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How to build a water feature with cascading pots?

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How to build a water feature with cascading pots?

I am building a water feature with 2 cascading pots. 

The higher pot is spilling into the lower pot. 

There is a fountain in the higher pot and a return inlet pipe feeding that top fountain pump from the bottom pot. 


I have an aquapro 1050 with the 


The first bowl is 20cm higher than the second bowl and has a spillway lip water falls into the lower bowl. 
I have an Aquapro AP1050 in the top bowl submerged with a fountain kit attached. I then have the AP 12mm hose attached to the pump's inlet. The other end of the inlet hose is routed to the second lower bowl with a sponge filter on it underwater.
I noticed it is hard to keep the inlet hose primed. It only works if I ensure the inlet hose is full of water and no air before starting the pump. But then if I turn off the pump it gets air in the hose and also starts siphoning backwards the top bowl into the lower.
The fountain and return pump works fine when it is operating and primed but I didn't want it running 24x7 and wanted it to be on a timer and self-start  
I assume I need a check valve or something similar? 
Could you point me in the right direction?
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to build a water feature with cascading pots?

Hello @igooba (Peter)


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's sensational to have you join us, and thanks for sharing your question about your water feature.


Would it be possible for you to post a photo of your water feature. It sounds very well setup, but I believe that the pump should be positioned at the lowest point to prevent auto siphoning. 


A large pump will often have a priming chamber that allows the pump to suck up the water even if there is air in the line. Unfortunately, small submersible pumps don't have this feature.


Instead, they work by gravity, if the pump and inlet pipe is at the lowest point in the water, there will always be water present even if the pump is off. For example, if the large pots are in a catch basin and the pump is under the waterline in the catch basin then air will not enter the pump. The water in the outlet hose will go down to the top of the pump but will not affect its performance.


However, we'll be able to give you better advice once we see your water feature set up.


If you have any other questions, please let us know.




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