Having a fish pond in your yard is a great way to add a feature and a bit of charm to any garden. Combine this with a water feature using one of the best solar powered fish pond fountains and you will enhance your pond even more.
You also have the added benefit of knowing that it isn’t costing you a dime to run. How good is that?
Not only does a water feature like a waterfall or fountain in a garden pond look good, but it is also very beneficial for your fish and inhabitants.
Read more to find out how it can help your fish and the surrounding wildlife in and around your pond.
Table of Contents
7 Solar Powered fish pond fountains reviewed
Benefits Of A Fish Pond Fountain
One of the best ways to ensure your fish and inhabitants of a pond thrive and grow is to add oxygen to your pond. All living creatures need oxygen to survive. Fish are no exception!
Warm water cannot hold as much oxygen as cooler water. In warmer times of the year, this can cause oxygen depletion in the water. So it’s vital throughout the warmer summer months to ensure you have plenty of water movement in your backyard pond.
One of the best ways to introduce oxygen to a fish pond is to have water movement on the surface area of the pond.
The surface of your pond will hold more oxygen, but because it’s not moving, that oxygen doesn’t reach the lower portion of your pond. Hence the reason you see goldfish and koi at the top of your pond gasping for air.
Adding a water feature ensures all that lovely oxygen trapped in the water at the top of your pond gets moved around where the fish need it.
There are a number of benefits of using a solar-powered fish pond fountain over a conventional mains powered fountain.
For me, the benefits outweigh the negatives for a number of reasons but mainly that you can have a lovely water feature in your pond with no running costs.
The second is that by harnessing the sun’s power you are running these fountains in an environmentally friendly manner from which your fish will then benefit.
They do not emit any gas or fumes and are virtually free from maintenance except for the routine cleaning job. As no wires are needed to operate them, you can use it anywhere you want and not necessarily near an electric power source.
The only drawback compared to a mains-powered fountain is the power output and the fact that they perform less on dark cloudy days. They will also stop working through the night unless they have a backup battery that stores power throughout the day and then uses this stored power to run throughout the night.
This will ensure your fish receive a constant supply of oxygen. However, fish do rest like humans at night so they’ll need less oxygen anyway so it’s not as much of an issue as it is in the day time.
Things To Consider Before Buying
When buying any aquatic products there will always be things to consider to ensure you’re making the right purchase that fits your needs and is the right choice for your fish or pond.
Here are a number of things you should consider before purchasing a solar-powered fish pond fountain. However, none of them should stop you because the benefits of having a fountain in your pond far outweigh the drawbacks.
- Cost: Like most products you’ll see in reviews and online, there will be a variance in price. Often there’s a misconception that the most expensive will be the best. Not in this case. Many of the fountains we tested looked very similar in style, performance and size. However, the prices varied greatly and sometimes we couldn’t understand why. So, choose your new fountain carefully or take some of our advice and findings from this best solar powered fountain review 2019-2020.
- Size: The physical size can vary but it ranged from 8-15 inches in diameter for most of the floating solar fountains we tested.
- Performance: The performance varied due to the power output of each model. The power output is measured in Watts. The higher the wattage the better the unit performed. The wattage is due to the size and performance of the solar panel. In theory the bigger the panel the more sun it will harness and store.
- Battery Backup: The vast majority of the fountains we tested in this review DID NOT have a battery backup. We wanted to test entry-level solar fountains that everyone could try. Fountains with a battery backup are more expensive (approx $100) and out of the price range for lots of people. They have the advantage of storing power throughout the day and then they use this if the light fades and even through the night, to ensure a constant fountain spray no matter the weather.
- Style and Looks: The majority of floating solar fountains looked very similar in style. Some came with 4 spray nozzles and some with 6. So make sure they come with the type of spray that you want before purchasing because finding a different attachment to fit may prove tricky.
7 Best Solar Powered Fish Pond Fountains Reviewed
(In no particular order)
7. Viajero2.5W Solar Fountain
I was interested to test this one as it claims to have ‘intelligent circuitry’ which will control the flow of the water at a constant flow no matter how much sun is received.
This is made possible thanks to the 800mAh battery that stores power and delivers it at a constant rate.
Did it work? Well, Yes and No. It did produce a steady stream for prolonged periods of time but you could see a boost in pressure at the sun hit the panels. We had no big issue with this and it worked well.
We found it really easy to set up and easy to interchange the nozzles for different spray effects.
6. Lailme Solar Fountain With Battery Backup
This fountain by Lailme looked promising in the reviews and received a good score from customer feedback. However, we didn’t find it lived up to its name.
Out of the box it took longer to start after being placed in direct sunlight for over 5-7 Minutes. No big deal I know but the others started instantly. Good to see another solar-powered fountain in this price range with a backup battery fitted.
With 4 different spray nozzles we found it easy and simple to change and produce the desired effect.
5. Lailme Solar Fountain (No Backup Battery)
This fountain is very similar to the one above and in fact made by the same company. However, this one has no backup battery.
We loved the style and design of this fountain. It has a short spray head and comes with 4 different spray nozzles. It was slightly easier to fix to the bottom of the birdbath compared to the one with the backup battery.
With only a 1.6 Watt pump this was a lot smaller than the others tested and it showed. It’s only recommended if you want a slow and weak fountain effect.
It’s a very inexpensive fountain and you can tell. The quality is not good and how long it would last is anyone’s guess.
4. Immuson Solar Fountain Pump with LED Lights
This was the only solar-powered birdbath fountain that we tested that has LED lights. At only 7 Inches in size it had a 2.4 Watt pump with surprised us and produced one of the best fountain heads at over 24 Inch in height.
The solar panel has a built-in battery that stores power during operation. It is still effective on cloudy or weak sunlight, which solves the problem that old solar panels need to be exposed to strong sunlight to make the fountain work and work very unstable.
It comes with 4 different spray heads to give you some options on the style of fountain you use. It was quick and simple to change the spray heads.
Until the backup battery is fully stored it will not produce a constant spray. Ours kept going on and off for around 30 minutes until the battery had built up enough stored power to produce a steady stream of water. The LED lights also flashed on and off until the battery was fully charges. They then became stable.
We thought the overall design was a bit ugly and could have looked so much better. But sat in our 5 Gallon birdbath it did the job just fine.
3. ROADTEC Solar Fountain With Battery Backup
The Roadtec solar panel was another fountain that had a built-in backup battery. However, it only had a 1.5 Watt pump compared to some of the other we tested in the same price range this was a little low.
Also, the 4 spray heads it came with were all very similar in the type of fountain the produced.
We did like how quickly the backup battery charged and how quick we were able to obtain a constant fountain. It only too 3-4 minutes before the fountain spray was strong and steady.
This is another small unit and would only be suitable for a small birdbath. The style is very plain but it did the job.
2. Solariver Solar Powered Fountain(No Battery Backup)
Without question, this was the most powerful solar-powered birdbath fountain that we tested. The larger solar panel produced enough power to run the 20 Watt pump. Almost three times as strong as most of the others we tested. 360 GPH make this one of the most powerful fountains we have tested that are solar-powered.
The panel comes with a spike to hold the panel in the ground. It also came with a 16 Foot power lead that connects the solar panel to the pump.
We found this unit too powerful to run in a small birdbath and think it is more suited to a small fish pond or container pond.
However, we were surprised that this fountain didn’t come with a backup battery as it was one of the most expensive fountains we tested on the day.
The cost is for the 20 Watt motor and a larger solar panel which produced by far the best and strongest fountainhead.
The only downside is the ugly wire that runs from the solar panel to the pump.
1.Cosscci Solar Fountain
This solar-powered fountain is the perfect example of ‘you get what you pay for’ with its low wattage pump, 1.8 watts, and compact size. It does, however, perform its job well, in fact, you may even say it exceeds expectations.
Pumping 165 liters of water per hour the Latitop fountain achieves a water height of around 60 centimeters which is perfect for birdbaths and small garden water features.
The pump itself can be secured to the bottom of the birdbath/pond by using the three suction cups provided. The solar panel, however, does not come with any form of mount, and you will need to come up with your own solution.
Be aware, the angle of the solar panel is very important as the fountain will only work when the sunlight hits it fully. Partial cloud or a badly placed solar panel will result in only a slight drizzle or no water spurting forth at all.
Types of solar-powered fountains
As you will have seen from the reviews above there are a few different types of solar-powered fountains to choose from. These are as follows:
Built-In Solar Panel
A built-in solar-panel fountain is a single unit that is floated on the surface of the water. It has its solar panels facing upwards directly into the sun. It has the benefit of capturing the sun’s rays for all of the day, but the disadvantage of being difficult to stop it from floating around.
External Solar Panel
An external solar panel sits outside of the your garden pond and should be placed in the best position for capturing the maximum amount of sunshine. They have the benefit of being more attractive to the eye as you can hide the ugly solar panel to a degree. However, on the downside, they do not capture the sunlight all day and may need repositioning as the sun moves.
Solar Air Pumps (Solar Aerators)
Solar air pumps are exactly the same as any air pump that you may use in an aquarium other than the fact they run off the power of the sun via a solar panel. They often come with all the fittings that you will need to convert them into a solar fountain, but you can also buy these separately.
How Solar Panels Work in Solar Garden Fountains
Solar panels work in solar garden fountains by, putting it simply, converting light into electricity which is then used to power an air pump. This electricity passes from the solar panel to the air pump via the attached wiring. Once in the wiring, the electricity travels to the air pump and powers the impeller to spin.
When spinning the impeller of the air pump draws in water at such a speed that it is forced out and channeled through the fountains tubing by centrifugal force. This then creates the jet or spray of water that is crucial for a fountain.
What Size Will You Need?
There are no real rules when it comes to deciding what size solar powered fountain you need. However, it would be fair to say that a fountain of only 12 inches high may look a bit pathetic in a palatial water feature or pond.
You will also need to take into account that the higher the wattage of a fountain the more powerful they will be. This can make them unsuitable for smaller water features such as birdbaths which may not contain enough water to power them.
Where To Place Your Solar Panel
If the solar panel is external then you should place it in a position that will enable it to capture the most hours of sunlight possible. You should also have it tilted so the panel angles up towards the sun. You may also not want to make the fixture permanent so should you need to you can move the panel around to chase the sun.
- Do solar fountains work on cloudy days? Yes, although they most likely will not work as well as they do on bright and sunny days. Solar fountains with battery backup, however, are a different entity to those without as they should store enough power to keep your fountain working even on cloudy days.
- How high can the fountain go? The answer to this will all depend on how powerful a solar fountain you choose. In general, lower-budget versions will reach around 12 to 24 inches.
- Can you use a solar fish pond fountain in winter? The chances are that in winter, due to a lack of sunlight, solar pond fountains will not work very well. They may also be prone to damage should the water freeze in their working parts.
- Is electric or solar best? If you want a guaranteed constant fountain then electric is the way to go. However, if you are looking for less expense in the long term running, solar is the best option.
- How long will it last? Different solar-powered fountains will have different shelf lives. On average, however, you can possibly expect around 20,000 hours.
- Are solar-powered fountains really any good? Yes, they are. However, as with anything that is run by solar power they are always going to be better in places with a lot of sunshine.
Read our article : 7 Perfect Plants for your Pond for more ideas how to enhance your garden pond
Okay, Which Is The Best Solar Fountain?
If you are looking for a reasonably priced and reliable solar fountain you won’t go far wrong by choosing our top choice the Viajero 2.5w. From set up to working it is simple and efficient even in cloudier weather.
We also like that the Viajero has a battery backup built-in and comes with a good variety of nozzles. The cut off at detecting low water levels is also very handy.
We struggled to find a bad word to say about this solar-powered fountain other than the strange noise it made on the initial set up. However, this was only short-lived and really nothing to worry about.
Conclusion: Best Solar Powered Fish Pond Fountain Review
Let’s just set some expectations here… These solar-powered fish pond fountains are certainly no Trevi Fountain. They will produce a small but pretty fountain of around 18-24 inches high.
This will not only look pretty and sound lovely on a summer day but also add water movement to your pond which in turn will provide vital oxygen for your fish.
It’s a win-win situation and for less than $50 you can’t go wrong really. If you need a large fountain or more water movement you’ll need to install a mains powered fountain like the Pond Boss DFTN which pumps 2000 GPH and will not look out of place in a very large pond. Often used in parks and public gardens for displays.
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I have been working in the tropical fish industry for over 30 years now and I’m still learning. Everyday is a school day in this hobby. In my spare time I play golf very badly!