New hobbyist need help

Candiferris

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I hope someone can help…..I set up a 20 gallon tank a couple of months ago. Tank has cycled and water parameters have been normal (Ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5.0, pH 6, water temp 79) but I am having fish die as well as my plants don’t look good. I listened to a thousand you tube videos, asked numerous different employees of fish stores and get different advice and answers from everyone. I did a 30% water change 4 days ago and lost 2 fish within an hour…a Dalmatian Molly and a guppy. I currently have 3 mollies and 6 guppies and one guppy is staying at the top of the tank very lethargic. Water temp was high, around 83, but I have cooled that down to 79. I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Can someone please help?
 

Morganna

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With my first tank, (a five gallon) I cycled and everything the way I was supposed to too. Despite following procedure, I still went through a ton of neon tetras. (I know now that tetras are too active for a five gallon, but I didn't know at the time, pls forgive). An employee eventually told me that I didn't have enough beneficial bacteria, and I bought some, and everything was fine the next day. Not sure if what she said was true, or if the betta I put in the next day just knew how to live. Hope that helped. Just know that I've been there too.
 

Morganna

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Yes. I forgot to mention that I have the fluVal stratum substrate so any movement at all kicks everything up. I just tried to move a plant and it stirred up a bunch of junk.
Umm, I think connerlindeman was referencing the water conditioner that you put in your tank water to take the chlorine out and keep it safe for fish, not the substrate you are using.
 

wasmewasntit

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What is your hardness....Mollies and Guppies like hard water, they don't do well in soft water, it can be fatal very quickly if fish are in the wrong water

Check your water supplier website to see what hardness rating you are or buy a hardness test.

@emeraldking will be able to help you too since he is a lover of livebearers like these
 

emeraldking

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The water could be harder to keep those mollies and guppies fine. I assume you have large finned guppies. They need harder water. Short finned guppies should be fine in softer water. I'd recommend to get your hardness higher.
But with the higher temperature, the oxygen level could be low as well.
 

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