What Does A 5 Month Old Horse Fetus Look Like Which Stock Tank Is the Better Choice, Poly or Galvanized Steel?

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Which Stock Tank Is the Better Choice, Poly or Galvanized Steel?

When choosing a water tank to keep your horses watered, you have two basic options, the good old standby tank which is the galvanized steel stock tank and the newer addition to the stock market the poly plastic stock tank. Both plastic and steel water tanks come in all sizes from 25 gallons to 800 gallons. All come with a standard one-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects regardless of manufacturer.

The question most riders ask themselves is which is better and which lasts longer? I have owned both types of tanks and both have advantages and disadvantages. It really all comes down to personal preference when making this decision.

Polyplastic tanks usually offer a removable drain plug at the bottom of the tank; this allows storage tank heaters with drain bolts to be used in the winter, which is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of a poly tank. Drain plug defrosters screw into the drain plug at the bottom of the water tank, preventing curious and evil horses from pulling your stock tank heater out of the tank and playing with it! Another great benefit of a drain plug defroster in the winter is that they are cheaper than other traditional water heaters! A typical drain plug defroster will run around $34.99 new versus a standard drop tank defroster will cost $47.00.

Galvanized steel tanks are easier to clean with a brush in the summer months than poly plastic which requires a bit more scrubbing and knee grease. Steel tanks are sealed at the seams with a silicone product; this will break down over time and cause the steel tank to leak in the seams along the sides and bottom of the tank. This process will also be sped up if you have horses that like to kick the steel tanks when the water starts to drop, I have a full chain in the back yard that is constantly pounding our steel tanks. To fix this you can seal the tank seams with silicone sealant or JB Weld also works great for this type of application. The key is to really work the product into the seams when you have to reseal the tank and make sure you apply the product to a clean, dry surface and then let it dry as recommended by the manufacturer before refilling the stock tank with water. .

Steel stock tanks should come with a bottom drain plug, although you will find them difficult to remove, and even harder to find a replacement if you lose the plug. Poly tanks, especially Rubbermaid water tanks, drain plugs are easily accessible if you lose them. In general, a steel tank is easier to pressurize when you need to empty the storage tank and clean it.

When comparing the initial cost of these livestock tanks, poly vs. steel, they will be very similar and all vary by tank gallon volume. A 149 gallon poly tank will cost about $150.00, a steel tank of the same capacity will cost between $140 and $160 depending on where you are in the US. The price of steel fluctuates more due to regularly changing steel prices.

Poly tanks will degrade more at higher altitudes due to increased UV exposure. Tanks will fade and become brittle over time. The main disadvantage of poly tanks is that once they become brittle, no repair can be done on the stock tank. A steel tank can be bent back into shape, kicked, thrashed and exposed to extreme cold and extreme heat and still be able to be repaired after years of use. If you have a horse that likes to kick tanks, you may be best advised to stay away from poly tanks in general and be prepared to reseal your steel tank every few years.

Both types of livestock tanks should last for years with proper care and abuse. My galvanized steel water tanks that I use are over 15 years old. I have also seen polytanks this old. The bottom line is that choosing a water tank is a personal preference and anyone can get their money’s worth from either product for many years with proper care. What brand do you go with? The HW brand makes excellent galvanized steel storage tanks and Rubbermaid or Fortiflex make very good poly plastic storage tanks.

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