If you're getting an indoor water fountain, you want it to run smoothly and effectively -- the water flow should be soothing, not rough and noisy, and the water certainly shouldn't disappear. While most indoor water fountains are made to be stable and relatively splash-free, there are some external factors that can harm the fountain and make this little meditation helper suddenly turn into a maintenance monster. However, it's relatively easy to mitigate those factors, allowing you to enjoy your new fountain for years to come.
Restrict Access by Pets and Young Children
Pets and children are going to be the most immediate factors that you have to deal with. Children can leave toys blocking the flow of water in even small fountains, and pets can knock the fountains off surfaces, drink up the water, and clog the fountain filter with fur. Place the fountain in an area where you can monitor pets and children when they're near the fountain.
Something that might help with children is teaching them about how the fountain works. If you just tell them to stay away, you might make them more curious. But if your child is old enough to understand simple explanations, you could show them why the fountain has to be left alone for it to work well.
If you're in a quake zone or near areas that have experienced quakes due to fracking, you need to anchor that fountain so it doesn't slip around. Quake putty and museum putty, both available in hardware stores and online, can hold the fountain on a surface very well. Of course, you also have to be sure the surface is stable, so don't place the fountain on a shelf that sits loosely on a set of brackets, or in a display case that is wobbly and not bolted to the floor or wall.
Algae, Minerals, and Mildew
Everyday dust and dirt can get into tabletop fountains, and those can build up deposits of muck that allow mildew to grow. If the water you add is contaminated with algae, that algae can grow too, especially in hot weather. Minerals in the water, too, can build up and add to the muck in the fountain, blocking filters and openings. Try to use distilled or filtered water from clean sources (such as distilled water from an unopened bottle).
Caring for an indoor fountain isn't hard if you do it regularly and take care of issues like low water levels as soon as you spot them. Sellers of indoor fountains can give you more tips to keep that fountain running like new.