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How to Install a Fountain in a Pond

Picture of a Scott Aerator Fountain

Adding a nice fountain display to your pond is a great way to enhance the look and feel of a pond. The cascading fountain provides a calming and tranquil feeling. Modern pond fountains also have a wide array of fountain styles and even lake fountain lighting that can create a truly unique outdoor water feature.

This article will highlight the benefits of a pond fountain, how to match the correct size with your pond, and walk you through the installation of the fountain in your pond.

Benefits of a Pond Fountain

Visual and aesthetic benefits are typically the primary benefits people associate with an outdoor floating pond fountain.

There are also two often overlooked benefits that are just as important, if not more important than the visual appeal of your pond. Creating and maintaining a healthy aquatic environment for your pond and its inhabitants.

Pond fountains can play a very critical role in maintaining the health of your pond through water circulation and oxygen transfer.

The Role of Oxygen in your Pond

The key issue to understand is that low levels of oxygen in a pond will lead to stagnancy, bad odors, algae, and dead fish.

These problems tend to built up slowly over time.  If you let them go, they become progressively more difficult to eradicate and fix.

Summer Stratification

During the summer months, the surface of your pond absorbs higher levels of heat from the sun.  This leads to a top level of warm water that sits above a deeper layer of colder water.

Mixing does not occur between the cold and warm layers of water in your pond.  Without the mixing of water layers, water with higher levels of oxygen stays at the top level of your pond.

This results in gradual depletion of oxygen levels at the lower levels of your pond. Over time, this results in build up of sediment that forms muck in your pond.  The muck build up results in increased algae, weed growth, and reduces the fish population.

Reduce Stratification with Fountain Aerators

A pond fountain plays an important role in your pond by adding oxygen and helping to circulate water.  The water circulation reduces stratification in the summer months and helps to maintain needed oxygen at lower levels of the pond.

Pond aeration also plays a role in reducing phosphorus levels within your pond. The aeration creates an oxidation reaction and binds phosphorus with iron and falls to the bottom of the pond. 

High phosphorous levels at the surface of pond is a big contributor to algae growth. Pond aeration helps to break the cycle of that algae growth. 

Choose the Right Fountain Size for your Pond

Fountains are available in several different sizes to accommodate different sizes of ponds and lakes. To select the right size fountain for your pond, consider the following components:


When shopping for a pond foundation, be sure to look at the horsepower capacity. Higher horsepower equals a stronger and more powerful fountain. Higher horsepower will directly influence the height of the fountain spout and gallons of water circulated per minute.

For a starting point, we recommend considering fountains with 1.5 horsepower for every 1 acre of pond size.

So if you have a 1/2 acre pond, you might want to consider a pond fountain or pond aerator with 3/4 horsepower.

Keep in mind this isn't a hard and fast rule for all situations. You should closely examine the full specs regarding the fountain display before selecting a pond fountain.

Pond fountains tend to have higher fountain spouts than fountain aerator combination models with the same horsepower.

Fountain vs Fountain Aerator

It is important to understand the distinction between a pond fountain and a pond fountain aerator.  

Pond fountains primary role is to provide visual benefits with a beautiful fountain display.  These fountains help with oxygen circulation as well, but more as a secondary benefit.

Pond fountain aerators are combination units that provide a fountain display while also actively aerating a pond.  In general, fountain aerators tend to have smaller sized fountain spout dimensions than pond fountains with the same horsepower.

For more information, see pond fountains vs pond aerators.

To see the differences, we will compare the specs of the Scott Aerator Display Aerator with the Clover Fountain:

Display Fountain Aerator 1/2 Horsepower

scott aerator display aerator

  • Minimum Pond Depth: 32 inches.
  • Spray Pattern: 6 feet high and 22 feet wide.
  • Flow Rate: 400 gallons per minute.

Clover Fountain 1/2 Horsepower

Scott Aerator Clover Fountain

  • Minimum Pond Depth: 36 inches.
  • Spray Pattern: 20 feet high and 15 feet wide.
  • Flow Rate: 60 gallons per minute.

If your primary objective is to create a beautiful fountain display, go with a pond fountain.  

If you are more focused on reducing algae, minimizing oder but also want to create a nice visual display, go with a pond fountain aerator combination unit.

You can also see our full line of Scott Aerator fountains.

Minimum Pond Depth

Larger-sized fountains require a greater minimum pond depth.

To give you a general sense of the pond depth ranges, we will compare the requirements for the Scott Display Fountain Aerator:

Display Fountain Aerator 1/3 Horsepower:

  • Minimum Pond Depth Required: 32 inches

Display Fountain Aerator 3 Horsepower:

  • Minimum Pond Depth Required: 42 inches

In general, higher horsepower will require a higher minimum pond depth.  Make sure you understand your pond depth before making the decision to purchase a fountain for that pond.

How to Put a Fountain in a Pond

Scott Aerator Display Fountain Aerator

Putting a fountain in a pond is much easier than you might think.

We will walk you through the steps of installing a 1/2 horsepower Scott Display Fountain Aerator DA 20 in your pond.

Important Safety Considerations

  • Always use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Always disconnect the power when swimmers are using the lake or pond.
  • Never use an extension cord to supply power to the fountain. 
  • We recommend using a licensed electrical contractor to complete the power connection.

The smaller sized display aerators include 70 feet of power cord length and the larger sized fountain display aerators include 100 feet of power cord length.

If you think you might need a large sized power cord, you can always purchase additional power cord length.

Required Tools

Included components for the Scott Aerator Display Fountain Aerator


In addition to the fountain kit, you will need a few extra tools to help assist you with the fountain installation process.

  • One 3/8 inch wrench or socket screwdriver.
  • Two 1/2 inch wrenches or pliers.
  • 3/8 inch nylon rope, required for anchoring.
  • Two 25 pound weights or concrete blocks for anchoring.

Assembling the Fountain

Instructions for assembling the Scott Aerator Display Fountain Aerator

Connecting the fountain platform with the pump assembly is simple and straightforward.  

Just make sure the Scott Aerator logo is facing upwards.  Next, find the two pre-drilled holes on the float platform and connect the pump assembly to the float platform using two included stainless steel bolts.

Turn the float platform upside down and look for the three pre-drilled holes on the pump assembly.  This is where you connect the stainless steel filter basket. Use the three screws included in the kit to secure the filter basket.

Anchoring the Fountain

Anchoring instructions for Scott Aerator Display Fountain Aerator

The two weights are used to keep the floating pond fountain in place.  The amount of weight needed varies by the size of your fountain.

The smallest 1/3 horsepower sized units only need 20 pound weights.  The largest 3 horsepower sized units need at least 55 pound weights to properly secure and anchor the fountain.

Start by attaching the 3/8 inch nylon rope to one of the weights. You want to make sure you have adequate length on the rope so that the weight can drop to the bottom of the pond without submerging the floating fountain.

The goal is to create a 45 degree angle with the nylon rope extending underwater to the cinder block or weight. Aim for 25 feet of distance between the cinder block and the floating fountain on each side.

Enjoying and Maintaining the Pond Fountain

A real benefit of the Scott Display Aerator is that it doesn't require any significant maintenance.  This means you can keep your display fountain running all season long without dealing with winterization headaches.

The unit is designed to run for a full five years.  After five years, it is a good idea to replace the propeller inside the unit and check to make sure the rope anchor is still holding up in the water.

For more ideas, browse our full selection of outdoor water features.