How To: Building A Deck Fountain
A super-easy water fountain and pond -- complete with fish -- for a deck or patio.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
If you crave a water feature but have limited space on a deck or patio, this project is perfect for you — a brick-based water fountain on the corner of a deck.
You can complete this project in less than a day. If you do it yourself, expect to pay about $1,000. If you hire professionals to do it for you, you'll pay about $2,000.
Materials and Tools:
pond liner and padding
200 gal/hr. submersible pump
brick (wood-mold brick is fine to use)
Start with a clean surface then check to make sure the floor is perfectly level. (Once the bricks are stacked, if the floor isn't level it will be very obvious when the water goes in.) If your floor is off-level too much, spread a layer of mortar to level the surface.
Mark the shape of the pond on the floor. Since our basin will have a 4-foot radius, we are measuring four feet from the corner to determine the outside perimeter of the pond.
If you have a wood deck, cut a ¾-inch pressure-treated plywood to fit the bottom of the feature. This will help support the weight of brick and water. Lay it in place.
Lay five rows of bricks around the outside perimeter of the water feature (figure A). Begin the brick laying at the corner of the pond.
Place a pond under-liner in the center of the basin. This material will protect the liner. Next, add a heavy (45-ml) fish-safe pond liner on top of the underlayment; a 45-ml liner is a standard gauge for pond liners. Tighten the liner carefully by using bricks to hold down the liner to the floor (figure B).
Cut off the edge of the liner that protrudes between the courses of brick (figure D). Place another row of bricks crosswise on top of the ends of both brick walls. This will give a "top" to the wall and provide a nice finishing touch.
From formal to whimsical, there's a wide range of fountain art and statues to choose from. When choosing a statue, consider from what angles it will be viewed--the rest is up to personal taste.To give the statue a base, use bricks to build a pedestal. Once the pedestal is built, put a submersible pond pump in the basin and let the power cord run out the side (figure E). To avoid having an underwater junction box, use a pump that's a solid unit and includes a power cord and plug. Plug it into an outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI.
To hook up the fountain, attach the tube that runs from the pump and place it behind the pedestal. To clean the dust off the bricks, rinse the basin with the hose and use a wet/dry vacuum to remove the water. Once all the dust is gone, fill the basin with water and turn on the pump.
Fill the basin with water and turn on the pump.
If you want to add fish, you'll have to purify the water. (Clear water may not be clean water.) Chlorine, an additive that's used to neutralize the contaminants in drinking water, is bad for fish, and the pH may have to be adjusted too. Dechlorinators are available to get rid of the chlorine, and there are chemicals that will adjust the pH.
Kits are available that take under five minutes to test the pH.
Know the difference between koi and goldfish:
Koi are more expensive and also require more commitment from the gardener because they can grow up to two feet long and live up to 175 years old. Koi not only eat plants, they also like to root around them, making the water murky. Koi require a higher level of water quality.
Goldfish are very easy to deal with — they don't eat plants, they're very colorful, and if you're a plant lover, goldfish are your choice.
Both koi and goldfish need to be fed about once a day and they should probably be fed at the same time every day.
Avoid overcrowding your pond. How many fish can you add? The rule of thumb is no more than one inch of fish per one square foot of pond surface area. A balance of aquatic life including plants, fish and scavengers can help control algae and maintain water quality.
Before adding goldfish to the pond, you need to acclimate them. Add some of the pond water to the goldfish bag to help them adjust. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. While the fish are getting acclimated, add plants. Put some on bricks to give them height. Add a floating plant to give fish something to hide under and to help cool the water.
The best thing you can do to maintain your pond is to keep it clean. A hand-held skimmer is perfect for dipping out unwanted debris from the pond. Also, keep the water running, unless you're expecting freezing weather. It adds oxygen to the water and helps prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs.
Add a relaxing water fountain to your space with these instructions from Color Correction.