DIY Washtub Bucket or Clawfoot Tub Container Pond Tutorial

I absolutely love the sound of trickling water, but a large-scale water feature like a landscaped waterfall or water feature is not in the budget. So, I created these DIY water features for my patio using a galvanized steel bucket and an old vintage clawfoot tub.

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Here’s what you will need:
  • A large container that holds water such as a clawfoot tub, stock tank, galvanized bucket, large planter, whiskey barrel, etc.
  • A pump
  • Some tubing
  • Pond Spitter (optional!)

First, figure out which kind of container you’d like to use (see my suggestions above) and fill it up with water. I purchased a small pond/fountain pump which can be snagged here for only $8 and hooked it to a cute fish pond spitter, which can be purchased here for about $20. This creates a constant loop of water from the pump, out the spitter, and back into the pump. This pump has suction cups on it and can be stuck to the bottom or side of your container. There are tons of other pond spitters in different animals or designs available. I also love this watering can shower, or this tipped vase, as other options. If you don’t care about the decorative spitter or are on a strict budget, you don’t need it! You could simply let the pump shoot water up through the tubing and fall back into the container to get that awesome trickling noise. Speaking of, you will also need some tubing to connect to the pump, I recommend clear 3/8″ tubing like this which is less than $8 and can be used for multiple water features due to its 3 foot length. This pump comes with both 1/2″ and 3/8″ adapters, which means you can connect tubing of either size. The connection on the pond spitter fish, if you choose to use it, is 3/8″ and did not work with my 1/2″ tubing despite the label’s claim that it would.

If you intend to add fish, make sure to get some liquid like this to remove the chemicals from the tap-water and make it safe for fish, put it in, and let the water sit overnight before adding them. My children each picked out a goldfish from our local pet store for about 30 cents each to inhabit our pond. We also added this beautiful bundle of pond plants to the tub, which really completes the pond and purifies the water so that we do not need a filter. I added some colanders and storage baskets from the dollar store to hold the plants in place. The plants are able to free-float, but they don’t like to get their leaves wet, so if you have a waterfall or pond spitter, you’ll need to restrain them away from it somehow. We also threw in a handful of duckweed and the fish love to snack on it. Because of that, we only need to feed them every few days with some goldfish flakes.

Please let me know if you have any questions about how you can create your own container pond with a water feature! My washtub container pond cost about $20. The clawfoot tub pond cost about $40. You can create one too using materials like this and any container you have that holds water! If you are looking for something a bit smaller-scale to start out, check out my DIY vase bubbler tutorial or my DIY planter pot fountain tutorial.

If you liked this post, check out my DIY table top fire bowl tutorial here!

Happy up-cycling!

-Sasha

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