Plumbing pipe fountain adds life to stock-tank pond


A big shout-out and thank you to my handy husband, who created this plumbing-pipe-and-spigot fountain for me for Mother’s Day. I’d come home from a visit to my friend Cat’s garden in love with the look after seeing one that she and her husband made for their pond. The genesis for hers was the desire to put to good use an old spigot that had belonged to her grandfather. We didn’t have a spigot with that kind of history, so my husband chose a brass version with a twist-knob on top. It turned out great! Didn’t he do a fine job?


We placed it in the middle of the pond to reduce any water loss due to splashing. The galvanized plumbing pipe complements the galvanized tank.

To allow the pipe to stand unsupported in the middle of the pond, he ran the pipe through a bucket with a hole cut in the bottom just big enough for the pipe to fit into, and then he poured concrete in the bucket and let it harden for a few days. When it was cured, the bucket slid right off the concrete. The pipe sticks out about an inch from the bottom of the concrete, allowing for the attachment of flexible tubing, which attaches at its other end to the pump itself. The flexible tubing gives us leeway so we can move the fountain around, while the pump sits conveniently close to the edge for easy cleaning. Stacked bricks under the concrete support the pipe-fountain while leaving room beneath for the projecting inch of pipe and the tubing. The pump’s cord hangs over the far edge of the tank and is attached to an outdoor extension cord, which runs through a buried PVC pipe to a GFI-protected outlet in the shed.


From all directions, the view looks great, and the sound of running water is music to my ears and is already attracting more birds. I’ve always said that you do not need to have a pump to make a successful container pond, and that’s still true. But I do like the sound and sight of the moving water, and now I feel comfortable adding goldfish to the pond, since the pump will provide aeration and help cool the surface of the water. Before, this pond supported native gambusia fish only, which are hardier in warm water than goldfish.


I took this image in the morning as the ‘Colorado’ water lilies were opening. I didn’t think I could love my stock-tank pond any more, but now I do!

All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

25 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    Pam, hooray for handy husbands! I love your galvanized pond and new fountain–and I especially love the shed in the background. What a piece of paradise. We’ve been talking about a pond forever (12 years, actually), but we always have other projects in the way. Seeing your pond makes me rethink our initial excavation/rock pond…yours is just lovely. Thanks for sharing!

    A container pond is definitely the way to go, Julie, at least in the South, where cold is less of a concern. No digging, and it’s easier to tend than an in-ground pond. Did you click on my link for how to construct one? As for the shed, it’s another creation of the handy husband! —Pam

  2. Judy says:

    It’s so nice to have a man around the house…….

  3. Love the spigot in the stock tank, great addition.

  4. sandy lawrence says:

    I didn’t think I could like your pond any better, either, Pam, but this is the icing on the cake! Great job and great Mom’s Day gift.

  5. Cheryl says:

    LOVE IT! May I please borrow your Handy Husband? :>)

    Oh, he’s all mine, Cheryl. ;-) But I’m always happy to share how-to info, as I did here. Woman-power! —Pam

  6. jen says:

    hey Pam, could you give rough dimensions on the depth of your pond and the size of the bucket you used? Hoping to replicate the look in a stock tank pond of my own, maybe this year if I’m lucky!

    Sure, Jen. The tank is 2 feet deep, and the bucket was just a standard painter’s bucket—about 10 inches deep. —Pam

  7. Cat says:

    Yippee!! It looks awesome! We love the sound of the water so much that we are adding a new addition to our arbor…more soon on the blog ;) We’ll definitely be keeping these handy husbands busy for years to come!

    I look forward to seeing your new project, Cat. Thanks for the pipe inspiration! —Pam

  8. Gail says:

    Clever idea! I love it!

  9. What a nice gift, that looks great! I’ve been thinking about this myself, especially since hearing it in Cat’s yard on the Weekend Gardener segment.

  10. Pam, I did not think I could love your pond anymore either – and I do too! HEEEEeeee! It looks amazing. I forwarded this BEAUTIFUL post to my husband…as a little hint hint – I’ll keep ya posted!

  11. Kaveh says:

    That is pretty awesome. Depending on what type of pump you have be careful with the goldfish. In my first pond I had a horrible problem with goldfish getting sucked into the pump and ground up. Very distressing.

    Oh no, how awful! Actually, this is the pump I used in my former garden’s pond, and I never had any problem with the goldfish getting injured by it. It should be fine. —Pam

  12. jenny says:

    Nice job David. The sound of water in the garden is something everyone should have and those little pumps make it so easy to achieve as long as you have a handy husband!

    Oh, now, Jenny, women are handy too! My husband was kind enough to make this as a gift, but I think I could have figured out how to do it. I’ve made two pieces of furniture myself and built a wooden screen for my garden. Women are definitely handy too—as I’m sure your own example would prove. :-) —Pam

  13. Hoov says:

    Looks great! No garden is quite complete without the song of splashing water.

  14. Ruth says:

    That looks fantastic. I was thinking of putting a regular dug pond in, but I love the galvanized container. Your shed is beautiful!! And of course the fountain is too :-)

  15. Beautiful! I am hoping to have a galvanized tank water garden someday. In the meantime, I have pinned your photos to my D.C. garden wish list.

  16. Layanee says:

    Kudos to that HH (Handy Husband). A gift made with love is the best gift of all. Love your pink lily.

  17. Pam says:

    This is fabulous. I bought a concrete sink off of Craig´s list and am trying to figure out how to plumb it for a fountain. This would be a nice solution, since there is no faucet. I enjoy the evolution of your garden. You are always up to something clever!

  18. ChrisG says:

    Very nice Pam. What a wonderful hubby to do this for you! It’s a great add to your stock tank.

  19. Ewa says:

    Beautiful pond. I like it.

  20. Scott Weber says:

    I love it, Pam! I remember seeing your post on the other garden as well, and remembered saving it in my list of “things to steal…errrr…imitate” ;-)

  21. Pam/Digging says:

    Thank you all for your comments. I’m really enjoying the new fountain and encourage those of you who want to add a water feature to your garden not to wait. You’ll love it! —Pam

  22. Suzi McCoy says:

    Pam, love the “above ground” pond and your planting look lusciuos. And I love the blue doors on your gray shed. And I love that you have a spigot, not a faucet! Only in the South! Suzi

    Hi, Suzi. Thanks for stopping by. I’m burning with curiosity—is a spigot a southern thing? —Pam

  23. Ade says:

    this is my first time to your blog but I found it interesting and informative. I love gardening and have been working on some water features. Not having a man around doesn’t stop me from laying pipe to laying electrical lighting. Your pond has given me a great idea for mine. Thank you.

    Thanks for visiting, Ade! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and I applaud you for not being afraid to tackle garden projects on your own. Woman power—roar! —Pam

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