Upcycling an Old Spa Into a Fishpond/Fountain

Stephen Taylor
by Stephen Taylor
4 Materials
I wanted a Fishpond in the garden but decent size ones are really expensive -- so time for a bit more upcycling!!! I didn't take too many pics (doh!)
Edited with added night pic
I started with this Ugly as Sin spa pool, another TradeMe bargain at $20, was very heavy and had a bit of a disaster when it fell off the trailer 5km from home when a ratchet strap broke, but all the bits i needed were undamaged. Wifey wasn't impressed (more junk!!) - It takes about 1000 litres of water.

I stripped off all the fittings and blocked all the holes with expanding foam and 2 part epoxy.
Then I dug a big hole...
I put the pool in the hole and leveled it (took several attempts). If you don't get it level it will look awful. At this point I also put in electrics for the pump.
Bit of a jump now! So put wire rebar mesh over the top and bricked around it (lots of brick cutting).

I made the fountain from tiles on a wood frame and filled with expanding foam - the tiles were free end of line from a tile warehouse scrap bin.

I had the rebar and bricks left over from the house build.

The sun tile at the front was given to me by my dad who passed away shortly before I built this.

Put in a pump with UV light on it and added plants (the pots are zip tied to the rebar to allow decent growth)

I added 10 goldfish and some solar lights, and here it is finished job. (And the wife is a lot happier with it now!!)
Added a night picture - unfortunately one of the lights needs repairing, plants have grown a bit too!
Frequently asked questions
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  • Dka27519972 Dka27519972 on May 20, 2019

    Is that the recirculating pump in the middle? Is there another way to do this without it? You have done a great job with this, but the tower in the middle spoils the view, in my opinion.

  • just wondering why the rebar across the top of the pond?? I have had

    trouble with the neighbors dog going for a dunk but the most heart breaking was

    when I came out and found my fish that were 3 years old had become snacks

    to a coon.

  • Lisa O'Brien Lisa O'Brien on Jun 04, 2019

    How do you replace the pump? Sometimes they stop working.

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  • Mary Mary on Nov 10, 2020

    This is a wonderful idea, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade but I've seen more and more of these types of projects. 20+ years ago a friend used an old satellite dish (the huge ones) as a small pond in her back yard with goldfish. One day she heard a splash and to her horror the neighbors small child had fallen in, slime had accumulated on the sides and the child being on her stomach was having difficulty getting up and nearly drowned. Her husband immediately removed it. In our area if you have a pool you need a fence, it's the law, but there is nothing mentioned about ponds or other water decorations. As most of you know children are very curious and extremely quick, had she not been standing near her kitchen window to hear the splash the child would had drowned, the parent had just turned her back for a moment, but that is all it takes. Like I said these are beautiful and I don't want to invade someone's post with gloom and doom but please be mindful of where you locate your decorations, it really only takes a split second.

    • See 2 previous
    • Stephen Taylor Stephen Taylor on Nov 15, 2020

      No offence taken Mary, we have grandchildren and would be mortified if they came to harm, hence the pool, spa and ponds are fenced/ lockable lid/ covered with mesh, but you can't have a world risk sanitised for everything. We also have on the property a small rainwater duck pond (which is 14+ feet deep and slippery as hell as it is plastic lined ) and by NZ law this doesn't require fencing (however it is) such are the vagaries of the law (I have been caught out in it trying to recover semi drowned ducklings and had to crawl out on my hands and knees as the plastic/duck poo is like trying to stand on ice with greasy shoes!! 😂)

  • Marc Marc on Feb 19, 2021

    Stephen, I have just purchase a fiber glass soaking tub to do the same as you. It has two holes. One to drain and I assuming the top one was for the water facet, or overflow drain. My thought the drain hole would be used just for that atatched to small French drain pipe under ground, The facet hole to run the pump cord into the the tub. How do you suggest, I secure these holes as not to leak? My thoughts on the pump cord will be going into the tub from the underground to hide the pump cord.

    Thank you for any and all suggestions. My email is Creekfall@aol.com (Marc)

    • Stephen Taylor Stephen Taylor on Feb 19, 2021

      I filled the holes with expanding foam which seems to have done the job (no leaks 5 years on) I also drilled a small overflow hole about 4 inches from the top of the shell so that the pond doesn't overfill when it rains