Garden Pond Water Spitters

Basic Installation Know-How & Other Important Tips

A Simple Way to Add A Little Bit of Splash

Garden pond water spitters … ahhhh, I can hear the soothing sound of splashing water right now. There’s that simple stream of water shooting into your container water garden or pond. For sure, this type of outdoor water feature is an excellent and fun addition to anyone’s garden area.

Water spitters can be purchased or handmade. From the most simple and basic spitter you could ever make … submerse a pump in a container holding water; attach a rigid (copper works well) tube from the pump, allowing it to stick up just past the top of the water; angle the tube to squirt up or at a bit of an angle; turn on your pump and that’s it … to the simplicity of purchasing a spitter that is easily hooked up and placed pond-side, such as the fish pictured below.

Click here for information on making a small yet pleasing water garden: Make A Simple Container Water Garden

Garden Spitter

Animal and fish garden pond spitters are very popular and readily found. These water features are normally small enough in size that they can be placed almost anywhere.

As long as you have some sort of container or catch basin (or garden pond, of course) that can hold water deep enough to allow the pump to be completely submersed, you should be able to install one in no time at all.

How To Choose The Right GPH Pump

Calculation Formula For Gallons Per Hour

About GPH and Why It Is A Concern

A recirculating pump is what you need. It continuously pulls water from the water it’s submerged in, sending it thru the tubing, and out thru the garden spitter’s mouth. Back into the water it splashes. Around and around the cycle goes. Very simple, for sure.

Pond pumps are sold based on “GPH” … that’s how many gallons of water they circulate in an hour (GPH = gallons per hour). To calculate how many gallons of water are in your water garden container or pond, use the following formulas:

Rectangular or Square:
length x width x depth x 7.5 = US gallons
Circular: diameter x diameter x depth x 5.9 = US gallons
Oval with straight sides:
length x width x depth x 6.7 = US gallons

Buying the Right GPH Rated Pump

Compare the GPH information of the differently sized pumps you’ll find for sale. There is often a chart (or similar information) that shows the size of the spray pattern at various flow rates on the box.

I encourage you to purchase a pump with higher GPH than recommended. This will allow for an adequate flow, even as the water stream begins to slow due to a dirty prefilter.

You’ll want a good stream of water coming out from your garden spitter. To reiterate … in most cases you’ll need to purchase a pump that has a higher GPH rating than recommended for the actual gallons in your container or pond. I don’t know how else to explain it more clearly for you.

And also remember: you can normally slow down the flow of water from a pump, but you cannot make it flow faster than it’s capable of!

Your Water Spitter Is Almost Ready

Connect The Tubing, Position Your Pump and Turn It On

Connecting The Tubing

Garden Spitter 2

A flexible tube is normally used to connect the pump to the intake connection of most garden pond spitters as shown here.

Plastic tubing, normally either black or clear, is sold in big box stores, garden centers, or even aquarium pet stores. Check the pump’s instructions for information on what size tubing you need. (3/8 inch diameter is quite common.) **Buy a few more feet than what you think you’ll need! It’s not a big expense and allows you to have more flexibility in getting garden spitters set up.

Setting Up The Pump

The pump is placed at the bottom of your container or pond. It will probably have a small strainer basket/filter attached to help keep debris from entering into the pump. **Don’t forget to clean the filter periodically to help keep an unrestricted flow of water from the pump to the spitter.

You’ll need to have an electrical outlet nearby. You’ve got to be able to plug in the pump to make it work 😉

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:  When plugging in anything outside, to avoid serious electrical shock, you MUST make sure your outdoor electrical outlet is “GFI”. That’s “Ground Fault Interrupter”. This type of outlet acts as its own little circuit breaker in the event there is a problem with your pump AND the water it is sitting in!!

REMEMBER!! Electricity and water are not a friendly “mix”. Pumps can malfunction. Electricity CAN leak into the water. A serious shock hazard will result! Please take the necessary precautions to make sure your pump is properly hooked up. Should there ever be a problem, the GFI outlet “trips” and cuts off electricity to your pump.

That’s About All There Is To It!

It doesn’t get much more complicated than this. I will mention that the only other consideration you need to make is positioning your garden pond water spitter so that it’s secure, that the tubing cannot be yanked off the intake connection in some manner (ultimately causing complete loss of pond water and possible damage to your pump if you’re not there to witness the accident), and that your electrical connection is safe, as previously discussed.


  1. Bob Lowe says:

    I’m looking to install a pond and possible a fountain as well. I was wondering how well the pumps do with the moss and vegetation within the pond. I know that most pumps have a type of filter to help keep that stuff out. Do they still have a problem with clogging up? If so whats the best way to help prevent them form clogging. Thanks.

  2. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Bob: There is no “one size fits all” answer to what you’ve asked about clogging. Because it depends upon how much floating debris, muck, string algae, and such that’s present in the pond-water. Plus, what size filter are you talking about? It will be dependent upon the pond-water volume, how often you want to turn over the water, how many fish you’ll have in it, etc. Are you keeping koi – where pristine water quality and filtration is a MUST if you’re really serious about doing it correctly; or will you only have a couple of goldfish? **Don’t get me wrong, EVERY fish deserves healthy water to swim in; it’s just that koi are not as tolerant of bad water quality as a feeder-type goldfish is, but any fish will die if they’re forced to live in bad water conditions.

    But yes, every filter no matter how big or small REQUIRES maintenance of some sort, and cleaning out string algae, debris, detrius and such must be done.

    I suggest you do a lot of online research as to how to design the pond for optimal water quality; how to set up and/or design the filtration system; how many gallons per fish is recommended to allow them room to grow and to stay healthy, etc.

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