Skip the pricey installation and go straight to fun in the sun with a stock tank pool. These pools are budget-friendly, versatile, and can be installed with just a few tools. We found the most beautiful stock tank pools around so you can steal inspiration and start planning your own backyard paradise.

By Katie Bandurski
Updated July 17, 2019
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Say goodbye to overpriced pool passes and unsatisfying sprinklers—your own backyard swimming pool is finally within reach. Stock tank pools are exactly what the name indicates—an outdoor wading pool made from a small livestock tank. The adult twist on inflated kiddie pools, stock tank pools provide relief from the heat without having to invest in the installation of an in-ground pool. To get started, pick up a stock tank and a filter pump. The galvanized bins can be found at agriculture supply retailers like Tractor Supply Company. The filter is key as it will prevent the growth of bacteria and algae. Get one that is specially made for above-ground pools for easy installation, then enjoy soaking in the sun all summer long. We have the inspiration you need to make the most of your stock tank pool, as well as some essential how-to tips.

Stock tank tubs originate from farms where they're used to hold water for livestock. They come in many different sizes but most are made of galvanized steel. Although some homeowners choose to dress up their tank or install it below the ground's surface, this homeowner's stock tank tub is as simple as it gets. Just place the tub on a flat surface, attach a pump, add water, and you're ready for summer relaxation.

Depending on your landscape, an above-ground stock tank tub might be an eyesore. Consider tucking the tank under the surface of your yard by digging a large hole and leveling the bottom. A skirt of rustic pavers coupled with an enchanting container garden of flowers helps hide this pool's filtration system.

Cash in on the copper craze by updating the exterior of your tank with spray paint. Just be sure to find a primer and paint that is made for galvanized steel—or whatever material your tank is made from. Stick to metallic paint colors for a bit of sparkle in the sun, or opt for a funky bold hue to add brightness to your backyard.

Stay shady in an otherwise sunny spot by positioning a patio umbrella over your stock tank pool. With an umbrella, you get the best of both worlds—put it down when you want to catch some rays or roll it up to beat the heat.

Retreat into the wilderness with a stock tank pool nestled in the woods. The perfect complement to a cabin, stock tank pools provide relaxation when the lake is just a little too far away. Be sure to have a filter, pump, or other mechanism attached to keep the water moving and prevent mosquitoes and other bugs from breeding.

Dress up a typical stock tank with a pretty gauze canopy. The net serves double duty—it looks pretty but also keeps bugs at bay. Surrounded by potted plants and hanging baskets, you'll feel like you're on a tropical getaway instead of lounging in your yard.

Positioning your stock tank next to a hedge or fence ensures that you can enjoy your pool in private. This trick works especially well for small backyards without a ton of natural privacy from trees. To complete the look, blogger Julia of Cuckoo4Design added an exterior bamboo pool liner, landscaping rocks, and some lush greenery.

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