Like a kiddie pool, except rustic, stylish and big enough for grown-ups. Like a hot tub, except cold and refreshing. Yep, we’re talking about the stock tank pool—an easy, budget-friendly way to install a lil’ slice of paradise in your own backyard (and a hot trend this summer). Here’s everything you need to know about stock tank pools so you can get in on the action.

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What is a stock tank pool?

Fun fact: Stock tanks are actually metal watering troughs for hydrating livestock. However, someone (a genius) discovered that they can be repurposed as above-ground pools. Aside from the obvious awesomeness of having a pool on the premises during the sweaty summer months, the galvanized steel construction of stock tank pools is easy to clean and decidedly stylish, delivering a swoon-worthy dose of country-chic to pretty much any setting.

How much do stock tank pools cost?

Glad you asked. Stock tank pools are an absolute steal—you can snag one for as little as $300 or as much as $700, depending on how spacious you want your wading pool to be. In comparison, the expense of installing an in-ground pool is bonkers (think: thousands of dollars). Not to mention that other similarly sized above-ground options leave much to be desired in terms of aesthetic appeal. The takeaway? If you’re in the market for an attractive pool you can own without wishing on a star (or winning the lottery), a stock tank is what you need.

How to maintain a stock tank pool

If you’re considering a stock tank pool but are wary of biting off a bigger chore than you can chew, we’ve got good news—namely that stock tanks are actually super low-maintenance. The rust-resistant steel frame is easy to clean; and because a stock tank is always outfitted with a drain plug, keeping the water fresh is a piece of cake, too. Plus, you can always throw down a couple hundred more bucks for a pump filter (highly recommended) and spare yourself the hassle of draining and refilling it with every use. Other than that, all you really need to know is that you should throw a hot tub cover over the pool when it’s not in use, give the sides a scrub with a pool brush every few days, and add chlorine tablets on a weekly basis. Not so bad, right? Get the full run-down on how to maintain your awesome new soaking pool here.

How to store a stock tank pool

So summer is in the rearview and you’re wondering what to do with your stock tank pool when it’s no longer warm enough for a swim. When the off-season arrives, the first choice is simply to drain the pool and roll the stock tank into a garage or other sheltered storage area where it can stay dry for the winter. If that’s not an option, there are plenty of other ways to winterize a stock tank pool, depending on where you live.

For moderate climates, it’s OK to turn off the pump filter but leave the stock tank full. That said, you should still cover the pool so that the water doesn’t get exceptionally gross while it’s not in use. If you live somewhere that gets cold but not that cold (i.e., no extended periods in which the temperature remains below freezing), you can leave the stock tank filled and fend off the effects of an occasional frost by adding some tennis balls or other floating objects that will agitate the water and keep it from icing over. Finally, for regions that experience really wintry weather, your best bet is to drain the pool completely and either turn it upside down or use a hard cover to keep moisture out and prevent rusting. (Assuming the garage or shed option is out, that is.)

These are the best DIY methods for winterizing a stock tank pool in different climates. Still, it’s worth noting that you can buy equipment to do the job for you no matter where you live. A de-icer is a handy tool that keeps the water warm year-round—just keep in mind that it will run up your electric bill and, if you’re not using your stock tank to keep actual animals hydrated, it might not be worth the expense.

Where to buy stock tank pools

You can buy stock tank pools in a variety of sizes online. Popular brands include Countryline made by Tractor Supply, Tarter, Behlen and Hastings.

Stock Tank Pool Style Inspo

Now that you have all the practical information you need, peruse the stock tank inspo below. (Seriously, tell us you aren’t tempted to scoop one up this weekend.)

Stock tank pools cat
Emerson Grey Designs

Emerson Grey Designs is behind this matte black beauty. While matching your beach ball to your stock tank pool is totally optional, it does take your whole aesthetic up a notch.

Install one on a flat patch of grass, and add a bistro table and chairs for a mini outdoor oasis.

You can also get suuuuuper fancy by digging a hole in the ground and laying some stonework.

Of course, your stock pool might still serve as a watering hole for animal friends.

Also pairs well with a patio chair and a beautiful view, don’t you think?

But all you really need is a glass of bubbly and some poolside snacks on a hot day.

Matte white + bulb lights = swoon

This color-blocked look is a particularly cheerful and summery style.

Yep, they’re big enough for a full-size human in a floatie. (Happy summer, guys.)

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