Looking for advice/ideas on what to do next, as I am at a loss.
10 gallon planted tank
11 ghost shrimp
2 bamboo shrimp
~20 malaysian trumpet snails
2 small pond snails
1 guppy fry [got him by accident with the other guppies]
And finally, male fancy guppies that keep dying. I've had no more than 5 at a time. Over the past 2 months since the tank has been set up I've lost ... let's see ... about 5. 3 of them I cannot explain. They simply turned up dead in the morning, with the tail missing. At first I figured tail/fin rot, but the culprit turned out to be one of the snails that ate the tail. I know this because the 3rd fatality he's been caught in the act. Also, all fish seemed fine up until they went under. No evidence of any sort of disease or anything else on their bodies. They just stop eating, stop being active, go to the bottom and belly up. One of them seemed to have developed a swim bladder disease, as the last day of it's life has been swimming vertically.
Water? Tests fine. 0 across the board, nitrates always below 5 or 10 at the most. If it was a case of bad water quality I think the shrimp or snails would go first. Or the guppy fry, which I got a week ago with 2 other fancy guppies which both died in the meantime.
The water's pH is a little high, it's around 8.2, but so is the LFS
water. I tested it before I introduced the fish. Yes, I also acclimated the fish over a period of about 10 minutes because the bag temp and tank temp matched and so did the pH.
What the heck is going on? I don't get it. I had a mild case of an anaerobic pocket which has been taken care of right away. I've had no other fatalities yet as far as shrimp or snails go. Not that I count every MTS, but still.
One of the snails even laid eggs! Now, judging by these critter's hardiness or lack thereof, I would think that if foul water was amiss, snails would go first, then shrimp and finally guppies.
Could it be that I have a few dying plant leaves which I haven't gotten to removing yet? I doubt it, the shrimp play around on them and even nibble.
The only other thing I introduced recently was a pantyhose over the filter nozzle to not suck up the little guppy fry. He can't be more than 3 weeks old, judging by it's size. Yes, I made sure it was clean and everything.
The aquarium has been fully cycled for 2 weeks before I introduced anything in it.
It is heated at 78*F
It is filtered 24/7
It has a fluorescent desk light on top of it that runs from 6PM to 10PM. No, it does not generate heat, I checked.
Right now I have 3 guppies. 2 that seem fine and one that's dying, clamped fins and everything. I also noticed that the other 2 seem to have lost their appetite as of late and are hanging around at the top of the water line. And speaking of diet, I've been feeding them twice a day sparringly some crushed Tetra flakes.
Any ideas? Suggestions?