Do snails help cycle?
Both methods "fish" and "fishless" works.
the idea is to provide a source of ammonia which will eventually promote growth of two types of bacteria.
The first type consumes ammonia and produces nitrites
The second takes the toxic nitrite and changes that to a much less toxic nitrates.
nitriates are eventually removed via water changes (or plants)
by doing a fishless cycle (ie adding pure ammonia to a fishless tank) you save your fish the painful process of going through two rather toxic cycles before the tank stabilizes.
Please note that you will need to run a filter begin a cycle, a test kit is also very important.
snails will only contribute to the cycling process if you feed them.
animal waste=ammonia source