’m a tall person with a long torso and can sit with the water over my chest. With a floating chair you feel weightless and you may forget you’re laying in a giant puddle! It holds about 700 gallons/2650 liters of water.

DOES IT NEED A BASE? We prepared a spot by digging out an area and leveling it with sand. If you have a grassy spot already level, that doesn’t contain rocks or sharp objects, you don’t need to use sand. If placing on tar or cement, you might consider a rubber mat or outdoor rug underneath to soften the contact. I DO NOT recommend placing it on a wooden deck or any platform that cannot handle the weight of that much water in addition to the people inside and around the pool.

HOW MUCH ROUGHHOUSING CAN IT WITHSTAND? Some jumping and running around by small children would be fine. However, I don’t recommend teens or adults jump around or anyone jumping from a deck into the tank. Think of a disposable aluminum baking pan and how it would fare if you placed it on top of a sand base and dropped a bag of flour in it. Tanks have seams and it’s best to not constantly put pressure on those. The seams should not cut small feet but it’s still best to be careful and check it before you allow children to swim. If you have any concerns, have them wear water shoes. Always supervise as appropriate.

Stock Tank Pool Easy Setup

HOW CLEAN DOES THE WATER STAY? I use tiny chlorine tablets inside a floating dispenser and add a new tablet every few weeks. The pump you set up will most likely be made for a larger pool and unless you have extra dirty people entering the tank, one hour a day should keep your pool sparking clean. I set the timer on the pump for one hour and use a screen to remove bugs and debris by hand. You may need to stir up the water to screen out more. daily. I made a homemade screen and didn’t even bother to buy one – pool net of any kind is ideal. At night I use an inexpensive solar cover (looks like bubble wrap) that came the exact diameter of the pool – lays on top of the water without clamps, even in high winds this goes a long way to keep dust and debris out. Last season I used a tarp with elastic cord and it worked fine, although it looked a little messy.

DOES THE WATER GET TOO HOT? The pool will warm up during summer, but it still feels refreshing on an extra hot, humid afternoon; especially after doing yard work. In the two seasons we’ve had the tank, it has not reached a temperature that was too warm to enjoy. If your nights cool off a bit, the water temperature will also drop some.

Any time something becomes popular, high demand will cause availability and price issues. A reasonable price for an 8 foot diameter by 2 foot deep stock tank, before the idea became even more popular, was $399 plus tax (in the US). I’ve heard some people seeing $600. At a certain point, if the tanks are hard to come by or if the cost rises due to demand, you might as well buy a regular, above ground pool! If your local farm store has them at a price you’re willing to pay, don’t wait to buy.

FINAL TIPS? YES! Make sure you are given the drain plug! We almost drove away without it.

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