Aquarium Pump Cat Fountain Surprise
June 27, 2008 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Er, I mean supplies. Need pump advice from someone who knows their fish tank equipment.

I am going to build something like this homemade cat fountain over the weekend.

I am overwhelmed with the choices available for pumps. Wish list:

1) An off/on switch (if possible).
2) Will either have a good gentle flow for this purpose or will be adjustable (not looking to build a water park, just a good trickle will suffice).
3) Will be quiet (don't want a loud electric pump hummmm that will deter the cats).
4) Easy to clean.

Thanks in advance for recommendations of specific pump models.

Why I am doing this (in case you are wondering): Cats like moving water. All the purpose built fountains I can find have plastic basins made in China. We want to minimize the risk of bad plastic stuff leaching into the water. I am aware that the pump will be plastic. Just minimizing.
posted by quarterframer to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
I don't understand how this actual cat fountain could be more expensive or hassle-free than a DIY.
posted by phunniemee at 10:03 AM on June 27, 2008

Oops, I meant this thing.
posted by phunniemee at 10:05 AM on June 27, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for your input phunniemee, but they are not responses to my question. FYI, I WANT to build it, and your links are both plastic basins, which is exactly what I want to avoid.

I am looking for some pump recommendations.
posted by quarterframer at 10:15 AM on June 27, 2008

Home Depot has a full range, including tiny, of pumps for fountains. They're cheap too. I got a small one for about $12.
posted by snsranch at 10:39 AM on June 27, 2008

Check the outdoor garden section at Home Depot or Lowe's. You should be able to get a 60 or 75 gallon-per-hour pond pump for about $15. I'm using one to run the watering system for my tortoise tank. The one I have doesn't come with an on/off switch, but it does run pretty quiet.
posted by xbonesgt at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2008

Aquarium filters do not have on/off switches, nor do I know of any offhand that have adjustable flow (the exterior hang-off the tank type are usually just rated by gallon circulation). Fountain pumps will have adjustable flow, because you need to tune fountains, but again, I've never come across any with an on/off switch (I have installed water features for a landscape company). Fountain pumps need to be submerged completely. The tabletop type are generally pretty quiet, but not often designed to take apart and clean. Putting it in a filter bag would be the best option.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:07 AM on June 27, 2008

I have just the pump you need, but my google-foo is failing me. Just looking around - I'd advise you to avoid submersible pumps and go with something you can set back from the cat bowl a ways - less issue with noise, and no chance of electrical displeasure for anyone involved.

If you want to make it adjustable, have your pump fill a reservoir that has two holes in it. One is devoted to amusing the cat, the other has a stand pipe of some sort and quietly returns water to the main reservoir.

When you get this done, link to a picture!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:49 PM on June 27, 2008

Response by poster: Talked to some fish folks who had a simpler idea that worked well. An air pump and an air stone. Bubbles the water and fascinates cats.
posted by quarterframer at 9:24 AM on July 9, 2008

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