Table Fountain




About: Driver for public transportation in Seattle

My pet fountain finally died and I didn't want to pay at least $30 for a new one, so I figured out how to do it myself.

Total cost= $16

Since it's my cat who loves the running water, and she spends much of her time on or near my computer desk, I decided to make a table fountain that she and I could both enjoy.

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Step 1: Parts

First I found an inexpensive submersible pump at the pet store. It's actually a submersible filter ( and costs $13 at full cost.

Make sure whatever pump you get has a way to modify the water outflow. This pump lets you take off the "Aqua-Sweep" outlet and add tubing. That's crucial to my design.

Then I got a glass bowl from Goodwill, some rocks, and some air line tubing (not the small kind!)

Step 2: Assembly

I then experimented with water levels (if too much of the pump sticks out of the water it won't pump well), rock placement, and flow speed (this pump is adjustable).

To make sure the tubing stayed in the bent shape, I heated it carefully and bent it by hand. I was careful not to do it too much because I didn't want a radical bend, but it seemed to work. I tried a burner on the stove, but found that a lighter a few inches away for short periods worked better.

Then it was just a matter of placing the rocks so the flow of water looked nice and didn't make too much noise.

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    13 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I don't get algae but then my kitty fountain is no where near a window. However the tubing is black and there is a charcoal filter that is the last thing the water flows through. By the way my fountain is store bought if you haven't figured it out.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I have a couple of these in my home and, yes, the cats love to drink out of them. The big problem is algae. Anyone have any pet-safe ideas on how to kill, prevent or at least significantly reduce the amount of algae that grows? It's a pain in the neck to disassemble and clean these since they are made of fairly heavy slate slabs. Thanks in advance.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Just an FYI - the plastic tubing can collect bacteria that could make your cat ill. If possible, you might want to try copper tubing which has anti-bacterial properties and won't collect bateria or microbes. The copper tubing can also be bent by filling with sand (see another commet too).

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hey! You stole my idea (just kidding). I made one just like this ten years ago. Long before I had ever heard of Instructables. Like you, I realized a fountain pump was just an overpriced aquarium pump.

    I made a similar fountain a while ago. I drilled a hole that comes out the top of my big rock, the pump pipe enters the back of the rock and blurbles water out the hole. Our cats also love it. Clever Tom has discovered that covering the hole with his paw shoots water all over the place.


    12 years ago

    I'm not sure how well it works for clear plastic pipe, but one thing that I've seen done is filling the pipe with sand before you warm it and bend it so that it keeps its inner volume without kinking... Also, a heat-gun or maybe a hair-drying set on high heat low air might even work.

    1 reply

    13 years ago

    I wanted to do something like that for quiet a while. I'm off searching for some rocks _ Way to go dude

    1 reply

    Reply 13 years ago

    I'm sitting right next to it and I can't hear a thing. I only hear the water trickling down the rock.