There are few things more relaxing and enjoyable than the sound of a fountain running in your yard. Pond fountains are not only pleasant for you, but they also help maintain a healthy environment for your fish and plants. We have sorted through the best pond fountains in the market so your choice is easier.
We’ve tested many fountains and have narrowed down the countless options to the top seven. Our reviews and buyer’s guide below will help you decide on the perfect fountain to add to your pond.
Best Pond Fountains:
What is the Best Pond Fountain?
Our all-around favorite pond fountain is the Pond Boss DFTN12003L Floating Fountain With Lights. It gives you options for the spray style to customize the appearance, and it includes lights that shine up from the surface to produce a gorgeous effect at night. Best of all, it doesn’t require extensive installation, as it floats on the top of your pond.
How Do Pond Fountains and Pumps Work?
Pond fountains sit inside your pond and use a pump to shoot water above the pond’s surface. Most pumps are enclosed within a bucket or other enclosed area to prevent fish and ornamental plants from getting sucked into the bottom.
The pond water is moved from the area immediately surrounding the pump and out of a nozzle to create a decorative appearance above the surface.
Some fountains have different nozzles to customize the spray settings. The nozzles are simply arranged to shoot the water out in different patterns. Some fountains also include lights to illuminate the stream at night for a more pleasant appearance.
What are Pond Fountains and Why Do I Need One?
A pond fountain is a device that takes in water from your pond and shoots it above the surface in a decorative pattern. They’re often seen in the ponds in botanical gardens and on lavish estates.
There are many reasons to purchase a pond fountain, but the most compelling is that they aerate your pond water and make it a healthier and more enjoyable place for your fish to live. As the fountain water crashes back down to the surface, the agitation introduces oxygen to the water, which your fish need to thrive. Ultimately, a pond fountain can keep your fish happy and healthy and help them live longer. If you need even more oxygen in your pond, we would also recommend looking into different ways to aerate your pond.
If you’re going to use a pond fountain, you’ll also definitely want to make sure you have the correct pond liner for your setup. Pond liners help keep the water in your pond, and not leaking into the nearby ground. Sufficient water levels are a prerequisite for pond fountains functioning properly.
What Are the Benefits of Pond Fountains?
A pond fountain will bring a myriad of benefits, not only to your fish and plants but also to you and your family.
Improve and Maintain Water Quality
One of the first benefits you’re likely to notice when installing a fountain pond is the improved water quality. A fountain pulls water from the bottom of the pond and shoots it out over the top, essentially churning the pond continuously.
This movement, along with the agitation from the water falling back down to the surface of the pond, will reduce the chance of unwanted sediment at the bottom of your pond that is unsightly and causes gas build-up that can be detrimental to your fish and plants.
Control the Growth of Algae in Your Pond
Pond fountains are also beneficial for your plants, namely because they reduce the presence of algae. When oxygen is introduced to your pond via a fountain, algae become less likely to grow and starve your decorative plants of carbon dioxide, nutrients, and sunlight.
Not only will your plants benefit from reduced algae growth, but your pond filters will last longer, as the added stress of algae won’t bog them down.
Of course, every pond owner also knows that algae is an eyesore and can make your otherwise gorgeous and enjoyable pond look dim and dirty. Pond fountains will help maintain clean, clear water and a desirable appearance.
Remove Bad Odors from the Water
Murky ponds often have terrible odors emanating from the water, reducing the appeal of the entire setup and your yard. The agitation from a pond fountain will prevent sediment at the bottom of your pond, which is where bacteria produce gases. Many of the gases that get released smell quite terrible. As such, your fountain will provide a more enjoyable and clean-smelling pond.
Enhance the Habitat for Your Fish
As mentioned above, pond fountains aerate your pond water and improve the water quality for your fish. The agitation on the surface introduces oxygen to the water, which fish need to survive. Without a fountain, your pond water can quickly become deoxygenated, leaving fish at higher risk of infection, fungus, and death.
Fountains will also help prevent dangerous bacteria from developing in your pond. Cyanobacteria often grow in stagnant water. This type of bacteria is hazardous to your fish and other pond inhabitants. A pond fountain can introduce movement that limits the cyanobacteria that can put your animals at risk.
Eliminate Mosquito Larvae
Few things can ruin an outdoor area like mosquitoes. Many pond owners without fountains experience an abundance of mosquitoes on their properties because stagnant water is a breeding ground for these insects.
Installing a pond filter will agitate the water enough where mosquito larvae cannot survive, thereby reducing the risk of them thriving on your property.
Finally, pond fountains add a lot of beauty to your pond and your yard. They produce a mesmerizing effect that will not only calm and entertain you but also serves as a conversation piece.
Flowing water is one of the most relaxing sounds that can reduce stress and bring a bit of peace to your property. Pond owners who have fountains installed will likely find themselves staring at the cascading water and enjoying how peaceful the movement is.
Additionally, pond fountains that include lights can turn your outdoor space into a gorgeous nighttime paradise. They’ll bring natural beauty to the area and allow you to enjoy it even after the sun goes down.
What Types of Pond Fountains are Available for My Fish Pond?
There are two main types of pond fountains: aerating fountains and decorative fountains.
As the name suggests, aerating fountains serve to introduce oxygen into your pond water. The streams shot above the pond by these fountains are often intense and create a splashing as they return to the surface. They may add some beauty to your pond, but they’re intended to provide oxygen to help fish and plants thrive.
Decorative fountains provide the benefits of aeration but to a lesser extent than aerating options. The primary function of a decorative fountain is to provide beauty and tranquility to your setup.
Decorative fountains often include multiple options for spray designs, including crown and diamond shapes, and many have lights that illuminate the water pattern and highlight your pond’s natural beauty at night.
How to Choose the Best Pond Fountains
When you’re deciding on the perfect fountain to add to your pond, make sure you keep the below factors in mind.
The pumping capacity of your pond fountain will determine how much water flows out of your pond and up through the fountain in a given hour, expressed as gallons per hour (GPH). We recommend choosing a pump that can handle the entire volume of your pond in a single hour for the depth at which the intake will sit.
To calculate your pond’s volume, multiply the length by the width, and then multiply the result by the average depth of your pond. That number will be the absolute minimum GPH you should aim for in a fountain.
You’ll also need to consider the head height, which refers to how far beneath the surface your pump will draw in water. The deeper the intake, the more powerful your pump will need to be to move water effectively. An underpowered pump will typically produce a spray above the surface that is too small, while an overpowered pump may shoot water too high out of your pond.
Generally speaking, you should aim for your pond’s volume in GPH for each foot below the surface. That means a 500-gallon pond should be equipped with a 1,000-GPH fountain if the intake sits 2 feet under the surface. A fountain that matches or exceeds your pond’s volume in GPH will ensure that adequate aeration occurs and will help maintain clear, healthy water.
Larger ponds require more aeration and may even necessitate multiple fountains. A small fountain with a low flow rate might look out of place in a large, sprawling pond, while a fountain with a heavy flow in a smaller pond will look overpowered and may end up spraying water that lands outside of your pond rather than on the surface.
Vast ponds often do well with two or more fountains. Each fountain can aerate and process a particular part of the pond, working together to maintain healthy water.
Safe for Fish?
If you have koi, goldfish, or other fish species living in your pond, you’ll want to make sure the fountain you choose is safe for them. Some fountains use pumps powerful enough to suck fish toward them, causing injury or even death. Whether you use a floating or submerged pump, you’ll want to ensure the intake is encased to protect fish or other animals in the water.
Pond fountains work tirelessly and around the clock to move water from your pond and fire it above the surface. They are under a lot of stress and can easily break down over time. Before purchasing a fountain, you should consider whether or not you need a warranty.
A warranty can provide peace of mind that your pump and other fountain equipment won’t break down shortly after you purchase it. The best warranties can guarantee your fountain will provide aeration and natural beauty to your pond for years.
Water and electricity don’t play nicely together, and pond owners need to take every precaution possible to ensure that there are no issues with your equipment.
You should always choose a fountain that has the electrical components permanently and adequately sealed to prevent fire, electrical shock, and injury. Some of the safer options are more expensive, but they are worth the investment in the long run.
Whether you’re purchasing an aeration fountain with the intent of improving your pond water quality or a decorative fountain ideal for adding to the beauty of your pond, you’ll want to consider the design. Your fountain will be on display constantly, so the appearance matters even if it’s not the primary reason you’re installing one.
The equipment itself will typically be submerged, so you won’t need to worry too much about how that will affect your pond’s appearance. However, the stream display will play a big part in how your fountain looks. A fountain with customizable spraying options will let you choose the pattern that suits you best and allows you to make changes after it’s installed.
You should also consider whether you want a fountain with lights. Illuminated fountains can provide a stunning appearance at night, so if you frequent your yard after dark or want your pond’s beauty highlighted even in the dark, you’re better off selecting a lighted fountain.
How to Maintain Your Pond Fountain
Your pond will naturally house debris that can clog your fountain’s pump, rendering it useless and potentially causing damage to it. Algae, leaves, sticks, and other plant debris can all build up in the screen around the pump, so you should plan to remove the fountain and clean off the screen regularly.
In addition to routine cleaning, you should remove your fountain from your pond entirely during the winter. Cold weather can freeze the water inside or around your fountain and cause it to crack or burn out. Take the fountain out of your pond as the temperatures begin to dip, and plan to replace it in the spring or once the water is no longer at risk of freezing.
Best Pond Fountains
Below is a quick list of our all-around favorite pond fountains, followed by in-depth reviews of each to help you choose the right one to suit your pond and preferences.
Best Pond Fountains Overview:
This is a floating fountain, so it’s super simple to set up and requires minimal installation. It sits naturally on the surface and holds the intake at a shallow depth for maximum efficiency.
It features three different spray patterns as well as lights to make your pond beautiful and relaxing during the day or night.
It runs at 2,000 gallons per hour, so it’s perfect for large and deep ponds. It’s built to last and comes with a two-year warranty that covers any defects or malfunctions.
- The three spray heads allow for design customization
- The included lights illuminate your fountain at night
- It includes a two-year warranty
- It’s very durable and runs reliably
- It requires minimal installation
- It’s quite expensive
- The intake sits at a shallow depth, so it’s not ideal for large-scale aeration
This is a floating fountain that requires minimal effort for installation and is ready to use right out of the box. It sits on the surface and is meant to be a decorative fountain rather than one for maximum aeration.
It includes different spray settings, so you can customize how your fountain appears. The included LED lights illuminate your design and make it stand out beautifully at night.
The included pump runs at 600 gallons per hour, making it ideal for smaller ponds.
- The LED light ring makes your fountain stand out even at night
- It includes multiple spray settings for customization
- It includes a one-year warranty
- The installation process is quick and painless
- It’s effortless to clean
- It’s only suitable for ponds up to about 600 gallons
- The shallow intake means it’s not ideal for deep ponds
This is a larger fountain capable of shooting water up to 6 feet high and an impressive 21 feet wide. It includes a 0.75-horsepower pump that is ideal for use in small ponds as well as larger, deeper ponds.
This fountain is very expensive, but it’s built to last and includes a two-year warranty. We had no issues with continuous running.
It includes lights to illuminate your fountain at night. However, there is only one spray setting, so you will be limited in the design.
- The high-powered motor makes it ideal for large, deep ponds
- The heavy-duty construction will last quite a while
- It includes LED lights that automatically turn on at night
- It creates a wide spray effect that is very appealing
- It includes a two-year warranty
- The installation process is somewhat challenging
- It’s very expensive
- There is only one spray setting
This is a floating fountain designed for large ponds and can supply ample aeration for up to about 24,000 gallons.
There is only one spray pattern possible, so you’ll be limited in the design customization. Lights can be purchased separately, but it doesn’t come with any type of illumination for night-time running.
This fountain is made to be very durable and will likely last for several years. It’s costly, but it includes an impressive five-year warranty.
The installation is a bit more involved than with a floating fountain, but it’s still relatively straightforward.
- The construction materials are high-quality and very durable
- The pump is powerful enough to fire a large amount of water high into the air
- It’s suitable for very large and deep ponds
- It includes a five-year warranty
- The installation is relatively easy
- It’s very expensive
- There is only one spray design possible
- There are no lights included
This is a very affordable fountain, but it’s only suitable for very small ponds. The pump isn’t powerful enough to provide significant aeration, so it should be used strictly for decoration.
It includes a solar panel with a backup battery to make installation very straightforward. You’ll also get four different nozzles to customize the spray pattern, and changing them out is very easy.
It doesn’t include any lights, so it won’t be illuminated at night. It runs primarily on solar energy, so the fountain won’t spray at night either.
- The included solar panels make set-up a breeze
- The backup battery keeps it running even on cloudy days
- It’s very affordable
- It includes a 30-day money-back guarantee
- It’s only suitable for very small ponds
- It’s not powerful enough to create an impressive display
- It doesn’t include any lights for night-time illumination
This pond fountain is rated for 600 GPH, so it’s suitable for medium-sized ponds. The intake can sit at moderate depths, making it adaptable to most pond shapes.
It includes two different spray nozzles for some design customization, and you can purchase additional nozzles separately. There are no lights included, so it’s only ideal for daytime running.
It doesn’t have the best build quality, but it seems somewhat durable. It includes a three-year warranty for defects in case you do run into a problem.
This pump is somewhat challenging to install and takes more preparation than a floating fountain.
- The powerful pump is suitable for medium-sized ponds
- The adjustable stem allows for ideal nozzle placement and appearance
- It’s very affordable
- It includes two spray nozzles for different designs
- It includes a three-year warranty
- It clogs somewhat easily
- The build quality isn’t the best
- There are no lights included for illumination at night
Best Pond Fountains FAQs
Do Fountains Help Ponds?
Fountains provide many benefits for ponds beyond the natural beauty and serenity they add. They aerate the water via agitation, making it healthier for fish and plants. They also help avoid algae growth, make the water unsuitable for mosquito larvae to thrive, and reduce the nasty odors in your pond that result from gases building up below the sediment at the bottom.
How Long Will My Pond Fountain Last?
Pond fountains work around the clock to improve the appearance of your pond and make the water healthier. Most are designed to run continuously and can work as intended for years before they need maintenance or replacement. Generally speaking, a high-quality fountain that is maintained properly can last between five and ten years before needing replacement or extensive maintenance.
Does Rain Add Oxygen to a Pond?
Any kind of surface agitation, including rain, will add oxygen to your pond. The frequency and relatively low intensity of rain mean you shouldn’t rely on rain alone to oxygenate your pond water. You’re better off adding a fountain that can aerate the water appropriately and improve water quality and appearance.
What is the Best Way to Aerate a Pond?
For moderately deep and shallow ponds, a pond fountain is one of the best ways to aerate your pond. A product like the Pond Boss DFTN12003L Floating Fountain With Lights can aerate your pond and provide natural beauty to the setup.
Very large ponds – over a ¼ of an acre – may require a subsurface aeration system. These are very costly, but they oxygenate the water from the bottom up.
How Many Hours a Day Do I Need to Run My Pond Fountain?
If you’re using your pond fountain strictly for decoration, you can opt to run it whenever you’re enjoying your yard or have company over. If you use your fountain for aeration or improved water quality in any capacity, 24-hour running is optimal.
Does a Pond Fountain Use Lots of Electricity?
Generally speaking, the higher the GPH or HP rating of your fountain, the more electricity it will consume. Fountains are designed to run continuously and consume as little electricity as possible. Most fountains use between 20 and 300 kWh per month.
Is it Expensive to Run a Fountain?
Pond fountains are designed to run efficiently, so they’re a relatively cheap decoration and solution to poor water quality. Small and medium-sized fountains will typically cost around $10 per month to run continuously, while larger fountains can reach up to about $30 per month.
How Long Will Fish Survive in a Pond With No Pump or Filter System?
Fish rely on filters and pumps to remove deadly compounds from their water. Without a filter or pump running, most fish will only survive a few days, at most.
Conclusion: Best Pond Fountains
Pond fountains provide natural beauty and serenity to your waterscape, and they also improve your water quality. Ponds with fountains running will not only look more impressive, but the water will also be cleaner, smell better, and be healthier for fish and plants residing there.
Our favorite pond fountain is the Pond Boss DFTN12003L Floating Fountain With Lights. It’s a breeze to set up, it includes multiple spray settings and lights for night-time operation, and it’s powerful enough to provide an array of benefits for small and medium-sized ponds.