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Q: (received by email) hi...I want to make a table top fountain, but am trying to find a pump that allows one to hear the water but not the hummmmmmmmmmmmm associated with pumps used for outdoor fountains/ponds...do you carry quiet ones?
A: We have carried most of the different brands of pumps in our store - either by themselves or in fountains. The AquaPump1 is by far the most silent of them all. That's why we have settled on them as our main pump. We have been selling them since about 1998 and have had no complaints about noise. The 404 is nearly as quiet, pumps more water, and is only slightly larger. We have sold the 404 since 1994 and have only had one customer complaint about noise, and that one had been used in a bed of very abrasive crushed red lava.
The actual amount of sound that a pump makes in your fountain depends not only on the pump but on the type of bowl you use, the shape, the material it's made of, the thickness of the material, how level and solidly it sits on the table or other surface, what that surface is made of, etc. The quietest pump made will always have a tiny bit of 60Hz vibration because it is powered by 60Hz AC current. A bowl with a thin bottom might amplify that sound. Likewise, putting it in the middle of a table with a relatively thin top might cause the tabletop to "drum."
A noisy pump will often be quieter if it is buried in gravel which will absorb some of the sound vibrations.
The noticeability (if that's a word) of the pump sound will also depend on the amount of water sound masking it. Water running over a smooth rock or rocks doesn't produce much sound. Water running over a bunch of rough rocks makes more sound. Water falling free into a pool makes more sound. The more sound your fountain makes, the less you will hear the pump.
Q: And, do you need hosing [tubing] if your basically wanting the water to trickle over a pile of arranged river rocks? thanks!
A: I cannot say whether you will need some tubing for your particular design, but it will give you more flexibility to have some on hand. If you rely on the pump to shoot water up onto the rocks you will probably have a splashing mess on your hands. Better to deliver the water in a tube and let it fall naturally with gravity.
Hope this helps...