Stock Tank Pool Installation

The trend is coming! Making waves from the west coast is the Stock Tank Pool fad, and I’ve totally bought in!

I remember when I was little, living on a farm, if you were lucky a new stock tank had to be purchased every once in a while, and until it became slimy from the cows drinking out of it, it was a great swimming pool!

When I started to see this trend pop up on my Pinterest feed I did laugh a little, and then thought, ‘yes!’ and they are styling them so cute!

I started adding stock tank pool Pins to my ‘backyard’ board and the more I added, the more I started thinking about putting one in. 

Commitment level to how much work this would take was and still is a little bit of a worry for me but I’ve bit the bullet.

Taking a side step from my usual blog updates on all things fitness and nutrition and sharing a little of the fun that we have going on around the house with this post. 

I’ve had so many people ask me about how we installed it and all the details, which I share below. 

Where to put your stock tank pool

Deciding where to put our stock tank pool was one of the other main reasons I hadn’t jumped to getting one. We finally decided off the corner of our patio.

A couple of things to think about in regards to placement are:

1.       Level ground

2.       Outlet for connecting the pump

The less level the ground is the more you will have to work to level it before putting the stock tank in place. I’ll talk more about how we leveled our ground in a little bit.

The other thing to keep in mind for placement of the pool is having an outlet nearby to plug in your pump.

The pump we got has a really long cord so even though the outlet was across the patio, we were able to reach it without an additional extension cord which is most ideal.

After doing a little research and deciding where to put our pool, we bought the stock tank!

I’m more of a ‘figure it out as you go’ person, so I’ll take you through our set up and each of the supplies and steps we took to set it up as we ‘figured it out’.

Painting the pool

When you start looking at stock tank pools you will see a whole bunch of super cute pools painted with fun colors and patterns. I’m sure spray painting it and putting a sealing coat over the paint would help keep the paint from chipping, but this was one of my hesitants to painting it.

Also I’ve read a lot about painting the inside of it and would recommend not doing this. Again, a lot of feedback on it chipping and wearing with the chemical added causing it to wear off.

The other reason we didn’t paint ours was because we wanted to just get it set up!

If you do paint your pool – let me know how it holds up!

Purchasing a stock tank for your stock tank pool

The purchasing part is the easy part! Head to your local farm supply store and pick out the size of tank you want. We chose a 8 foot tank. I figured this size would allow me to put a full sized pool float in it to lay on without being wedged against the sides of the tank. Plus a great size for our boys to play in.

Once you’ve chosen the tank, then you will need to decide how to get the tank home. We borrowed my parents flatbed trailer.

Preparing the ground for the pool.

Once you have your pool home, you are ready to prepare the ground for it. We started by putting the pool in the exact place that we wanted it to be. Then I took spray paint to mark around the bottom of it so that we would know the area of ground that would need to be leveled out .

After marking the area we removed the stock tank and started working the ground to level it out. We sort of dug up the ground and leveled it by sight. Our spot was not that uneven, but needed to be leveled out a little.

If you are a perfectionist (which I am not), then you may  want to get out the level and check to see that it is level for your pool. Once our pool was in place, we were uneven about one to two inches, a depth I can live with.

We did put a little sand under the pool to help really smooth out the surface under the pool.

You will be able to feel anything under the pool. So if there is something hard under it you will feel it, or if it is uneven you will feel it when you stand on it.

Pool set up supplies

Once we had the stock tank put in place I ordered the set up accessories from Amazon. I’m sure you could get these supplies from a local pool supply store, Walmart, etc. However, I find it most convenient to use Amazon so that’s what I did. We had everything we needed in less than a week.

I would recommend having all of these supplies on hand prior to putting any water in the tank. Here’s what I ordered. More details on these is included as I talk about how we used them.

Stock tank pool pump and set up

We chose the Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools, 1000 GPH Pump Flow Rate, 110-120V with GFCI, pump.

After comparing and considering the larger sized pumps and even a few ‘thumbs down’ reviews on this pump, I decided that this was a little less of a financial commitment to this project than the other upgrades of it.

This pump will be more than enough capacity for our 8 foot pool and should only require us to run it about 2 – 4 hours a day.

One of the main perks of the other pumps compared to this pump is that they have timers on them, which was a big pull for me to choose one of them, but cost won me over.

The only other negative thing I saw on the pump we chose was that it only lasted about 2 – 3 years. So I guess we will see!

If you read anything about how to set up a pump for a stock tank pool, you will see that they talk about cutting holes in the side to attach the pump hoses. We opted to not [yet] cut holes in the pool and rather put the hoses over the side of the pool. We did it this way for three reasons.

1.       Again, a little hesitant on the commitment level to this project. So we decided to not cut holes in it just in case we need to resell the tank to an actual farmer.

2.       Location of the pump was another commitment issue for me. I’m not certain with exactly where we currently have the pump placed that it will stay right there. So if we want to move it, we can without having to empty the pool and turn the stock tank.

3.       Leaking of the cut out holes. I’m certain that you could seal these up and not have any issues with leaking, but you would most certainly want ensure that they are sealed up!

If you don’t have any commitment issues, then I’d say cut away!! Otherwise, here is what we did and any issues we ran into.

My initial intention was to put together PVC plumbing pipes to go into the pool and wrap over the edge to connect to the pump. I took my two very patient, quiet, and calm 2 and 5 year old boys (laugh with me here people!) with me to Home Depot after thinking through each and every piece I needed, see photo of my drawing, and got everything I needed.

Once home, we started to fill up the pool and connecting the piping to the pump. I had everything needed to connect the pump so no extra runs to Home Depot!

We were ready to put the pump in the pool once it was completely filled up. The PVC pipe fit perfectly over the edge of the pool and the only issue I ran into was with the outgoing pipe, since it was a little heavy on one side it didn’t sit evenly on the pool edge. I ended up tying a brick to it to hold it down and in the water.

Before turning on the pump, it’s extremely important to make sure that the pump is full of water. You should be able to make this happen by pouring water into the pump/filter or as your pool fills up, it will fill up your pump hoses and water will flow into the pump. This is described in the pump directions as well.

The other lesson learned before you get ready to turn the pump on is to make sure the little screw like thing at the top of the pump is not tightened down so that the pump can continue to release any air intake it might have while on. I overlooked this initially in the directions and it makes a huge difference!

Ready, set, go…maybe

Okay, so when we turned on the pump, which is just plugging it in, we had no issues for about the first two minutes. Then all of the sudden the output just completely stopped.

I’ll save you the details of our trial by error, but what it came down to was too much air was coming in the intake PVC pipe.

We finally discovered this by completely pulling the PVC off and connecting the hose from the pump to the intake filter adapter and holding it in the pool and running the pump. No running issues! So currently we are draping the tube over the edge of the pool and have it tied down with a brick as well.

Our next steps to this is to get some PVC glue to seal up the PVC and try our PVC method again. In the meantime though, this is pumping and filtering our pool perfectly.

On the output side, we will also need to seal up the pipes as we had some minimal dripping that we want to eliminate, but otherwise no issues on that end.

Once we had all of our trouble shooting issues resolved, I left the pump running for about 3 hours. After the first hour I could see a difference in the water clarity and after the 3 hours there was a big difference. It still needs to be ran more, but for starting out it’s working and looking good.

We plan to run the pump 2 – 4 hours each day.

Another thing around the pump is replacing the filter.

Many articles I read said that it will need to be replaced every one to two weeks. That sounds very frequent to me, but I will have to update this when we see how ours works. I do think that there may be an opportunity to maintain the life a little longer by pulling it out and emptying out any debris.

Stock tank pool chemicals

As the pool filled up I put in the HTH 42031 1 –inch Chlorinating Tablets for Swimming Pools.

I just put two tablets in the HydroTools by Swimline Floating Mini Tablet Spa Chemical Dispenser and opened it up to fully open.

When I tested the water after the pump had been running for a couple of hours, there was no difference in the pool chemical balance. I will continue to test and see how the chemicals work to get us to the correct chlorine balance.

In my initial reading, there hasn’t been a lot of description on how to even start the pool off with chemicals, such as doing an initial shock treatment.

The only thing I did find information on was using a dispenser that stays in the pool and slow releases chlorine. So I am starting off with a heavy release to get us started and then will have to phase it out as we find the correct balance.

I did purchase JNW Direct Pool and Spa Test Strips – 100 Strip Pack, Test pH, Chlorine, Bromine, Hardness and More, Accurate 7-in-1 Swimming Pool Water Testing to monitor all of the chemicals, not just the chlorine balance in the pool. From a safety standpoint, it’s important to me that we watch these because of our children.

Stock tank pool cover

Water safety is of utmost importance with any type of pool. Even when we have had our small plastic kid pool, even with a couple of inches of water, I’m super paranoid about safety for our two year old and five year old.

To help with this, I purchased an Outdoor Patio Furniture Covers, Waterproff UV Resistant Anti-Fading Cover for X-Large Round Table Chairs Set, Grey, 110 inch Diameter. Unfortunately there weren’t a lot of creative ideas on covers for stock tank pools.

You can find several pool cover options that would work for a stock tank pool, I decided to go with this one because I not only thought it looked a little better, as some of the pool covers look like a round tarp, but also because the oversize of it allows for us to cover up the pump if we wanted to as well.

Other stock tank pool accessories

Of course there are several other stock tank pool accessories you can add to your pool.

  • Umbrella. We happen to have an umbrella, and when the wind isn’t blowing like crazy in Kansas, we will be using it to shade the pool when the boys are in it.
  • Cacti. Because the right vibe is necessary! Check out my friends Sparkling Spurs Boutique shop on Facebook, where we got our cactus.
  • Pool floats. We haven’t purchased any yet, but plan to get one that I can lay on and a couple for the boys to play with.
  • Skimmer net. This is going to become part of the necessity list. I haven’t ordered it yet, but we already have grass clippings that I need a net to scoop off the top of the pool!

I’m so glad you dropped by to check out our pool! Check back for updates and comment and let me know what you think!!

Hint of Happy Quick links by Kylie Livingston

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