32 Backyard Stock Tank Pool Ideas – No Pool? No Problem!

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Want epic stock tank pool ideas? Look no further! With temps skyrocketing everywhere, your top priority this summer is staying cool. But your poor window-rattler AC is wheezing. And to make matters worse, you’ve blown your pool-building fund on frivolous things. Like bills and groceries!

What you do have going for you are two things. A pioneering DIY spirit and a local Craigslist ad that says Free Used Stock Tank, You Haul. Ever seen The Red Green Show? Then you know that this is how greatness occurs!

But before you dive into repurposing that stock tank into a cowboy swimming pool, you’ll need to consider a few things. Does it need a filter? How will you keep the water cool? And most importantly, which friend will you bribe to help haul that used stock tank? 

We’ll help you answer these questions, then provide some excellent stock tank pool ideas to grease those creative gears. 

All Pooling. No Fooling! These are the Best Stock Tank Pool Ideas!

Your new pool? Well, it still (kind of) looks like a watering hole for our cow friends. 

There’s nothing wrong with that! Whatever helps you beat the heat, right? But if you want to impress your friends, neighbors, and social media followers, we’ve got some ideas to inspire you to take your pool to the next level. 

1. The Minimalist

Here’s a genius way to beat the hottest summer days! Retreat to your favorite backyard spot. The water looks so cool. And refreshing! Pool design by The Joshua Tree House. Check out their stock tank pool for more inspiration!

The Minimalist. You embrace the simple country spirit of your stock tank pool! Hang a cowbell on the side. And then call it good. Maybe add a magnetic hook for your cowboy hat.

2. The Cold Brew

The Cold Brew. If you’ve got a smaller round tank, you might have noticed how much it resembles the top part of a tallboy. Can (pun intended) you think of a better use of your artistic skills? Put the cooler on standby. It’s time to roll! 

3. The Rat Pack

Jenny used a regular stock tank and turned it into a palm springs paradise! We’re jealous – and also happy for anyone who gets to go swimming! Check out all the details about Jenny’s epic pool on Suburban Pop.

The Rat Pack. Stock tanks and palm trees? Check out how Jenny accentuated her California ranch-style Sixties home with the kind of pool you might see Frank or Dino sipping brown liquor in. Get out the lawn flamingoes, put Live at the Sands on the turntable, and let the Sixties inspire you too!

4. Hot Tub Time Machine

Here’s a stunning display – complete with tropical plants! We also love the string lights in the background. And the dog having the time of its life! Check out more details on the Stock Tank Pool Authority. They’ll show you their Texas-style pool!

Hot Tub Time Machine. We get it. You’re trying to cool off! Not build a Jacuzzi. But if you’re handy with a hammer? Crafting a deck around your tank will provide a chill spa vibe. And some wooden stairs won’t just make it easier for you to get into the pool. But for your four-legged friends as well. (Consider yourself warned!)

5. Spa Day Stock Tank Pool

Here’s the stock tank pool for retreating to paradise. Don’t forget to bring us! The umbrella for shade is also an excellent personal touch. Major bonus points! HGTV has a ton more water features to unravel. Including plenty of stock tank pictures!

Spa Day. Speaking of spa vibes, how about adding a few privacy screens? They’ll help provide shade to keep the water (and you) chillaxed. Plus, they’ll help you block out things you don’t want to see, like your neighbors. Or your children! And did we mention they provide a handy place to hang your towels? 

6. The Zen Master

The Zen Master. Try an all-natural stock tank pool idea. Bamboo, stacked stones, bonsai trees, perhaps a fountain? Surrounded by a full-size sandy zen garden and some gentle nature sounds, you’ll be in Nirvana by noon.

7. Pond, James Pond.

Pond, James Pond. Instead of trying to draw attention to your pool, why not disguise it? Camo colors and a custom housing for pool mechanics with a secret trap-door for maintenance take your getaway into stealth mode. Care for a pool noodle, Mr. Bond?

8. Life’s a Beach

We can’t forget Lolly Jane and her epic stock tank pool designs! She shows everything about how to set one up quickly in your backyard. Without fancy tools! She also shares how to paint stock tank pools without fuss. Check her blog for oodles more inspiration!

Life’s a Beach. The Lolly Jane blog has many spectacular tips for creating an elegant, whimsical aesthetic. And if you are looking for stock tank pool ideas for paint, look no further.

9. Stripe It, Rich!

Stripe It, Rich! Whether you’re lakeside, at a coastal beach, or spending a day at the water park, you’ll notice one universal constant. Stripes! And lots of them. Towels, swimsuits, umbrellas, accessories, you name it. For some reason, we associate stripes with a day waterside. Lolly Jane has shown you how easy it is to paint your stock tank! Why not go nuts with some beach-going stripe design?

10. The Adobe

The Adobe. A few cacti (very carefully placed), some pea gravel and pavers, earth tone paints, and perhaps a clay chiminea? These will give your poolside an easygoing Southwest vibe.

11. The Twilight Zone

Here’s an epic water feature from Hey Wanderer that has everything. They started with level ground and turned it into the ultimate backyard cool spot. They also touched the chairs with a lovely paint color. They even have beautiful outdoor lights! Check out their article about their perfect stock tank pool.

The Twilight Zone. $20 for a few discount strands of clear lights in the off-season and hung safely away from the pool! Of course, add a romantic enchantment. Or invest in some waterproof LED lights to turn that tank into a party.

12. The Visitor

The Visitor. So you went a little overboard buying waterproof LED lights? We do that too. Use them to trim your stock tank and paint some portholes on the side. Maybe the ETs will take a break from making crop circles and hang for a bit.

13. The Van Gogh

We love the simplicity of this pool by Jenna Hazel! It’s perfect for a fast setup – and summer fun. The pool maintenance also looks easy. All we need is a few lawn chairs so we can relax after. Count us in. We want to swim!

The Van Gogh. Or The Rembrandt. Or, well, you get the point. Take a page from Jenna Hazel’s sketchbook and paint the surrounding buildings to create your panorama. You’re limited only by your imagination and your skill with a paintbrush!

One of the best stock tank pool ideas!

14. Leaf Me Alone

Leaf Me Alone. Sure, your pool will make a wonderful forest retreat nestled among the trees. But isn’t it like a tree dropping leaves all over the place? Slap a fabric roof on a simple wooden pergola to keep your pool cleaner with a simple elegance that doesn’t compete with nature’s beauty. 

15. The Aloha

The Aloha. Craft a grass skirt for your tank from thatching, pull out the tiki glasses and paper umbrellas, and let the mai tais flow freely. Simple touches like starfish, pineapples, and coconut shells will add themed charm to your Polynesian paradise. This party is BYOB. Bring-Your-Own-Bongos!

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We searched everywhere for the lowest-cost stock tank pool alternative. A pool that looks good - and sets up without a fuss. We think we found it! This pool isn't as sturdy as a stock tank. But it's perfect if you want a refreshing and affordable pool without breaking the bank. The reviews for this 63-inch by 12-inch pool are also stellar. It's not as big as other stock tank pools. But - your dogs, ducks, and kids will love it - especially in the hot summer weather!

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16. The Oasis

We love this stock tank pool built from scratch. It’s underground and easy access. It’s also heated by fire! Perfect if your evenings get chilly at night – even in the middle of summer.

The Oasis. Consider creating a sunken pool. One surrounded by sand! Add some potted palms, a stone border, some native grasses, and a couple of cabana chairs, and you’ve got your little desert sanctuary. (Genie sold separately.)

17. The Secret Garden

Here’s a breathtaking stock tank pool from Cuckoo 4 Dsign with all the best water features. Including a wraparound deck and pool filter! The deck looks like handcrafted, natural wood. They also wrote a stellar stock tank pool tutorial. Read it if you need motivation!

The Secret Garden. Follow the example of the Cuckoo 4 Design blog and surround yourself with lush greenery. Your potted plants will enjoy the outdoor vacation to visit those nature has provided.

18. The Wishing Well

The Wishing Well. Have you noticed there are always a bunch of leftover bricks or stones from a previous project? Why not put them to use and build a wall around your tank? It’ll help provide some insulation to keep things cool while offering a classic medieval look. But try not to think about The Ring if you’re using it at night.

19. The Stoner

The Stoner. Do you say your shadiest spot is an ugly barren patch of lawn? Perfect. You can create your mosaic pathway! All you need are some patio stones and decorative gravel. Another upside is how this helps keep the grass off your feet and out of your pool.

20. The Mosaic

Hannah Reesor turned stock tank pool ideas into a work of art. We love the bright and vibrant design. We also noticed the lovely giant wheel in the background! And the privacy fence.

The Mosaic. Hey, speaking of tiled patterns, with all the focus on the outside of your pool, what about the inside? A tiled bottom (genuine or painted) will lend a vintage luxury resort look.

21. Johnny Bench

The folks over on Hey Wanderer are skilled stock tank pool proprietors! The standout feature here is the wooden wraparound deck. We also see the perfectly level surface. Their blog has detailed pool instructions on how they made everything.

Johnny Bench. So maybe you’re more into soaking your feet at the end of a long day than an all-out lower-torso extravaganza. We get that. Building a custom bench all the way around will facilitate that foot spa while making it easier for everyone to get in and out of the pool.

22. The Inception

The Inception. Let’s say you have two stock tanks, one a little larger than the other. Instead of doing a couples theme (a great idea in its own right), how about a tank-in-a-tank? Filling the outer pool with gravel will help to keep your inner pool nice and cool, just like a can cozy.

23. The Gilligan

Tropical oasis backyard stock tank pool ideas
The next stock tank pool isn’t your traditional pool. No. It has an extra touch. It’s arguably our favorite stock tank pool idea. And – we love the tropical style! Image credit goes to Andrew Hunter for the sleek handiwork.

The Gilligan. Just sit right back, and you’ll hear a tale! One about actor and producer Andrew Hunter converted his stock tank into his private lagoon.

24. The Copper Tub

The Copper Tub. Some copper paint on the outside of your tub, and you’re ready for a steampunk, colonial, or Frankenstein’s lab motif. Some black on the bottom, and now you’ve got a battery to recharge at the day’s end.

25. For the Children

For the Children. Let’s face it. If you raise kids, they will likely spend more time in the new pool than you will. You may as well give in and paint it with bright colors, toss in a beach ball or two, and put on the music that you hate but they love.

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This stock tank pool cover is perfect for keeping the blue jays, muck, and mosquitos out of your pool! It has an easy-to-use drawstring - you can fit it tightly over your stock tank pool without fuss. It also comes in variable sizes - from 4.06 feet to 18 feet. The pool cover also helps keep the water warm and prevents up to 90% of water evaporation. Save cash on your water bill!

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26. The Water Park

The Water Park. And if your kids have outgrown their backyard swing set, with some remodeling, you can get new life out of it by aiming the slide right into the tank. Instant water slide!

27. The Lumberjack

The Lumberjack. The only place for your pool is by the woodpile. Roll with it. Rustic vintage touches like secondhand cant hooks and two-person saws will compete with the campfire for the title of niftiest accent.

28. The Goth

The Goth. Grab your eyeliner and old Siouxie & The Banshees LPs and see if you can’t bring a little Addams Family to the great outdoors.

29. Sheer Delight

Elegant stock tank pool ideas
How can you turn your regular pool into a backyard sanctuary? Katie Mansfield shows how! Her pool design is elegant – and graceful. We also love the covering – and we think the plants add extra character! Excellent taste. A great resource for stock tank pool ideas.

Sheer Delight. How does one make a stock tank more romantic? Katie Mansfield found that a canopy with fabric provides a Lawrence-of-Arabia vibe and a bit of privacy while keeping bugs out. (Romantic citronella candlelight will take care of the rest.)

30. Ahoy, Matey!

Ahoy, Matey! Hammock chairs and a few nautical accents will transport you to a getaway cruise in your backyard! All you need is a shrimp buffet. The Love Boat launches at T-minus-now.

31. Turtle on Its Back

Turtle on Its Back. If you live in the foothills of the mountains? It seems like there’s always an overabundance of rocks on your property. A painting can and strategic placement will put some of them to work as head, flippers, and tail. Here’s a project the kids can join in on and have oodles of fun! Paint a turtle-belly cover as well, and it becomes now art (or at least a conversation piece) when not in use.

You can’t have a backyard pool without party favors! We found this giant flamingo by Yasmin Murphy by way of HGTV and had to share it. We love the vibrant color. And flair! Check out HGTV for plenty more DIY stock tank pools – with added insights and details.

32. The Accent Piece

The Accent Piece. Do you know how everybody’s got a massive inflatable plaything in their stock tank pool pics? Of course, you’re going to have to get one, too. It’s all part of the fun.

Stock Tank Pool Ideas – Business Before Pleasure!

You probably want to get right to cooling off, and we hate to be buzzkills. But your specialty pool comes with some unique considerations. And even though it’s a very affordable alternative to an in-ground or even an above-ground pool, consider the expenses.

We’re here to help. Grab a cold one. And let’s plan this thing out!

two colorful beach balls inside stock tank pool
You don’t need the fanciest stock tank pool ideas if you want to unwind in the hot summer sun. And you don’t need to hire a team of engineers to build a deck or dig for an underground pool! All you need is an old stock tank, plenty of water, a flat surface in your yard, and a few floating devices! Okay – the floating devices are optional. But they add lots of fun for your kids. And your dogs!

Critical Stock Tank Pool Tips

Before we share our favorite stock tank pool ideas – we have some business to discuss!

There are four rules to consider for the best backyard pool possible.

The stock tank rules are as follows!

1. Size Matters!

If you want to score likes on Instagram, you’ll want a tank at least 80 gallons and five feet in diameter. Since you’re not going to be swimming laps in it, anything over eight feet in diameter is, shall we say, excessive.

Regardless of diameter, the standard stock tank depth is two-feet. So, you know. No diving! 

2. Location, Location, Location!

Because the water isn’t deep, but there’s a lot of surface area, the water in your stock tank can heat up fairly quickly. That means the best place to put it is in the shadiest part of your yard. Add an umbrella for extra cooling power if you’ve got a little extra money to throw at the problem. (And not to worry, your pool cools back down at night.)

You’ll also want to put it someplace level and free of rocks. Smaller tanks won’t require a foundation, but the bigger ones need some concrete underneath for support. 

Due to the weight of the tank and water, not to mention the people enjoying the pool, situating it on the deck is a bad idea unless you’re sure your deck can handle that much extra weight. Are you feeling lucky? 

3. Keep Your Pool Clean!

Standard pool gear like a skimming net and pool vacuum will help keep algae at bay. Although you don’t need a pump or filter with a stock tank pool, you’ll find that a pump-filter combo will keep both algae and mosquitos away. The circulation will also keep the water cooler. 

You can use chlorine in a stock tank pool. Just be sure to use a float – because the tablets on bare metal will cause corrosion. Other pool chemicals can contribute to rust and corrosion as well. So keep this in mind. After all the effort you’ve put into just thinking about setup, you want your pool to last, right?

4. The Long Haul

Rust is your new pool’s archenemy. Depending on your budget and theme, you can help fight it. Here’s how! Use a pool liner, rubber coating, or a good old can of Rust-Oleum inside the tank. 

The beauty of a stock tank pool is that during winter, you can drain it, give it a pressure-washing and scrub, and store it in the shed or garage. If you don’t have room because someone is inconsiderately parking their car there? No worries. You can flip it upside-down in the off-season and cover it with a tarp. 

Okay! You’re finally all done with the planning. Grab that hose and fill ‘er up! After you’ve cooled off, it’s time to unleash your creativity with some fancy customization.

More Stock Tank Pool Ideas and Tutorials!

We also scoured YouTube to find the best stock tank swimming pool plans.

We found something for everyone! And for every outdoor space!

Find inspiration for your stock tank pool setup – and instructions below.

1. DIY Stock Tank Pool with Privacy Fence – and Hot Tub

Here’s a stunning setup! It’s a hot tub. And a stock tank pool. And a gorgeous patio space! We think it needs a few tiki torches. (It’s such an entertaining space. We love how it looks!)

2. Stock Tank Pool Ideas Setup for Hilly Yards

Sometimes – you want to install a beautiful stock tank pool. But what happens if you have a sloped yard?! Some homesteaders might give up. But – we found a borderline-genius stock tank pool idea perfect for yards with hills and slopes. We love the design!

3. The Ultimate Stock Tank Pool DIY Setup

Want to set up a stock tank pool – but you’re afraid of messing up or missing something? Then here’s our favorite DIY option! The video contains all the details – including setting up the stock tank pool hardware.

You’ll learn about stock tank pool primer, filter pumps, pool nets, and pool vacuum installation. And more!

4. Metal Stock Tank Pool Ideas Setup with Pump Installation

Stock tank pool pumps are one of the best ways to upgrade your pool! They help clean your stock tank pool – and eliminate lots of gunk. Here’s an easy tutorial that shows how to fit a stock tank pool pump. Without breaking your pump. Or your pool!

The pump will keep your water clean. And the design will help you beat the hot summer days. And the summer sun!

5. DIY Stock Tank Pool and Wood Platform – Sleek Vacation Spot!

Want to make your stock tank pool look spiffy? Or maybe you want a chic lounge area for your backyard? One of the best methods is a stock pool with a wooden deck.

Pool decks turn your stock tank into a luxury item. Here’s how to get it done. The result looks excellent! All we need now is privacy fencing. And lounge chairs!


Armed with an arsenal of vital info and inspirational ideas, you’re all set to cool off country style. Sure, you may get the occasionally confused cow wandering by for a drink, but isn’t it fun to make new friends at the beach? 

Thanks so much for reading.

And have a great day!

Also – be sure to send us pics of your stock tank remodel!

We’d love to see them!

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  1. This is a nice post: HOWEVER about half of them don’t have pictures or even links to see what you are ‘describing’…makes it impossible to even imagine. What a shame as the ones ‘described’ sound interesting. I’d like to know what they actually LOOK like.

    1. Hi Carol!
      Thank you for the feedback! We tried our best to add images for all of David’s ideas but for some, we weren’t successful.
      Most of the ideas and tips come from David’s vivid imagination – and it sure is vivid!
      He didn’t want to repeat the same ideas that are already on the internet which is why he thought up a whole bunch of new ones.
      I’d love to try out some of his ideas one day, don’t they sound beautiful 🙂 And when I find images (or if anyone has built one, we’d love to see your pool!) I’ll be sure to add them.

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