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5 of the Biggest Problems People Have with Stock Tank Pools—and How to Prevent Them

Don't let these common issues scare you away from the coolest trend of the summer.

Flatwoods Photography

Stock tank pools promise to be all the rage again this summer, and it's easy to see why. They're a fun, rustic throwback to good ol' country living. The galvanized metal tubs look good inside or out, and with a starting price of $50, they're pretty darn affordable, too. Pair one with a pool float, and you're all set for a day of fun in the sun. But as much as we love the trend, we kept getting questions from readers who were concerned about the cons of using stock tanks for swimming purposes. Thankfully, it turns out there are pretty simple solutions to all of the issues.

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Tractor Supply
Large Galvanized Round Stock Tank

1. "How do you keep 'slime' from building up around the edges?"

That "slime" is actually algae, and as Pool Center points out, it can (and does) happen in any pool—even if you can't see it. Yes, "slime" is gross, and it can lead to other problems, like bacterial growth, slippery steps, and skin irritation, but it's totally preventable and treatable. You'll want to buy a pool net and regularly skim the surface, plus maybe even a pool vacuum to remove build-up from the bottom.

"We definitely recommend getting a small pump and filter or aerator," a Tractor Supply Company spokesperson tells "As they transfer and move the stock tank water, they keep the water from getting too hot, prevent algae and other buildup, and prevent mosquitoes from breeding. We sell transfer pumps and small aerators, or you can get a true pool filter from a pool store. A small aerator is also a good option if you want to avoid lots of chemicals ... If the water starts to get mucky for whatever reason, just drain and refill. Our stock tanks come with spigots for easy drainage."

Of course, pool chemicals will also help keep the water clean. Depending on the levels of chlorine in your water, you may want to add a small amount and test the pH often.

Behlen Country 165-Gallon Round Tank

2. "Won't they rust?"

Speaking of chemicals, they're to blame for this other issue: If you're using chlorine tablets, be sure to put them in a chlorine float rather than dropping directly into the metal pool to avoid corrosion and rust, Hawkins says. You can also seal the inside of the tank (Tractor Supply Company customers have applied Flex Seal) to prevent rusting.

3. "What about mosquitoes?"

Katie Mansfield/Let's Add Sprinkles

As we all know, standing water can be breeding sites for mosquitoes. Again, a pump will keep the water moving, but if bugs are still, well, bugging you, blogger Katie Mansfield from Let's Add Sprinkles recommends installing mosquito netting around the tank.

4. "Doesn't the pool get too hot?"

"If you're worried about the water getting too hot, you can create your stock tank pool in an area where there is some tree cover, or, use a 'sun sail' or cantilever umbrella, like many of our customers," the TSC spokesperson explains. "However, even our customers in Arizona, California, and Nevada who use our stock tanks for pools report that they don't get too hot to use." Remember, the metal conducts heat and cold, so the tank will cool down a lot overnight.

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McKinney, Texas-based Brandon Coston, who built his pool with Justin Preston of Barn Dance Design, made it through a Texas summer without any heating issues. He reports, "The metal and water cools off at night. If you keep the pump circulating the water during the day, that helps too. I also have an umbrella and I cut pool noodles and placed them as head rests. It never was a problem for me, we used it every day last year!"

5. "Where do you store them during the winter?"

"Our tanks have coating to withstand harsh weather—after all, they are designed to be outside watering your animals year-round—but if your pool is free-standing, and not surrounded by any decking, you can flip over the tank in the off-season or store in a garage, shed, or barn," the TSC spokesperson says. Otherwise, drain and top with a tarp.

Problems solved!

Farm and Fleet
Galvanized Stock Tank

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