How to Set Up Good Stock Tanks

I've learned these do's and don'ts of stock tank installations over the course of my life and am sharing them so you can learn from my experience. The main 'do' is to create a pad on which to place your tank. This provides a flat place for the cattle to stand and they don't move the rock away from the tank. The main 'don't': Do not install the tank at grade level and then push rock up to it. That is a surefire recipe for developing a mud hole and starting a foot-rot problem. It costs some more money to make good installation up front, but it will save you money in the long run due to lower maintenance costs and healthier livestock. This is how we like to install our tanks. We learned from making mistakes the first time around. We generally use a water block system with the tank located at the center. The top of the pad is flat for at least 8 ft out from the edge of the tank and then tapers down to the surrounding grade. Good drainage and solid footing make life a lot better down on the ranch. We don't use concrete pads under any of our waterers. Here is what can happen when you skimp on concrete. In this case a low quality valve in the tank malfunctioned and ran water out overnight. Because only the front feet of the cattle were on the pad, they dug out everything around it in just a few hours time. Yes, the pad was above grade, but it wasn't large enough to prevent damage around the tank. Dirt packed up to the edge of the concrete has very littl

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4 thoughts on “How to Set Up Good Stock Tanks

  1. Does the Dev. Guide have suggestions for controlling moss in tire tanks?

    1. Hi Jerry. The guide does not cover keeping tanks moss free. Not a problem in our area as the water is generally too cold to grow a good moss crop. I have been told from several sources, but have not done it myself, that putting a wad of copper wire in the tank will control moss. That is generally done by stripping the insulation off of old romex and putting about 50-100 ft of wadded up wire in the tank. If it works, it is a relatively simple & low cost method. Good luck. Jim

  2. Sharon, We have not had the problem of perching birds, but we also don’t have ‘guardrails’ around the tanks. I do like your idea of the rotating pipe to prevent them from perching. Jim

  3. What do you do about buzzards and ravens perching on troughs and fouling them? More of a problem with troughs in the open. I plan to try to install future tanks nearer trees or something to perch on. But these are already here. I have considered trying 2 sizes of pipe with the outer pipe rolling when they try to perch. These are round metal troughs so not as easy as straight sides to work with. Has anyone else had this problem?

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