Once you understand the mechanics of a water fountain, you can design a fountain for your home or garden with a variety of materials. The main component of any water fountain is the fountain pump, which circulates the water from a reservoir to the spout via a fountain head. Planters make great reservoirs for small table top water fountains and for large outdoor fountains. You can use decorative stones, stacked slate or plants to add design interest to any water fountain.
Select a planter that's at least 10 inches in diameter and at least 12-inches deep for your water fountain reservoir. Shop for fountain pumps online for a better selection than you will find locally.
Seal any drainage holes in the reservoir planter with plumber's putty. Let it dry per the putty's directions.
Break the slate tiles into smaller pieces that you can stack inside the planter. To break the slate, wrap the tiles in a towel and place them in a garbage bag. Hit the tiles with a mallet to create smaller pieces.
Place the fountain pump into the center of the planter and run the electrical cord over the side of the reservoir.
Attach the fountain head to the fountain pump. Position the pump and fountain head so the pump will be below the water line, but at least half of the fountain head will be above the water line. If you need to elevate the pump, place it on top of bricks inside the reservoir. Extend the fountain head as needed to achieve the needed height.
Stack the pieces of slate tile around the fountain pump, building a mound. You can attach the pieces to each other with waterproof adhesive, if necessary. Place the largest pieces of slate on the bottom and stack using progressively smaller pieces. The slate mound should be as tall as your extended fountain head. Depending on the size of your planter, you may need to create two or more slate mountains. The goal is to hide the pump and the fountain head while adding design interest to your water feature.
Fill the reservoir with water before you turn on the pump.