Re: Plant food/snails

Dont add miracle grow fertilizer to your substrate! If you have already 
added topsoil and vermiculite, the fertilizer is unnecessary. The biggest 
problem with it is the phosphate which in most cases should not be added 
to a tank. The gravel cover is also probably inadequate ... IMHO you need 
an inch of fine gravel/coarse sand.

I use ramshorn snails to good effect ... they eat lots of algae and never 
touch the plants. When they get too numerous I just collect a bunch 
during my weekly trimming. I also find that they are not that noticeable 
in a heavily planted tank, though your opinion may differ.