I am in the process of starting a 40 gal planted tank. The "stars" of my tank will be my beloved apple snails (along with some snails friendly fish, of course). The question is that according to what I've been told, for a successful planted tank, its necessary to use specially formulated substrates. I noticed that most of these substrates contain COOPER, which is deadly to snails.
Does anybody know what type of substrate I could use that won't harm my snails and still nourish my plants? Is a mixture of crushed coral and gravel, ok?
I have never heard of a plant substrate that will kill snails, even with the copper. I know many many people use aqua soil, azoo, and top soil capped in shrimp tanks safely so they would surely be safe for snails. I have never heard of any that will kill inverts by itself at all honestly. Anything for the aquarium should be safe.
If they do infact contain copper my guess is it's in such a low amount it won't effect the snails. For example I dose seachem flourish (which has trace amounts of copper) in both my shrimp tank & my community which has mystery snails & amano shrimp. As long as I dose correctly and don't OD my inverts are fine.
One thing to keep in mind, big snails WILL rip up some plants. I found that out the annoying/hard way, lol. Having to replant nearly every day until I gave up and tired different plants :P