You’ve bought a house and want to decorate the garden. Reports suggest adding a pond fountain can boost your property value by 6%. That sounds like a pretty great deal, right?
However, since many pond fountains are available, choosing one becomes quite challenging. You must consider the pump quality, cost, budget, and pond size. And don’t forget; you need a pond aeration system with a pond fountain.
Luckily, this guide has all the info you need to choose a pond fountain.
Table of Contents
What is a Pond Fountain?
Pond fountains are water features with a pump and spray head installed in the pond, creating a natural water spray. Some pond fountains are just decorative, while others actively aerate the water. A pond fountain adds a lot of value to your property, not to mention that it looks pretty amazing too.
Besides being visually pleasing, a pond fountain also keeps your pond clean and fresh. A fountain also contributes to pond aeration, helping the aquatic life inside the pond thrive.
How Do Water Fountains Work?
One look at a water fountain can confuse you about how it works. It can run via a solar-powered setup or operate from the electrical supply. Solar-powered pond pumps are gaining popularity as these require minimal wiring. However, electrical pond pump motors still remain best-sellers.
The water head or fountain can be a fixture built from stone at the center of the pond or a fitting attached to the pond fountain pump.
The actual structure of the pond is made of stone or concrete since it lasts longer and requires minimal upkeep. Regarding the pump’s water supply, the water is sourced directly from the pond.
Water passes through the fountain, and the water constantly recirculates—the pretty water spray results in pond aeration. The good thing about pond fountains is that you don’t have to check the water levels too often.
Types of Pond Fountains
There are two types of pond fountains – decorative and aerating.
There are two types of pond fountains – decorative and aerating.
Decorative pond fountains are usually high-pressure (but low to medium power) fountains that produce a mist-like spray, creating a focal point. The decorative appearance doesn’t necessarily do much for the pond ecosystem. So, choose this option if you are installing a fountain just for the look and aesthetic.
On the other hand, the aerating pond fountains are high-volume fountains with powerful pumps. These work to aerate and circulate your pond water and ensure optimal water quality in your pond for a healthy ecosystem.
How To Install the Pump and Fountain?
It doesn’t matter if you use solar-powered or electrically powered pumps for your pond fountain. The pump installation part is quite a technical job and should be done by a skilled professional. Typically, we’d recommend that you purchase all the pump parts first.
Without the individual pump parts, you will most definitely miss out on one thing or the other. However, with all the details in place, the overall installation process should only take a few minutes.
For those who aren’t aware, pond fountains use a submersible pump that stays underwater. The pump should remain on the level surface to work optimally without clogging. Also, the water outtake pipe of the pump should be facing outwards.
Next, you have to secure the tubing through the fountain, keeping the water outtake pipe into consideration. The pump, as we said, should be submerged inside the pond. You can then connect the cord to the electrical power source in the ground.
If everything is nestled right and the pond fountain is in place, the pump should start working immediately when connected to the power source.
How To Raise the Pump Level?
Almost every pond fountain pump you install has a set level of water pressure it can work up to. However, if that set pump level isn’t aerating the pond enough, you can always opt for a higher level.
But, how do you raise the pump level or the water pressure?
There could be several reasons contributing to the low water pressure. Ideally, we’d recommend installing an additional booster pump to improve the water pressure levels accordingly.
What are Floating Pond Fountains?
Amidst all the available choices, floating pond fountains have gained popularity. They are convenient and mainly used as a decorating pond fountain. This is because they are placed around the level surface of the pond.
So, if you are looking for an aerating pond found that runs deeper into the depths of the pond to aerate the water, these aren’t your best bet.
Typically, the floating pond fountains run 2-3 feet into the pond, which keeps them stabilized in place. Since the ponds run deeper than that, we’d recommend that you use them to add to your pond and not for other functional purposes.
Electrical Safety with Pond Fountain
Garden or pond fountains are a fantastic addition to your outdoors, not to mention that they exponentially spruce up the overall look. But, what about safety?
The majority (if not all) of the pond fountains are electric-powered. So, maintaining optimal electrical safety is very crucial with them. Since children are often curious about fountains and fascinated by them, childproofing the area is vital.
When it comes to electrical safety, always ensure that the cables are armored. Loose cables are a recipe for disaster. Most of the pond fountain pumps are connected to the underground circuits, but they impose a lot of risks. There could be a surcharge in electrical flow that could cause electrocution. The best way to avoid that risk is by installing a residual current device. This trips the circuit in case of a surcharge of electricity.
Also, if your wiring is buried in the soil on the ground, mark the area, so you don’t accidentally rake it up. This is a prevalent issue and can lead to loose wirings or electrical disputes through the pump, leading to electrical accidents.
Recommended Pond Fountains
Now that you know more about pond fountains, it’s time to consider some recommendations. There are several floating and fixed fountain pumps to add to your pond to choose from.
Let us walk you through:
First up, we have Pond Boss DFTN12003L Floating Fountain with Lights. The fountain features a ceramic shaft with plastic bearings and offers the best service. The fountain weighs around 17.55 pounds, making installing and moving around fairly easy.
This monster 2000 GPH pump is more than just an aesthetic addition to your backyard pond. It is quite eye-catching with its beautiful design, but it aerates the pond too. However, note that the minimum operating depth of this floating fountain is 2.5 ft deep, so it won’t work in shallow ponds.
The installation process of this floating fountain is quite involved, but if you have the skills and equipment, you should absolutely give it a go and DIY the installation.
A great addition that ups the fountain’s aesthetics is the installed lights that create a glorious night time scene in the fountain as well. Remember, if you’re not technically savvy, installing the fountain and the accessory pumping and electrical system will require hiring a professional. So, budget accordingly.
- Durable ceramic construction
- Aerates the pond water
- Can install it yourself, if you have the tools and skills
- Quite a high price tag
Next up on the list is the Kasco 3/4HP VFX Series Aerating Pond Fountain. Unlike the previous pump, this is primarily an aerating fountain pump that supports your pond ecosystem by oxygenating the pond water. The fountain pump also adds a decorative look with the V-spray feature.
In addition to the appearance and operation, this pond fountain pump also stands out in other aspects. The pump features a premium quality timer-control panel backed with GFCI protection. You don’t need a bottomless pond for the pump to work. The fountain works in ponds as shallow as 17.5 inches of water.
The fountain also features 120V configurations and double mooring lines with optional LED lights. When planning the installation, decide whether you want lighting, as this will influence the pump placement.
In addition, the users get a 2-year warranty with this pond fountain, which guarantees an excellent user experience and builds customer confidence.
- Superior design and construction
- The pump comes with a timer control panel
- Electrical parts are backed with GFCI protection
- Works in shallow ponds too
- Not the best for deeper ponds
The COODIA Pond Fountain is a popular favorite, mainly because of its convenient design, lightweight construction, and great price. However, this pump is best for small to medium ponds as it supports a maximum flow rate of 11 gallons per minute. In the correct size pond, the pump ensures optimal pond water aeration.
The fountain offers four different rhythmic patterns: blossom, frothy, mushroom, and two-tier style. The fountain and the submersible pump feature an internal filter that prevents unnecessary clogging of the rotor and pump.
The kit includes a detachable RGB color-changing LED light scheme, a great addition that will amaze your kids. The light creates a beautiful and magical water show around your pond at night. The internal structure of this pump is integrated with a solid magnetic ceramic rotor to ensure the pump is energy efficient.
Besides the beautiful functionality and patterns it creates, the pond fountain offers practical value as it helps to aerate your pond, ensuring a healthy ecosystem.
- Convenient and lightweight design
- Supports four different water spray patterns
- Comes with a waterproof color changing LED light
- Aerates the pond
- Because the pump is lightweight (just over three pounds), it needs to be anchored
The Alpine Corporation Alpine PAL3100 Cyclone Pond Pump is a great pump to invest in, and it’s cost-effective, saving you on your utility bills, and comes at a great price too. Match the pump to the size of your pond with seven sizes available from 2,100 GPH up to a huge 10,300 GPH.
The motor has a pre-filter to remove particles and protect the rotor. The ceramic impeller offers long-term service, and the motor requires no oil, preventing accidental spillage.
Another great feature of this pump is that you can submerge it in the pond or set it on the side of the pond, operating it out of water. The pump includes a 33-foot cord, which is also the maximum placement distance to the pond center.
A bracket is pre-fitted to the pump motor to give you options for bolting the motor to the side of the pond or attaching it to a cinder block at the pond’s center.
- Made from hardened ABS material
- Less chance of motor damage, thanks to the ceramic impeller
- Easy installation, either vertically or horizontally
- Great price
- Some of the clips require reinforcement
If budget isn’t a constraint for you, Scott Aerator Co. Floating Pond Fountain is a pretty fantastic option that you can look into. The pump motor is made of stainless steel, so you won’t have to worry about rust and complications.
Power the pump from your mains, but you must ensure you purchase the right gauge line if you need more than the included 70-foot cord. Weighing 60 pounds, the pump will require little anchoring (though the recommended weight for an anchor is given on the manufacturer’s handy chart). It’s still best to place it on a slightly raised platform to keep it clear of any bottom silt.
The spray’s V-shaped or inverted cone pattern produces a nice visual feature, but we especially love the aeration function that keeps lakes and ponds fresh and free of unhealthy bacteria.
You can also add a lighting kit to the fountain for beautiful nighttime displays.
- Durable stainless-steel construction
- Heavy enough to self-anchor, though some weighting is recommended
- Optimal aeration system
- Easy to install
- Very expensive
The OYO WATER Pond Pump Waterfall Pump is an excellent pump for a good price. The pump is amphibious, meaning it works on land and in the pond as a submersible pump.
You can create the water feature of your dreams with nifty features like a rotational outlet valve. This pond pump is available in eight sizes, from 1,800 GPH to 13,800 GPH, so measure your pond’s volume to calculate what size motor to get.
The pump motor is whisper quiet, so there are no more irritating whirring sounds while the fountain operates. With no assembly needed, installation is straightforward. Ensure you measure the distance from where you want to place the pump motor to the side of your pond to ensure the 32.8-foot cord is long enough.
The pond pump comes with a free pond motor bag to prevent blockage, and the motor assembly can be easily cleaned when needed.
- Copper wire motor has a ceramic shaft for longevity
- Improves pond circulation
- Aerates as it pumps
- Great price
- Doesn’t come with fountain nozzles, so you’ll have to purchase separate nozzles
If your garden has a well and you’d like to add a fountain or waterfall, then the Lanchez 1.6 HP Shallow Well Pump Garden Pump is a great choice. Unlike submersible pumps, the Lanchez pump is fitted next to the water source, such as your pond. The water pumps to a feature point where the water can fountain or create a waterfall.
This pump is ideal for small to medium ponds and draws water via an intake nozzle. Remember to prime the pump by filling the head with water before starting. The stainless-steel head is rust-resistant and will last long-term.
The main benefit of the pump is the shallow operation depth needed as the intake is via a tube, not through the motor housing.
- Can produce an impressive waterhead at which the fountain can spray
- Suction power up to 26 feet depth, but shallow depth works well too
- Can be used to drain the pond for maintenance too
- Produces quality use with the overheat protection sensor
- The power cord is short, but you can position the pump near the power supply
You don’t always want a massive pump for your pond, especially if you have a smaller pond and want to have the basics of circulation and aeration at a great budget-friendly price.
The Newpol 800GPH 45W Fountain Pump offers precisely this. The pump has a waterhead of 10 feet, circulates 800 GPH, and a disassemble-friendly motor housing to let you clean the filter easily.
With a quiet operation, you need never worry that the motor will be louder than the waterfall or fountain.
- Three nozzle options for different sizes and power outlets
- Ideal for small ponds and indoor ponds
- Power cord of 6.5 feet
- Very affordable pump
- The electric cord is a bit short for wider shallow ponds.
Finally, if your pond is too far for electrical mains to reach or if you don’t have the option of running a power cable to the pond, then the FEOXSHAL 25W Solar Water Pump is for you as it’s one of the few high-powered solar pumps on the market that are really worth it.
The price is affordable, especially since running the pump will cost you nothing, as long as the sun is out. For ponds that are in high-sun areas, this is an ideal option.
The mesh bag helps protect the pump, while the 16.5-foot electrical cable from the solar panel to the pump offers you more options to move the pump in the pond, using the most solar power according to the sun’s position.
With the solar panel bracket, you can tilt the panel according to the sun’s passage based on the season, providing enough power for the pump throughout the year.
The 2-year manufacturer’s warranty on the solar pump gives you greater peace of mind that this pump will last.
With the 25-watt unit, your pump will deliver a 450 GPH circulation rate in full sun. The flow rate will decrease during the late afternoon and early morning based on the sun’s strength.
- No electrical costs
- Easy installation
- Cost-effective circulation and basic aeration of the pond
- Ideal for small to medium size ponds
- There is no backup battery unit, so overcast days means no filtration
The HALF OFF PONDS Aqua Marine Floating Fountain with Large Float is a trendy choice for ponds, and it offers all you need to aerate your pond, light up the fountain, and operate in as little as 15 inches of water depth.
With an impressive 27-inch-wide floating base, the three nozzles provide five different stunning display fountains that you’ll love.
Choose from the 11 different available size motors, with flow volume starting from 3,000 GPH up to 15,000 GPH. Most units come with a 100-foot power cable, which is long enough to reach your pond center.
Choose from adjustable built in lights: either white lights or three color-changing lights, depending on your chosen model. Or, up your game with six lights to really turn your fountain into a nighttime light show.
- The design is nice and sturdy
- Easy to assemble
- Nozzle has a locking ring to keep the nozzle from being sprayed off, which is a nice touch
- Spray patterns are 3-16 feet wide and 3-10 feet tall (waterhead)
- Fairly priced for the quality and what’s offered
- The size of the motor ordered will determine the spray head, so take note if you want a tall fountainhead, you need to order the biggest size motor
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Pond Fountain Pump?
When buying a pond fountain for your home, several factors will determine which size and type motor is right for your pond. Before clicking “buy,” you should consider your pond, the type of spray pattern you want, what height you want the waterhead to reach, your budget, and your installation skills.
Here’s a quick buying guide to steer you in the right direction:
Size of Your Pond
Before you purchase a pond fountain pump, you should calculate your pond volume and measure the deepest part of the pond, where your pond pump will be placed.
In the case of large-scale ponds, the bottom may need to be dragged to clear away silt and sludge, which could influence accurate measurements and give you a false indication of the size of your pond.
What Type of Water Feature You Want
The type of water feature you want your pond pump to create will also influence your purchase. Do you want a domed spray, a V-spray, or a geyser-like spray head that shoots up into the air? Each pond pump comes with its own spray heads.
The size of your pond pump motor will need to match the size of your pond. If your pond is a thousand gallons, your motor needs to move that mass to ensure the motor doesn’t strain.
The depth of the pond will also influence the pond pump you choose. A pond motor needs to indicate the operation depth required. There’s no point in using a massive motor in a pond where the motor won’t have enough space to circulate water or place a mini-motor in a deep pond—and then having no water moving.
Some pond pumps are quite complex to install, with floats, anchors, and more to keep the pond motor at the right depth in the pond. If you have the skills, you can go ahead and order any pond pump. Still, if you’re not a skilled electrician or have experience in installing submersible motors, you should consider the cost of hiring a trained professional to manage the installation.
To Light or Not to Light
Your pond will really shine if you invest in a lighting kit. Some pumps have an inclusive lighting kit, but others require additional lighting. The placement of these will influence the placement of the pond pump in your pond. If you want to light up the surrounding rocks at night, move your pump closer to the side than you initially intended. Plan ahead of time to save on installation time and costs.
A pond pump aerates the water, which creates a stable and healthy ecosystem. However, the surface aeration in deep ponds isn’t sufficient to keep the water healthy. An additional bottom aeration unit may be needed to aerate the pond water further.
If you are unsure of the aeration needs of your pond, you should contact an expert in pond aeration and aquaculture.
At the end of the day, you should buy a pump you can afford. However, the wisest thing you can do is wait until you can afford the right size pump, instead of buying cheap and losing out on quality. Rather be patient and save up to buy the best pump for your pond that will offer you quality and durable service.
How To Install the Pump and Fountain
It doesn’t matter if you use solar-powered or electrically powered pumps for your pond fountain. Installation of most pumps can be quite a technical job and should be done by a skilled professional (especially when using electricity). Typically, we’d recommend that you purchase a complete pump kit so you have all the parts.
The overall installation process should take a few minutes when you have what you need.
Pond fountains use a submersible pump that stays underwater. The pump should remain on a level surface to work optimally and be raised slightly above the pond’s lowest level to work without clogging.
If the pump draws water through an intake valve, the intake tube should face away from the pump, increasing the circulation area. Secure the fountain pump, tubing, and wiring so the tubes don’t move once the circulation begins. The outlet valve and spray head of the pump should face upward, away from the pump, to create the pond’s signature jet or spray funnel.
Ensure the pump is switched off before connecting it to the main power supply (which should also be off to prevent electrocution). Secure the connection in a weatherproof connection box, which can be hidden with some beautiful plants or stones.
Submersible pumps must be underwater to prevent it from running dry when you switch it on. Once the power supply is switched on, the pump should start working.
How To Raise the Pump Level
Pond fountain pumps have multiple power levels, which produce different intensities of water spray each. You can choose which amount of water pressure the pump should create by selecting the power setting on the pump.
If your pump comes with a remote control, this is ideal. However, if you don’t mind getting your hands wet, you can also select a lower or higher power setting by turning the dial on the pump motor housing. To change the setting on the pump, switch off the power at the electrical mains, remove the pump from the water, and choose the setting you want before submerging the pump and switching on the electrical mains.
Your pump motor may be too weak if the pump still produces insufficient spray height (water head) at maximum setting. Use a motor booster to increase the pump capacity, but you can also opt for a larger pump motor to get better water pressure.
What Are Floating Pond Fountains?
One of the latest crazes in garden aqua-tecture (water architecture) is the use of a floating pond fountain. These are floating pumps that typically work with solar power. A bonus is that these require no installation other than floating the pump on the water surface and selecting the intensity of the water spray.
Floating pond fountains are purely decorative as they only draw water from the first foot or two of the water level and don’t circulate water from the bottom of the pond. A floating pond fountain won’t improve your pond’s water quality or aerate the water.
While some floating pond fountains are additional spray heads that float above a submersible pump, these usually don’t have a significant depth and are best used in shallow ponds.
Electrical Safety with a Pond Fountain
While pond fountains are beautiful to look at and add value to your outdoor landscape, fountain motors are often electrical, which can present some safety concerns. To ensure your home and garden are safe, you should keep these considerations in mind:
- Childproof the fountain pump by securing electrical wires and connection boxes.
- If possible, bury electrical connections and wires under the soil.
- Install a surcharge protector to prevent an electrical shock by tripping the power if there’s a spike.
- Mark where cables are buried so you don’t accidentally dig into them when gardening or cut the wires when you clean your pond edge.
Pond Fountain Maintenance
If you want to ensure the optimal longevity of your pond fountain pump, you must take care of and maintain it regularly. When you ensure the pond pump is serviced regularly and kept free of debris, you also ensure your pond remains healthy with quality water aeration.
Never believe you can simply install the pond fountain and forget it, as this will quickly damage the motor and ruin your budget.
We suggest these tips for optimal pond fountain maintenance:
Select the right pump size
The most crucial factor contributing to the maintenance is the correct pump size. If the pump motor is too small, it will have to work heavily and quickly wear through its moving parts, which can lead to the motor burning out or overheating. Soon, water won’t pass through the motor as effectively as needed, and your pump will suffer damage.
Test the pond water
While you may believe the pond fountain pump will ensure a healthy pond, you also need to test the water quality for chemicals. If the water is highly acidic or extremely alkaline from all those rotting plants and dead fish your pond is sludged up with, it will damage the seals of the pump and cause pump failure. If this is the case, the pond water will remain toxic, no matter how hard the pump works. Best to clean out the pond and start fresh.
Get professional help
Once in a while, your pond fountain pump must be removed and maintained. Servicing is crucial if you want the pump to last for long. Ideally, we’d recommend hiring a professional to help you when servicing your pond pump. Also, if the pond pump stops working, you can contact the manufacturer for approved service centers if it’s still under warranty.
Also read: Best Pond Pump This Year
The optimal size of the fountain depends on the depth or capacity of the pond. If you have a pond with 500 gallons of water, you need a fountain with a 500 GPH pump.
The pond fountain cost can start from as low as $50 and go over $1500. It depends on the material of the fountain and the associated pump’s power.
If you use a pond fountain just for decoration, a 2.5 feet deep pond can have a fountain. However, the pond should be at least 6 feet deep if you want aeration.
Also read: Best Fish for Ponds
A fountain is a lovely addition to your garden pond. However, choosing and installing a good pond fountain motor is challenging. But you’ve now gained all the knowledge you need to choose the best pond pump for your garden pond fountain feature.
Always calculate your pond’s water volume and depth before buying a pond fountain pump, and choose according to quality and features before trying to save a few bucks. With the right approach, you can have a fountain pond that will be the talk of your neighborhood.