How To Keep Your Stock Tank Pool Water Clean

So you've DIYed your stock tank pool and enjoyed using it a couple times, and then all of sudden it starts to get a green tint. Don't fret! This can be fixed! And you don't have to drain your pool....

Our pool water has looked like this at least once a month since it's been warmer outside. But the water in our pool is the same water we filled our pool up with when we made it into a hot tub in the winter. Today we will tell you everything you need to know to keep your water looking fresh, crystal clear, and blue!

First of all, your pool water should never be green, or even have a hint of green. If you see green, something isn't right with your water. At it's best, your pool water should be a pretty pale blue color and it should be crystal clear. But also remember that when you swim in the pool, your body oils and sunscreen get into the pool, so it's going to need some maintenance.

You'll want to keep a few supplies on hand to keep your water in tip top shape.
(These are affiliate links.)

A skimming net
Water Test Kit
pH minus and/or pH raiser
Chlorine Tablets
Chlorine Dispenser
New Filters

Step 1. Test the water. Follow the directions on your kit, but it usually involves filling the tubes with water, adding drop, and waiting to see what the color of your water means.

Step 2. Balance the water. If your pH is too high or too low, you will need to use pH minus or pH raiser to fix that. I've only ever had to use pH minus, and I probably only have to do that twice a season. If the pH isn't right, the chlorine cannot be used properly! So make sure to use the chemicals when you need them, and follow the instructions on the bottle.

Step 3. Add chlorine. If your test reads that you need chlorine, you need to add some tablets. If your pool is really green or cloudy, you make want to look into getting some pool shock, or liquid chlorine to add to your pool. I have found that this is necessary

Step 4. Remove all debris. Including over the drain. Take your skimming net and catch everything that is floating in the water and empty it outside of the pool. Also use your hand to grab and remove anything that is stuck in the drain grate.

Step 5. Replace dirty filter. This is pretty self explanatory, just make sure you turn the plunger valves to the lock position before you open the pump and open them before you turn the pump on.

Step 6. Run the pump. If the pool is a normal dirty, I'll just keep the pool running on the 4 hour time cycle. If it need a little more love, I'll turn it up to 6 hours.

Step 7. Sweep. And don't forget about the sides! Sweep every surface that is in the water. If your pool is green, you will see green bits moving around in the water as you sweep. Just make sure you push all of that over towards the drain outlet. If your pool isn't painted on the inside like ours is, the bottom of your pool will get slimy when green. And it will be harder to see on the shiny silver of the stock tank pool. Since our pool is white, I can see the moment algae starts to develop, and it doesn't get slimy.

Step 8. Wait for the pump to do it's job! The pump is a magical thing. And it will clean your water beautifully if you've prepped your water like we've just talked about.

If you follow all of these steps, you will have clean water in one or two pump cycles (depending on how dirty your water was). I've been able to turn around some pretty dirty water in our pool by doing these things. But you always follow the steps above even if you pool isn't green. I could probably remove debris from the pool every other day, but I end up doing it about once a week. The faster you remove the debris out of the pool, the less the filter gets filled up.

We are working on a new stock tank pool FAQs post so I'm curious.... what questions do you have? Leave them in the comments below so we can make sure we answer them.

If you liked this post, please pin an image from the blog on your Pinterest account!

Happy swimming!


  1. Hey there! Quick question, I believe you all changed which pool pump you used. What pool pump did you end up getting?

  2. We are having a hard time cleaning out small dirt / gravel / debris that sink to bottom and net cannot pick up. Have you tried a pool vacuum? or have any suggestions?

    1. Yes, you can use a pool vacuum to clean the bottom debris. Attach the hose to the vacuum head, place the open nozzle of the jet inlet to force the air out of the hose. Wait for the vacuum head to stop bubbling and then connect the hose to the suction outlet. The key is to vacuum and move slowly, you do not want to kick up the debris in the water. I got my vacuum supplies at Wally world but you can get them anywhere you like.

    2. I've been using a kids water shooter from the dollar store to remove grit. The kind that looks a bit like a giant, elongated syringe. The pump seems to create a whirlpool of grit in one area of the pool and I can just suction it out in one go and then shoot it across the yard. It's really effective, much less of a faff than putting the vacuum together every time you see stuff in the bottom of the tank, and thoroughly entertaining.

  3. Would you provide a link to the pump and filter system you bought? Thank you for all the great info!

  4. won't chlorine eat away at the galvanized coating on the tank?

  5. So I have this orange powder in my stock tank pool. I keep vacuuming it, but it keeps coming back. Thoughts?

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