Avoiding transfer of snails to a new tank
I have a 20-gallon tall tank (my first) that has been planted and running for about 2 years. There are a number of reasons I don't like this particular tank (including the fact that the kit came with pretty crappy lighting, as kits do) and I am about to upgrade. I am looking forward to putting everything I've learned from my mistakes into creating a much better setup. The problem is that I used to have a piece of driftwood in the tank that I believe seeded the tank with snails. I have assassin snails that keep the others in check but have not eliminated them. I am basically willing to abandon the substrate in the old tank, but was hoping to transfer the one pretty successful plant (an Amazon Sword). So, I know I will need to transfer a fair amount of the old tank water, and this seems fairly safe (?). But I've heard you should run the old filter in a new tank to help cycle it, and I routinely find small snails in the filter, so this seems like a bad idea. Any way to eliminate the risk of transferring snails with the plant? I'm putting black substrate in the new tank and would be really bummed to end up with a litter of snail shells over it. Any advice on cycling the tank efficiently and possibly transferring the plant is greatly appreciated.