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How to turn an old hot tub into a water feature

Arlene Mason

If you have an old above ground hot tub in your yard, you can turn it into a decorative koi pond or fountain with very little effort. Any of these projects can make your yard more beautiful.

Decorative Pond - Natural Rocks

  1. Place nice big rocks around the outside of the hot tub. If the enclosure is intact, place the rocks right up against the enclosure.

  2. Fill in the spaces with dirt. If the enclosure is not intact, pile up dirt and place the rocks in the dirt, which will allow them to stay in place.

  3. Make it look like a natural rock pile and put them right up to the lip of the tub.

  4. Fill up the hot tub with water and place koi fish and water plants (available from a pet store) inside.

Decorative Pond - "Castle" Stones

  1. Measure your hot tub. Measure it around, and from the ground to the lip. Then measure it again, and write down the dimensions.

  2. Select your castle stones. These are the stones that are pie shaped and they come in gray, dark blue, and a red brick color. You can mix and match the stones if you like, or use all one color. You will be laying the stones next to one another around the hot tub, and stacking them up to reach the lip of the tub. Each stone is about 18 inches at the widest and about 6 inches high. So if your tub is 36 inches high you would need to have 6 levels. If your tub is 24 feet around (6 feet on a side x 4 sides) then you would need 16 stones per level or 96 stones total.

  3. When you get home, unload the stones. Then follow the directions on the concrete mortar. Keep the directions handy.

  4. Lay out the first level of stones. Place them as close to the hot tub enclosure as possible. They should go around the hot tub and the edges should be touching. This is the foundation, make sure it is exactly how you want it.

  5. Place a small amount of mortar on the top of the first two stones using a trowel. Then place the first stone of the next level directly in the middle of those two stones. Place the next stone right next to the first and continue this way all the way around, and all the way up to the lip of the hot tub. Be sure to use only a little mortar, just enough to secure the stones, wipe off any excess with the edge of your trowel.

  6. When the mortar is dry, fill the hot tub with water and place water lilies and koi inside.


  1. Start with just the hot tub shell with all of the plumbing removed. Measure it around, and measure the height. Then measure it again and write down the dimensions.

  2. Place a child's swimming pool that is just slightly larger than the diameter of the hot tub, on the spot in your yard that you want the fountain. You may sink it into the ground if you, wish, but that is optional.

  3. Inside the pool, place a fountain pump. This can be obtained from a hardware store, and needs to be powerful enough to push water the height of the hot tub.

  4. With your hack saw, cut a piece of quarter inch PVC pipe the same length as the height of the hot tub plus 1 inch.

  5. Cut a quarter inch hole in the bottom of the hot tub.

  6. Assemble the pump, with the PVC pipe, in the pool. Run the power cord out of the pool.

  7. Place the hot tub shell upside down into the pool. Run the PVC pipe up through the hole in the bottom (now the top) of the hot tub.

  8. Fill the pool with water and switch on the pump. Water should cascade down over the steps, and into the pool. It is okay if it also flows down the sides of the tub, it will just add to the uniqueness of the fountain.