Koi's - Header image

Fish pond fountains - Purpose and Tips

Pond fountain, image
In my opinion, all fish ponds should have a focal point that draws the eye towards it and this is usually an attractive waterfall or a fish pond fountain. The exception to this rule is with a natural fish pond where a waterfall may look well in a natural surrounding but the fountain can look false and an idea thought about after the fish pond has been completed.

Most fish ponds do have a place for a fountain and with the wide range of models and sizes to select from nowadays there is always a fish pond fountain that has a place in your own fish pond or even as a larger water feature where a shallow pond has been situated purely for the water to flow into before it is pumped back into the feature.

Not only do the fish pond fountains give a great look to your fish pond but they also have a use helping pond aerators keeping the oxygen levels high in the water column as the resulting burst of water from the fountain hits the water surface of the fish pond increasing the gaseous exchange. The sound of the water trickling is also very relaxing for the family as they spend evenings around the fish pond, a great tonic to forget about the stressful day at work.

Selecting the correct fountain for your fish pond may seem a bit confusing at first, the worst thing you can do is to purchase a fountain that is too large or too small for your fish pond. If it is too large then it will overtake the balance of the fish pond, if too small it can look miniscule in the overall design. Searching through the online suppliers or visiting supplier’s stores will enable you to see the products available and all suppliers are more than willing to offer you advice if you ask, you will never look foolish if you ask questions, better to be sure than to purchase the wrong model for your fish pond.

Probably the easiest way to start off with obtaining your fish pond fountain is to purchase one of the many kits available, these should come complete with any pipe work required for connecting the water pump to the fountain, the fountain neck and of course the fountain head that creates the varying water patterns as the water is forced out of the fountain. You should note that when pricing up for a fish pond fountain, it is not always the case that the actual water pump will be included; this will cost you extra so bear this in mind. In most cases the water pumps will also run from mains electricity, this should be wired safely and a circuit breaker installed so that there is no chance of anyone getting electrocuted as water and electricity do not mix!

In all cases the water pumps will be submersible and sit below the fountain heads, if you are adding a static fountain to the fish pond then the whole fountain and water pump will need to be secured into place below the water surface, all pipe work and wiring should be hidden from view so that everything looks neat and tidy. The fountain head will sit on top of the water pump, to keep these static the whole assembly will need to be weighted down. Obviously if a lavish concrete fountain is being added to a large fish pond then the weighting down is not required as these fountains do not move once in place.

Positioning the fish pond fountain into the correct placement and height is not too difficult; simply measuring the depth that the pump needs to be placed at to give you the correct amount of fountain neck showing makes life easier. You can now place some blocks at the bottom of the fish pond and then construct a weighted base that will sit on the blocks keeping the fountain secure and at the correct depth. I have found from personal experience that the easiest way to make the base is to use a plastic container that is large enough to seat the footprint of the water pump comfortably and fill this with concrete. While the concrete is still wet I inserted a large wall staple at each end so that the loop was left showing. The concrete was allowed to go off and then the water pump can be easily secured by using cable ties over the pump and through the two loops on the weighted base. If the measurements of the depth were taken correctly then the only part of the fountain that should be seen is the fountain neck and the spray head.

As mentioned above many of the fountain heads available can give you a variety of water patterns as it leaves the fountain, they can form full circular rings of water or single sprays, even alternating sprays can be performed by the more expensive models. The choice is yours as to which you prefer as everyone has different tastes at the end of the day. Always remember that the spray from the fish pond fountains does not aerate the water as much as using specific pond aerators or waterfalls so in larger ponds it may not be acceptable to just run the fountain, if the oxygen levels are low it will soon become obvious as the fish will rise to the water surface gasping.

The water pumps on the fountains are not as powerful as waterfall water pumps or even the water pumps that run the fish pond filters, they do not need to push as large a water volume through each hour to work correctly, often the outlet of the fountain is smaller than the inlet so this creates pressure meaning that even less power is required from the water pump. This does have an advantage though, less powerful water pumps use less mains power through the year which in turn means less costs for the electricity. Many of the models can be powered from a 24 watt water pump; some of the smaller models may have even less wattage on their pumps so this is good news for the fish pond keeper.

Recently another innovation for fish ponds fountains were the solar powered varieties. These make even more savings for the fish pond keeper as they use the sun to supply the power and the running costs for the fish pond fountain drops to zero immediately. They are self contained units that have solar panels which supply the power to rechargeable batteries which in turn provide the power, these can also be cheaper to purchase than the mains powered models so are well worth looking into. A lot of these are also floating fountains, if you wish they can be allowed to drift around the fish pond through the motion of the water and external wind giving your fish pond a different look every day. A lot of keepers prefer them to be stationary so they can also be weighted down by using a rock or block that is attached to the floating fountain by a cable or chain. This will not eliminate all of the movement around the pond but will confine the floating pond fountain to a much smaller area.

Like all fish pond equipment, fish pond fountains do require maintenance to keep them running smoothly and efficiently. Over time they can become clogged, algal outbreaks can colonise pipe work and the water pumps can become clogged.

I prefer to do any maintenance work during the winter months when the fountain is turned off for a couple of months; the first job is to check the water pump. Nearly all of the pumps will have a piece of sponge around the intake area to prevent any detritus from entering the pump and either clogging it or damaging the moving parts. The sponge is easily removed and can be rinsed clean in the fish pond water ready for the next year, if the pump rate slows down during the year then remove this sponge straight away and rinse it clean as it will be clogged.

The pipe work cam easily be cleaned by using a bottle brush, tying a length of string to the head of the brush allows you to pull the brush all of the way through the pipe work removing any algal deposits.

Always check that the outlets of the fountain heads are clear or the water pattern that it creates will become distorted, the small holes can easily be cleared by removing the fountain head and turning it upside down, a small nail or similar can be pushed into the holes to remove any debris.

Hopefully this article has helped to explain the fish pond fountain to you, remember shop around for the best price and always ask for advice if you require it to make sure that you get the right model for your fish pond!