Narwhal wrote:.......Does this mean that it is not a good idea to have planted biocensis baskets in the pond at all?
In my ideal pond I'd have them exactly as described in Kevin's book and Mankey's articles, but my pond had already been built when I first stumbled upon the anoxic filter system (AFS) principles and, like you, I didn't have a space I could put the baskets except in the pond itself. I've since built a separate 240 galllon tank where my 20 odd (unplanted) baskets normally reside but this also doubles as my quarantine tank if/when the need arises (I can isolate it from the main pond as required) and in that event the baskets would go straight back into the main pond for the duration.
I didn't plant my main baskets up because I knew they were going to eventually reside in the tank inside my garage (no sunlight in there) but I've used the same cat litter/aquabasis+ mix in a couple of smaller baskets that I put in my "veggie" filter stream that gets fed from the skimmer - these aren't completely submerged as the stream isn't deep enough - but the plants in there absolutely love it and went mad in the summer! If you have to put the baskets in the main pond there's no reason why you shouldn't plant them up - they'll work better if you do - just be aware that if you intend to keep koi they like to ferret around in there and delicate aquatic plants might not tolerate the robust nature of a koi's interest. Ideally though, if you can adapt your pond design to keep the baskets separate from the fish that's the way you should go imho.