Aw, thank you. He was a good fish and I was lucky to have him. :)
'Cycling' is the process of building up enough good bacteria in your filter to break down your fish's waste. To start a colony you can either do a 'fishless cycle' or do a 'fish-in' cycle.
With the fishless cycle, you essentially add a little bit of pure ammonia to the empty tank each day to feed the growing bacteria. You do this and test the water each day, and when you get a reading of nitrate, your tank is cycled. If you're interested in this method you can look up better guides online-- I've never tried the fishless cycle because I could never find any pure ammonia here.
With a fish-in cycle, the good bacteria will grow naturally as the fish eats and poops, but with this method you need to do daily water changes in order to keep the ammonia levels safe for your fish until the tank is cycled. This is the method that myself and probably most other users go with.
With either method, you can take a bit of gravel or filter media from your other betta tanks and put it in your new tank while it cycles. This is called 'seeding' and will speed up the process because there is already good bacteria that will spread in your new tank.
As far as snail feeding goes, I used to feed my mystery snails algae wafers, lettuce, and cucumber slices. They will also eat any betta food that your betta missed. They also eat microscopic stuff on the tank walls or floor, but they can't live off this alone and need other food.
Last edited by derpmeister; 07-13-2011 at 12:02 AM.