What to Look for When Buying a Stock Tank

White and brown cows drinking from a wooden watering trough with rolling green hills in the background.

When most people think of stock tanks, they most likely imagine large metal containers used to store livestock feed or water. While this is typically where you would find these products, stock tanks have various applications.

Because of their versatility, stock tanks can typically be found at several in-person and online stores. That said, it’s important to purchase a high-quality stock tank to ensure it performs well for years to come.  

In this article, we will discuss where you can find a suitable, high-quality stock tank for your specific location and needs. However, there are some important things you should know before making your purchase.

What is a Stock Tank and What are its Uses?

A stock tank, also known as a galvanized steel stock tank, is a container used to hold water or other liquids. Stock tanks are often used as water troughs for livestock, but they can also be used for gardening, irrigation, rainwater collection and more. They come in many sizes, from small tanks that hold just a few gallons of water to large tanks that can hold hundreds or even thousands of gallons. They can be purchased at most farm supply stores or online.

Considerations Before Buying a Stock Tank

Water falls out of a black metal tube into a stock tank.

Where Will It Be Located?

To prevent leaking, spilling or tipping over, the tank should be placed on level ground. It is important to place it close to a water source for easy filling, and it should also be in an area where excess water can quickly drain away.

In addition, if you choose to use your tank as a pool, situate it in an area that gets plenty of sunlight so that the water doesn’t become too cold.

What Size Best Suits Your Purpose?

Stock tanks come in many sizes, from small tanks that can hold just a few gallons of water to larger models that can accommodate thousands of gallons. When choosing a tank size, it’s important to consider the purpose of the tank:

  1. Is It for Livestock Watering?

Evaluate what animals will be drinking from this stock tank. For example, a small tank might be sufficient for a few chickens, but it would not be large enough to provide water for a herd of cattle.

  1. Will You Use It as a Swimming Pool?

A small tank measuring 2 feet by 4 feet can hold up to 500 gallons of water, making it ideal for a single person or a small family. On the other hand, a larger tank measuring 8 feet by 2 feet can hold up to 3,000 gallons of water, making it better suited for a large family.

  1. Are You Building Raised Garden Beds?

Did you know you can use a stock tank as a raised garden bed? Just keep in mind that a small stock tank will not provide enough space for your plants to grow, and a large stock tank will be too heavy to move around. The best way to determine the proper size for your needs is to measure the area where you plan to use the tank. 

The length should be at least twice the width of the tank, and the width should be at least one to one-and-a-half times the height of the tank. This will give you enough room to fill the tank with soil and plants and still move it around easily.

  1. Are You Capturing Rainwater? 

As a general rule of thumb, you should calculate one gallon of storage for every square foot of roof surface area. So, for example, if your house has 1,000 square feet of roof surface area, you would need a 1,000-gallon tank. Just remember to factor in the cost of delivery when choosing a tank. Larger tanks can be heavy and difficult to move around.

Should It Be Metal, Fiberglass or Plastic?

When deciding what type of material you want the tank to be made from there are three main choices: plastic, metal or fiberglass. Each has its own pros and cons.

Plastic tanks are the most inexpensive option, but they can become brittle in cold weather and may not last as long as metal or fiberglass tanks. 

Metal tanks are durable and will last for many years, but they can rust over time. 

Fiberglass tanks are the most expensive option, but they are also the most durable and will last for decades with proper care. No matter which material you choose, make sure you buy a tank that is food-grade and UV-stabilized to ensure the safety of your water supply.

Set a Budget for the Project

Finally, compare prices from different suppliers to find the best deal. Obviously, tanks will vary in price by size and material, but the low-end option for a plastic tank would be $125.00, and the high-end option can easily reach thousands of dollars. By taking the time to make an informed decision, you can ensure your stock tank meets your needs for years to come.

Pros and Cons of Stock Tanks

A large, green, oval-shaped stock tank with circular details on the side.

Stock tanks are also increasingly popular as stylish and low-cost alternatives to traditional in-ground pools. However, they come with a few potential disadvantages that you should consider before making your purchase:

  1. Stock tanks are typically much shallower than in-ground pools, so they may not be suitable for swimming or diving.
  2. If they are made of metal, stock tanks can get very hot in direct sunlight, making them uncomfortable to use on hot summer days.
  3. Finally, although they are less expensive than in-ground pools, stock tanks still require regular maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion.

With these factors in mind, you can decide whether a stock tank is the right choice for you.

How to Care for a Stock Tank

A round, green stock tank with circular details on the sides.

Before you head to the store to purchase one, it’s important to understand the maintenance required to keep your stock tank in tip-top shape.

Stock tanks are generally made of either galvanized steel or polyethylene plastic. Galvanized steel tanks are more durable and will last longer, but they will require more upkeep than polyethylene tanks. Polyethylene tanks are easier to care for but are not as long-lasting as galvanized steel tanks.

No matter which type of tank you choose, it’s important to rinse it out thoroughly before adding water. If you’re using a galvanized steel tank, you’ll also need to periodically scrub the inside with a solution of one part vinegar to four parts water to remove any rust buildup.

If you use it as a pool, you’ll need to test the pH level and add chlorine to maintain a balanced pool. You’ll also need to empty and clean your stock tank every few weeks to remove any dirt, debris or algae that have accumulated. With proper care and maintenance, your stock tank pool will provide years of enjoyment.

Where to Buy A Stock Tank? – Tank Depot Has a Huge Selection of the Most Popular Size

Here at Tank Depot, we are one of the leading suppliers of stock tanks. We offer a huge selection of the most popular sized tanks, and we guarantee the lowest prices. You can choose from various materials including plastic, metal and fiberglass. 

We also offer a wide variety of accessories, including tank stands, pumps, filters and more. If you’re looking for a new livestock watering tank or just some additional supplies, we have you covered. 
Contact us today for more information.