Fountain Magic-Installing a Fountain in 15 Minutes

How to install a fountain in 15 minutes
How to install a fountain in 15 minutes

Installing a simple re-circulating fountain is a DIY project for anyone. Even with my total lack of mechanical knowledge, it became a snap to set this up.

Fountain with pump inside reservoir
Fountain with pump inside reservoir; there is a built in shelf for marginal water plants to sit

The Set Up

Creating a warm and inviting outdoor living space at the local decorator show house this spring, made it clear how easy and effective a fountain set up can work in the landscape. I bought everything at a local garden center – reservoir, pump, tubing, bamboo fountain, and water plants, and put it together in a few minutes. After I planted shrubs and perennials around it, the fountain looked grounded and like it belonged there.

The faux bamboo cascading fountain came as part of the package with the reservoir, and became a three-tiered cascading waterfall into the reservoir that created a nice relaxing water movement sound.

Fountain in landscape
Fountain in landscape


  1. Gather your materials –  reservoir, pump, tubing, water plants, extension cord
  2. Place your reservoir on a flat level area; Use a level to make sure it is perfectly level
  3. Fill with water almost to the top
  4. Place pump at the bottom of the reservoir, pulling the cord and inserting it into the notch at the rim of the reservoir
  5. Plug pump cord into outdoor extension cord and bury the cord a couple of inches under the surface of the soil so it is hidden from view (I wrapped the plug with some plastic to waterproof it)
  6. Place bamboo fountain on the inset shelf;  I raised it up slightly with a piece of flat stone
  7. Place water plants on the reservoir shelf and sit floating plants on top; I added a large glass ball to float on top to add interest
  8. Plug in and enjoy!
Set up of bamboo fountain, using a flat piece of stone to raise it up slightly
Set up of bamboo fountain, using a flat piece of stone to raise it up slightly


The only maintenance involved was pulling out fallen leaves occasionally, and topping off the water level once a week lost from evaporation. Cleaning is only necessary once a year. The constant running of the water will eliminate any mosquito breeding. Fish would not be happy in this environment, as there is not enough room to swim.

The cost for the fountain, plants, pump, tubing, etc. came up to about $350, which I consider very reasonable. The water cascading out of the bamboo creates a soothing water trickling sound, which makes any water feature worth its weight in gold.

Water plants in fountain water
Water plants in fountain water

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