How to Make a Small Table or Desktop Water Fountain

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Make a beautiful fountain for your home or office. By making your own fountain, you get exactly the size you want, and you get to personalize it to your own taste and style. Custom fountains also make great gifts. In five easy steps, learn to make your own table-top fountain.

Things You'll Need

  • Waterproof container
  • Rocks
  • 40 - 60 GPH submersible pump
  • Plate, tile, or other flat object to fit inside the container

Making a Table-Top Fountain

  • Decide on the size of fountain you want before purchasing your pump. Will it be a tall fountain a foot or higher, or will it be a smaller fountain, under a foot? If it is a foot or under, purchasing a 40 - 60 GPH (gallons per hour) pump will be sufficient. However, if the fountain will be over a foot, you'll want a larger pump. Another consideration in buying your pump is whether you plan on having your water rising higher above the container. Remember: if your container is 8 inches high, you'll be putting your pump at the bottom of the container. If you plan on having your water come out of the top of a decorative object that will rise 10 inches above the surface of the container, you are dealing with an 18-inch fountain, not a 12-inch fountain. Consider this when you buy your pump to avoid disappointment.

  • Decide what you would like your fountain to look like. A good option is a lovely bowl or vase you never use. Additionally, you'll need some sort of flat item you can place at the top of the container to place the rocks on. A ceramic plate or tile will work just fine.

  • To assemble your fountain, place the pump at the bottom of the container, positioning it according to package directions. Then fit the flat plate or tile inside the container. You'll want the plate or tile to be slightly smaller than the container so that when you refill your container with water, it can move down below the plate. Also, by using a slightly smaller plate, the cord will easily fit between the plate and the container. If you have rather a high container and you want to have the plate raised toward the top, you'll need to use some large rocks or other tall items to support the plate at its desired height.

  • Place the rocks and other decorative items on the plate. Polished rocks are perfect in fountains, but you may find that you have some other special rocks you'd like to place in the fountain for additional decoration. If you don't have polished rocks, you can buy them in a wide variety of stores, generally in either the crafts or home and garden section. You can also use polished glass, marbles, large beads or crystals, depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

  • Virtually any item you have at home that will not be damaged by water can make an attractive fountain addition. Consider these items: dripless candles, crystal dishes, decorative ceramic dishes, ceramic figurines or decorative glass items or figurines.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some pumps have settings on them that allow you to have a weaker or stronger water flow. If your fountain is going to have falling water or any other special feature, you'll want to buy a pump with this feature.
  • Follow all safety and installation instructions on the pump.
  • Do not let the fountain run dry. If the fountain runs dry, the pump will be ruined and you'll need to buy a new one.
  • Do not buy too much pump for the fountain. Overkill will not give you a better fountain; it will just make a mess.
  • Do not set the fountain on furniture that may be damaged by water until you know how your fountain is going to work when you turn it on and adjust the pump settings (if applicable).

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