A few steps forward and a few steps back...
The tank is coming along fine and last night I filled it 3/4's full and added the substrate and and 5 small fish:
1 x Betta
3 x guppies
1 x pleco
The step backward was that prior to getting to this point I had ordered some plants and put them in 3 different tanks that I already had established. Didn't put a whole lot of thought into how much I loath snails before doing that and within a month had 3 tanks with an obvious population, everywhere.
The big tank is sort of a refuge at the moment. Two of the smaller tanks I linked with a pipe connecting the two and then took an Eheim 2128 and put the intake in one and the outlet in the other. Fired up the filter and dumped in a generous portion of bleach. I might have sacrificed some of my own lung tissue to the snail gods in the process but I'm pretty sure that nothing could possibly live through the holocaust in the two bleach tanks.
I've looked for information on how to cleanse the plants I have and am not sure which route to take but I'll be taking one for sure. (The plants were removed from the tanks prior to bleaching and they're in my one remaining tank that will be the last to get treated.) I'm thinking a smallish tank with a ton of plants in it and a handful of clowns or yoyo's first for the remaining plants... then maybe a final dip in some kind of snail death concoction before putting the plants back in the big tank. I know there are some benefits to snails, etc. I just personally find them revolting additions to an otherwise beautiful (planned) aquascape.
Any suggestions on how to more easily resolve this stupid mistake would be appreciated. Matter of fact; if you think I might be about to make a similar blunder in some other way don't hesitate to say so.
Here's the pic to show that I've not been a complete slacker. I've also discovered that this kind of thing takes a little more free time and coordination than I was expecting. A few more blunders like the snail setback would be a major bummer, time wise. I'm also noticing that this is one of those projects that make your wallet bleed but at a rate that seems less painful when your progress is as slow as mine's been.