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Simple steps to build a Tabletop Water Fountain

by: Rachel Paul 

Water is the essence of life. Creating your own table top fountains is a wonderful way to bring out your creativity and self-expression while simultaneously relieving stress and enhancing your interior décor. 

There are many unique benefits to having a fountain at home or work: 
  • The gentle soothing sound of flowing water can help you relax and meditate in your bedroom after a hard day’s work; 
  • Start the day listening to the music of the splashing water and enjoy the invigorating effect it has on your mood. 
  • Fountains humidify the indoor air, especially if your home or workplace is dry due to continual air-conditioning. This is extremely helpful in preventing your skin from drying out. 
  • Fountains release negative ions, said to promote better moods and concentration. 
  • Building a water fountain can be as simple as putting some stones and a small pump into a container with water. It does not have to be expensive or fancy. Nothing can compare to the feeling of accomplishment from creating your own fountain. 

Materials Needed: 

1 A waterproof container or bowl of proper depth. 

Choose a container between 8-16 inches across in diameter and depth of at least 4-6 inches. The water has to cover the pump; otherwise, the pump will burn out. You can use ceramic bowls, plastic flower pots, glass, or wood boxes. The easiest and least expensive containers are plastic pots or ceramic bowls. Some plastic pots tend to vibrate when you put everything together. Ceramic bowls are more solid, lessening the vibration 

Look in your cupboard for a casserole, serving dish, punch bowl, or fruit bowl if you're in a hurry to make a fountain. 

2. A small water pump (less than 100 gallons per hour) and clear plastic tubing (1/2" inner dimension or 5/8" outer dimension). 

Fish tank pumps are fine. The smallest ones work well for the typical size containers. Some shops supply suction cups with water pumps. Both the pump and tubing can be found at an aquarium, hardware, or garden supply store. To straighten the hose, boil it in water for a while. 

3.Rocks; pebbles; slate; crystals; semi-precious stones; drift wood pieces; shells, anything that goes in water can be used. 

Each item can have a special meaning, thus adding to the individuality of your fountain 

If you select rocks from your garden make sure you clean them well in a water-bleach bath. You can substitute polyethylene spray foam for bigger rocks thus reducing the need for heavy rocks. 

4. Plants add greenery to your fountain. A small clipping will do nicely. You could also use a small pot or glass bottle [baby food jar], fill it with water, put the plant inside and place it inside the fountain bowl. 

Steps

Place the decorative slate or tile on the table. Place the bowl on the slate or tile. 
Place the pump at the bottom of the bowl, taking care to see the cord is draped to the back of the container. Use suction cups to make the pump stick to the bottom of the container. 
Add tap water to more than cover the intake value [2” minimum]. Plug the pump into the electric outlet. (It is advisable to test out the pump in a bucket or sink before placing it in the container.) Unplug the pump to adjust the water flow, if needed. 
Cut the tubing length to fit your container and design. Fit one end of the tubing to the pump spout. Place larger rocks to cover the pump and fill the bottom of the container. 
Arrange the smaller rocks and tiles /slate /driftwood by stacking them so as to create a diverse and irregular path for the water flow. You can reduce the water flow from a geyser to a gurgle by covering the open end of the tube with tumbled glass. 
Plug in the pump, adjust the water volume and stones as needed to produce the sound that appeals most to your ears. 
Suction excess water from the container with a turkey baster. 
Place figurines, plant cuttings, ivy, moss, shells or tiles to hide the tubing and electric cord. 
Place a candle in a candleholder beside the fountain, the light from the candle will glisten on the water and reflect its light onto the fountain arrangement. 
Maintenance tips: 

Check water level daily for the first week, adding fresh water as needed to keep the pump completely covered. 

Add a small amount of bleach or petri oil to the water to cleanse the fountain and keep the water shimmering. 

Clean the fountain components every month to remove slime and algae. 

Every three months, take fountain apart and clean the pump. Pull off the front cover, remove debris from propeller and screen, and wipe the bottom. 

Reassemble your fountain, experimenting with a different bowl and accents. 

More Resources: 

Tabletop Fountain: "Mountain Seep" 

Simple Rock Fountain: 

Under $30 fountain: 

Feng Shui Table-Top fountain: 

Copper Frame Fountain: 

About The Author

© Rachel Paul, 2004

Rachel Paul is a busy at-home mom and an avid interior decorator who loves to find genuinely innovative ways to perk up her home in the few free moments she finds between caring for her family and pursuing home study writing courses as well. She can be contacted at: rpaul197@yahoo.com. 

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