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How to Build Your Own Stock Tank Pool

In the heat of the summer, we all want a pool to help keep us stay cool.

However, we’re all aware of the differences between expectation and reality, particularly with home improvement projects. Expectations for home pools usually look something like the below picture, and of course, in this ideal scenario, maintenance and upkeep takes very little time, effort, or money.

However, in-ground, Olympic size pools can cost upwards of $20,000.

The reality of owning a pool can end up looking more like the below, even after plenty of money and hours of upkeep are invested each week.

When faced with the reality of many expensive pool systems, it’s easy to feel like Bill Murray in Caddyshack:  “We have a pool and a pond. Pond’d be good for you.” Instead of forcing you to settle for a pond, we have a third option for you:  the stock tank pool.

The stock tank pool (aka hillbilly hot tub) happens to be this summer’s hottest trend. For around $500, you can install your own backyard pool! Keep reading for instructions on how your can set up your very own stock tank pool.

Stock Tank Pool Assembly and Installation



  1. Order the stock tank online or pick it up at your local Rural King store.
  2. Make sure that the prospective pool location is level. It’s a good idea to add sand to the pool area to provide a good base.
  3. Assemble the pool filter as directed here or in your instruction manual.
  4. Measure the outside circumference of the filter tubes.
  5. Cut 2 holes in the stock tank for the filter tubes.
  6. Attach the filter tube hardware into the holes just drilled into the stock tank. Make the seal as snug as you can, then seal everything with plumber’s putty or epoxy.
  7. Attach the filter tubes to the hardware.
  8. Fill with water.
  9. Keep in mind that your pump will not have to run all the time since pool pumps are designed for much larger pools. That will also save energy cost as compared to a larger pool.

See detailed step by step on this video.


Maintenance Instructions:

  1. Make sure to keep as much dirt and debris out of your pool as possible. A simple pool skimmer can help with a lot of the smaller items that fall or blow into your pool.
  2. Use and maintain the filter as directed in your owner’s manual. Make sure you backwash the filter, as well, to keep it as clean as possible.
  3. Drain the pool 2-3 times per summer. There should be a drain on the bottom of your tank that will help drain it quickly. Your yard may be a swamp for a few hours, but the water should drain away eventually.
  4. After draining the pool, it’s a good idea to pressure wash the inside. That will take care of a large portion of any algae and dirt on the bottom.
  5. Use a spray cleaner and a sponge or scrub brush to remove most of the rest of the gunk from the bottom and inside of your pool.
  6. Refill the pool with fresh, clean water.
  7. If you purchased a metal stock tank, it may eventually rust. You can prevent rust by coating the tank with spray-on truck bed liner.

With the above materials and tips, you should have your own pool built in no time. Send us your own pictures and tips in the comments!