cathie wrote: I would have said play sand is a similar colour to silver sand, it is not orange like builders sand which you obviously can't use
As long as its smooth and soft (so not sharp sand), and ideally inert, I don't see why not. I know people who use paving sand from their local DIY centre in their catfish tanks. You need to wash it a lot though.
Ceratopteris thalictrichoides, Ludwigia palustris ("green" rather than red, unless you're going for something more high tech), Hornwort, Java Fern, various mosses, Bacopa monnieri, duckweed (ugh! - If you can find it Lemna trisulca the "Ivy Leaved Duckweed" is very nice and floats just below the surface- much better than the "normal" stuff, and much less likely to take over the tank), Vallisneria spiralis, Nymphoides peltata (AKA Water Fringe), Limnobium laevigatum and Samolus valerandi.
I never got on with Cabomba- it always shed the lower leaves and made a complete mess. Eleocharis acicularis, Hydrocotyle verticillata and Lysimachia nummularis and Stratiotes aloides (Water Soldier) never did well for me either, they'd grow for a while, sometimes quite well and then waste away pretty quickly.
I'm trying Blyxa japonica, Rotala rotundifolia and Limnophila sessiliflora in my rescaped WCMM/Loach tank and so far the Limnophila is doing pretty well (its a bit too soon to tell with the others). Echinodorus tenellus doesn't appear to be doing terribly well right now. The emersed leaves are dying off, but it doesn't seem to be growing immersed ones, although there are a couple of runners appearing.
None of my tanks (except the little shrimp one) are heated, and I use sand substrate with a few JBL balls (mostly for the Water Fringe), and don't dose CO2 (I've used liquid carbon on the smaller tank in an effort to control some algae, but I don't think it made any difference. I probably need to add ferts to that tank too. Even in an unheated tank Water Violet, and the UK native Milfoil species didn't do well. I'll definitely give them a go when/if I get a pond though.
When I had a tropical tank I had good results with Hygrophila siamensis "53B" and Crptocoryne wendtii.
DaveGodfrey wrote: Too much of any one in proportion to the others will allow algae to grow at the expense of your plants.
No. Too much light in relation to the others. But you can't have too much fert or CO2...not from an algae stand point in a planted tank. The light always needs to be less than CO2 or Ferts - Liebig's Law.
I was thinking of Liebig's Barrel (clearly wrongly) when I wrote that. That and eutrophication from various sources (farms, sewage works, etc). Which involves levels of fertilisers (particularly nitrates) rather higher than you'd be comfortable with in an aquarium.
I'm always hoovering them (and the substrate) up by accident when I do water changes. Put the substrate back through a sieve and you'll collect the snails, and you can then pick them out and transfer them.
Scooping through the substrate with a sieve is a good way of picking them up, and will help turn it over to if the snails haven't quite managed it.
Basically any fish that can fit them in their mouths will treat them as lunch. Some are more likely to do so than others. My weather loaches for example don't seem to have noticed that they're potentially food, but I wouldn't mix them with all but the smallest cichlids. Even fish not big enough to swallow them can pick at their legs and pester them to death.
How large is the tank you currently have, and what stock have you got?
ETA: Looking at the stock you have on your profile you'll probably be OK, but I'd be a little concerned about the rainbows. I've not kept them myself so I can't say if they're shrimp-safe.