Does it feel like your pond’s missing something? Are you looking for a way to make it more serene and appealing? A floating pond fountain is the perfect addition to any residential body of water.
Fountains are more than just aesthetically pleasing. They can also help keep your pond clean and eliminate algae growth.
If you’re wondering how to put a fountain in a large pond or small garden pond, we can guide you through the process. Read on to learn about the different types of water features and how to set up a pond fountain:
Types of Water Features
If you are adding a waterfall, the general rule of thumb is to have 100 gallons per hour for every inch of width of the waterfall spillway. So if your waterfall spillway is 5 inches wide and 3 feet tall, you need to be pumping 500 gallons per hour at 3 feet of head, as a general rule. But this rule can vary.
Jagged rocks require quite a bit of water to cover the entire spillway. Smooth acrylic or stainless steel surfaces require less. And a lot depends on how level your spillway is.
With a pot fountain, you need a lot of power for it to work properly. Ensuring the water flows along all of its sides makes a large pump essential.
But you will need to get a recommendation from your manufacturer. We sell quite a few pond pumps to pot fountain companies, and they usually order either an FT-450 or FT-650 pump.
If you are adding a fountain in a small backyard pond with fish, it is typically recommended that you recirculate the pond volume once per hour. So a 500 gallon pond will need to have a pump pushing the water about 500 gallons per hour out of the feature, whether it be a waterfall or fountain or combination of spitters.
For large ponds and lakes, like an eighth of an acre and larger, you don’t need to recirculate the water every hour. But how much water should be pumped varies by manufacturer. When using a decorative fountain with an intricate nozzle, Kasco Marine recommends using a 1HP pump for every ½ acre of surface area (a 100 x 200’ pond approximately. Note that this ratio is for Kasco pond fountains.
Some companies provide very tall or very wide displays, but to get that water so high the nozzles are restricting quite a bit of flow. If you see a one-half horsepower unit pushing the water 40 feet into the air it is doing so by restricting the outflow of the pump, decreasing the aerating properties.
Kasco aerating fountains provide only one kind of display, the V-pattern. It’s not so much a nozzle at the top, usually, but an open vent. The flow is not restricted by an intricate nozzle and the fountain pump uses a propeller rather than an impeller. Kasco recommends 1 ½ HP of fountain for every surface acre of water (a 200’ x 220’ pond). To determine your pond's size in surface acres, acre feet, and total gallons, please see our calculator.
How do I Install the Pond Fountain?
The easiest way for you to learn how to install a water fountain in a pond is by buying a kit. Then you have access to everything you need, all at once.
For large fountains on large ponds, be prepared for a little bit of work to anchor the fountain. You can either use cinder blocks at the bottom of the pond or by tying the float to the pond's edges from both sides. To learn more about the process, you can read how to anchor fountains in our other blog. That’s what takes the longest. Usually, the kits go together quickly but anchoring takes longer.
A large floating fountain is simple by design. It is merely a float, with a pump attached beneath it, and a nozzle attached above the float.
The power cord hangs below the pump across the floor of your pond to the edge and up and is plugged into a GFCI outlet. If you have rodents that eat cable you will need to shield it somehow. One way is to run it through PVC pipe. You can also purchase shielding from various manufacturers.
To keep this float in place, use a tether line. Typically, this is black rope so that it blends in with the pond's surface. Most of our customers tether to the shore, with rope being attached to stakes or fences or some other fixed object at opposite shorelines.
To drag the fountain in, you merely release one of the tethers and drag it in by one of them. If you boat in your pond or swim, you might want to tether to cinder blocks or other weights at the pond's bottom to prevent getting tangled by the tethers.
If you use this method, when you bring in your fountain for winter or servicing, it’s necessary to attach some kind of flotation device to the tether rope so you do not lose it when you detach from the float.
You can use pool floaties or even sealed plastic containers. But you don’t want to lose the tethers or you have to swim to the bottom of the pond to find them! But crucially, do not plan on placing cinder blocks directly below the float. The diagram below (furnished by Kasco) illustrates proper tethering when using the cinder block method.