With the revamp of the backyard and a bit of know how under my belt, I decided to try again. The pot had started to leak so I had to seal it up. I used some non toxic Grit51 (or 52). Not the best colour but it works (i think - still waiting to really see).
With 2 weeks to cure I set about getting a reasonable solar power ELV pump. I found a good looking one on ebay and it inlcuded an LED ring to light the water at night. Got it for $60 which I thought was great.
My plan was to install the panel on the side of the adjacent house wall facing the north and run the cable across my solarspan awning down to the controller in flex conduit. I knew the cable to the solar panel would not be long enough, but was prepared for it.
We had some left over flex conduit from installing mum and dads auto swing gate opener (blog article to come). When it came to the crunch, it seemed like a whole lot of work for a fountain. So I decided a south west facing solar panel may be useable (maybe not so much in winter but I'll deal with that when the time comes). So in a moment of realisation that things can be done perfectly and expensively or they can be done close enough to perfect with some trade offs, I installed the panel on the ground right next to the fountain.
So its up and working and I'm happy with the result. I've temporarily sealed the ends of the conduits with electrical tape but will have to seal them properly once the weather fines up. I'm not 100% happy with the position or fixing of the controller to the awning post but there's not really another option for mounting it.