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malaysian trumpet snails & laterite?

Taking  the recent snail dialog underground <g>:

I've been considering setting a tank up with a lower layer 
of gravel/sand with laterite mixed in, and an upper layer of 
gravel/sand only, then tossing in some malaysian  trumpet 
snails to help keep the substrate clean and aerated.  I'm 
hoping that the snails will  prevent it from turning black 
in areas, while also stirring it up enough to allow some of 
the nutrients in the laterite to escape into the water 
column.  (Poor man's heating cable?)

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who's already gone 
down this road, and what sort of results they are seeing.  
(Iron content in the H2O and/or algae growth any different 
than similar tanks without the snails?  Plant growth good?  
Any long-term examples out there?  Any problems with the 
snails?)  Also any recommendations as to size of 
gravel/sand, amount of laterite to mix in, depth of the 
layers, etc.

Thanks in advance, Ken Cova