Pet Bubble Fountain

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This is a bubble fountain I made for my cat after I discovered that she loved playing in and drinking moving water. The water bubbles up from the bottom of the bowl using an aquarium air pump. The colander protects the tubing and bubbler from kitty cat mouths. This set up does have a noticable hum/vibration noise however it is similar to an aquarium or white noise machine.

The whole set up cost about $12 and took about 7 minutes to set up ( with additional 10 mins - 1 hour prep time, see step 3)

Step 1: Step 1: Assemble Materials

Materials:

  • Aquarium Air Pump ( I used Aqua Culture 5 - 15 gallon (NON SUBMERSIBLE) air pump)
  • Standard Air Line ( I used about 4 feet)
  • Bubble Stone ( optional, but creates softer bubbling)
  • Inexpensive plastic colander
  • Mixing bowl ( sized to colander selected)
  • Utility Knife (optional)

Overall I spent about $12 on this setup. It could be done for cheaper by shopping around online.

Step 2: Create a Check Valve Point for the Pump

This creates a safety mechanism so that water cannot flow backwards into pump if the power is disconnected.

My pump came with a check valve, but it was possible to buy it separately as well.

The valve had in and out labeled. Follow the labels to connect the Air Tubing from the pump to the valve. Then connect the valve to additional tubing that will continue into the bowl.

Leave enough tubing so that the tube is not taut and can move to the bottom of the bowl.

Step 3: Soak the Bubble Rocks

The directions on my bubble rocks stated to soak the bubble rocks for 1 hour before use. I soaked mine for about 10 mins *see below

( I skipped this step as the health and safety of fish were not at stake in this setup. Follow directions for materials if living things will ever be inhabiting your setups.)

Step 4: Assemble Tubing

Place tubing with bubble rock attached into mixing bowl filled with water. Test that the pump is working by plugging it in. Bubbles should emit from the rock at the end of the tubing.

Make sure tubing has enough slack to sit at the bottom of the bowl when weighted. In the following step I use a colander instead of traditional weighting to keep the bubbler down.

More complex tubing arrangements are possible. They would require additional tubing and connectors. The pump I selected has power for up to 3 connections. This setup creates soft bubbles on one side of the bowl, allowing somewhat still water on the other side.

Step 5: Add Colander and Create Notch

In order to keep the tubing and bubbler away from my cats, I decided to line the bowl with a colander. This is a simple plastic colander that fit just inside my bowl. I created a notch in the side with a utility knife to prevent the air tubing from becoming pinched. I finished the setup with some decorative tape I had, but any tape will do.

Step 6: Plug It In!

At this point you can plug in the fountain and let your pet inspect it. Please observe the pets behavior with this item for several minutes to a half hour to see how they react. Not all animals appreciate this type of device.

If everything is working properly, the pet can play and drink from the fountain. To refill, either pour water from a pitcher to the bowl, or disconnect the tubing at the check valve to move bowl.

This set up does have a noticeable hum/vibrate sound.

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    13 Discussions

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    CrystalO19

    Question 4 months ago on Step 6

    Hello, I am excited about this, but I was wondering if I will need to replace the bubble stones at some points and also does it need any filter or do you just wash the hosing/stones every so often. I wanted to use it for the cat's watering needs as they love to play in my sinks and I would rather them not be on the counters. I am hoping they will like this better than my faucets/sinks. Thanks for sharing and any advice you may have.

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    gralan

    1 year ago

    I'm bubbling with excitement. (8-DK hahahaa _ga-

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    Attmos

    1 year ago

    I really love this idea. My cat, too, loves to play with water. I'll give this one a shot. :)

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    Waalcko

    3 years ago

    Usually making things for cats is no more then a nice effort. However, this one could be a winner, nice one!

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    dragonstar1

    3 years ago

    Thank you this is just what I needed. I have had fountains for my cats before, as you say cats love moving water. One was so complicated it was tough to clean, another the pump, submersible, would gum up from the small amounts cat food dropped into the water. No matter how much I clean the bowl and submersible pump, the pumps die. So I wanted to use a bubble stone and external pump set up, but could not think of a way to keep the stone away from playful cats. You solved this nicely and cheaply!

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    MaryG10

    3 years ago

    How fun ~ Bet you can make it even cheaper if you visit a "Dollar" store.

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    DocJ1

    3 years ago

    Excellent. I don't have cat - or any pets now - but what a wonderfully thoughtful pleasure for any cat. Good for you.

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    marilynt8

    3 years ago

    Terrific. My cats will love this. Rebecca, you are one smart woman. Thanks.

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    rfeigenblatt

    3 years ago

    nice instructable, tnx!

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    gwfong

    3 years ago

    Very nice. I definitely need to try this w/ one of my cats who loves to play with water.