How to Make a Pond Fountain

Pond fountains not only look and sound appealing on a summer's day, they also help aerate water for fish and plant life.

Pond fountains offer a variety of spray options.Pond fountains offer a variety of spray options.
Fountains range from elaborate, multilevel cascades to simple bubbling springs. The size, type and style of your pond fountain depends on the size of your pond. Another consideration is fountain noise. Large, high-volume fountains run by heavy-duty pumps can make splashing and generator noise that drowns out other sounds in the garden. Ideally, you should design the fountain while designing a new pond, otherwise you may need to partially or completely drain your pond to install the fountain.

Buy an electric pond pump from a garden store or pond specialist. Opt for a submersible model for most garden ponds. Water-cooled pumps are a better option than oil-cooled models -- they don't cause pollution or slicks if they leak, according to Oregon State University. Look for pumps that manage at least 120 to 145 gallons per hour for a small pond, with more for larger ponds, according to Aquatic Community. Purchase an extra length of pump hose.

Map out where in your pond you want to place the fountain. Make sure it's accessible for easy maintenance. In small ponds, the fountain may go in the middle. Fountains in larger ponds should be at the edge or to one side.

Install a simple bubbling fountain at the side of your pond. Insert the pump hose through the bottom of piece of strong plastic sheeting. Seal the hole around the hose with the waterproof sealant. Secure the sheet on the ground, angled toward the pond. Build up an area of pebbles and rocks on top of the plastic layer. Water will bubble over these rocks into the pool.

Stack slate, brick or rock near the pond to create a more elaborate fountain. Position the stack in the center of the pond if you have a smaller pond. Run the pump hose up through the middle of the stack, with the end pointing out through the rocks. Or angle it against the rocks so the water will spread.

Buy a premade fountain or fountain statue if you would like a more decorative feature. Pond statues from garden centers usually have holes to accommodate pump hoses.

Get advice from a professional electrician before fixing your wiring for the pump. Ensure that all wiring is outdoor-quality and placed in suitable piping, and that all junctions are waterproof. The Pond Expert website recommends you protect the system with a residual current device (RCD).

Ensure that the pump is fully under water before flicking the switch to avoid burnout. Turn the pump on and see how the fountain looks. Adjust the pump and hose settings until the water rate is to your liking.

Things You Will Need

  • Pond pump
  • Pump hose
  • Plastic sheet
  • Waterproof sealant
  • Rocks
  • Bricks
  • Statue (optional)
  • Plants
  • Protective piping

Tip

  • Put plants and rocks around your pump, wiring and fountain for protection and a tidier appearance.

Warning

  • Never work with live electricity near water until you are sure that all circuits have been made water-safe.