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Building an easy, inexpensive container fountain with natural rocks

Building a simple fountain is easy.
Building a simple fountain is easy.
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Building an inexpensive container fountain is something we've all thought of doing. The sound of water tumbling down the rocks in a container fountain is so soothing. An inexpensive container fountain is hard to find. Luckily, building a quick and inexpensive container fountain using just a few items is easier than one might think.

You'll need a small fountain pump.

These can be purchased at home improvement stores. The smaller ones are quite affordable. If the plan calls for building a container fountain over a foot high, a more powerful pump may be needed. Check the label on the pump prior to purchase for sizing.

Check the length of the tube.

When purchasing the fountain pump, be sure the flexible plastic tubing that comes with it is long enough to go from the bottom to the top of the fountain. Building a larger container fountain may require more length. If more length is needed, purchase the next size up so that it can slide onto the other one and continue in length. You will also need hose repair tape or plumbers epoxy to seal any gaps. These are available at building supply stores as well.

A waterproof fountain container will be needed.

This can be anything the imagination comes up with. I like to use an inexpensive glass container for a delicate fountain look. Free is the most inexpensive option for a container so check around the house before buying one. Look for something with a fairly wide top opening to avoid spillage.

You'll also need an assortment of rocks.

For building a smaller container fountain, check craft supply stores for small inexpensive bags of river rocks. Rocks for building a larger container fountain can be found at home improvement stores, landscape supply stores or in the back yard.

Follow this step by step procedure for building a container fountain:

1. Fill the container base chosen completely with water. This step is to check for leaks. Do this in the sink or bathtub to lessen the mess. If the container chosen is not waterproof, another one will have to be found, prior to building.

2. Set your container in the permanent fountain location. It may be too heavy to move once you are done building. This is especially important with a glass container fountain. The rocks are heavy. The glass may shatter from the weight if the fountain is moved after building.

3. Center the inexpensive fountain pump on the bottom of the container fountain. Push gently on the suction cups to adhere them to the surface. Do not glue the pump to the fountain as it will need to be removed for cleaning and maintenance. The fountain cord should face the back of the fountain so it can't be seen. Just loop it over the back so it hangs down freely outside the container fountain. If there's an on/off switch on the fountain pump itself be sure it is in the on position before adding the rocks to the fountain. Plug it in once the fountain is built.

4. Check the flexible plastic tubing to see that it will extend all the way to the top of the container fountain. If not, this is the time for adding the hose extension mentioned above. Once the two pieces of tubing are pushed together, wrap them tightly with the hose repair tape to seal gaps. Plumbers epoxy can also be used for this sealing job.

5. Begin piling rocks up around the container fountain pump and filling the fountain. As the rocks are added, be sure the tubing remains centered. Rocks should be stacked so as to allow water flow to the pump. Continue stacking rocks until they come about two inches from the fountain top. The rocks should be used to conceal the obvious appearance of the electrical cord.

6. In the center of the fountain build up a small pile of rocks in a decorative fashion for the water to cascade down. The flexible tubing should be centered and concealed in the pile. Cut the flexible tubing off even with the top of the rock pile.

7. Fill the inexpensive container fountain about ¾ of the way with water. To keep away pond scum, add a cap full of chlorine bleach. Pets and small children may be inclined to drink from the fountain. If you have pets or small children, omit the bleach.

8. Plug in the fountain. It may take a moment to prime. When the pump starts working, it may be necessary to rearrange the rock pile for the flow or pattern of flow desired. Now stand back and enjoy the new inexpensive water feature you are responsible for building all on your own!

This article was previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! Property.