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Can’t decide what fishes to put in my 10 gallons... Help!

Karen B.

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I currently have a 20 gallons with 3 orange dwarf mexicain crayfish (cpo) and 13 1/2 white cloud minnows (one is in quarantine. Not sure he will make it)
I also have a 10 gallons cycling and I can’t quite decide what I want in it! I was very ill advised for the 20 gallons and don’t want to repeat the experience. And yes I am doing my research but it seem there is always one answer and it’s opposite about everything 😭
Tank is 10 gallons, pH about 7.6. I have a heater. Aqueon HOB 10 filter, air stone, Plastic plants, rocks, cholla wood, moss balls, flourite black. I might try to grow few plants/moss if possible with the cheap led light in the lid?
I would love a gourami. (Honey? A female blue powder?).
I dream of having corydoras (panda or julii or albino, not a fan of the pigmy)  but afraid the tank is too small for a school of them? Plus my substrate is not sand...
Not really a fans of tetra/danios
Maybe guppy or platy or molly? (All male, no breeding).
And if I can’t go with cory... what bottom dwellers? Shrimps would be eaten by the gourami... too small for hillsteam loach...
So... what are your toughts? Any idea/suggestions?
Do you think gourami + cory would be ok? It’s important for me that my fish thrive and doesn’t suffer just for my own enjoyment.
Thank you!
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Hi @Karen B., you might also want to play around with some of your ideas in aqadvisor.com. You give it the dimensions of your tank and then search for and choose the fish you want to add. They'll give you a percentage estimate of how stocked you are. They also sometimes give you warnings from their database about mixing certain fish, ratio of males to females, etc. 

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If you don't like pygmy corys i would go with panda corys because they don't get much bigger (i think they get up to about 2 inches) and they spend most of their time surfing the gravel and are very active but peaceful. I'm sure you could put 5 in and still have space for a display fish. Alternatively 3-5 otos would appreciate the cholla wood. Or if you could get your hands on them maybe a small school of rosy loaches. I've never had those but they stay pretty small and will scavenge like corys. Or, and this is something i want to do one day, get a few (maybe 3?) scarlet badis. They're very little, can be colorful, and seem to have an interesting personality for a fish. But can also be territorial with each other (not necessarily toward other species although boisterous fish may spook them) but they can also be more tricky to feed because they prefer live or frozen food. 


Don't worry too much about the substrate unless its something abnormally abrasive. Their natural habitat isn't very sand-like. Especially if you use a rounded gravel. I use activ-flora lake gems and my panda corys seem pretty up-beat. Another possibility is a group of kuhli loaches for a 10g. They don't produce much waste for their length and don't bother other fish. The last bottom feeder i might suggest is the dwarf chain loach. I've never kept them but i think they look cool and they only get maybe 2.5" (i think) although they might be better suited to a 20g or more. When i was younger i made the mistake of getting a Yoyo loach for my tank (only one when i should have got a group) basically because it looked cool. But those get way too big for a 10g (5 or 6 inches full grown) and can single handedly eliminate 100+ snails in a matter of weeks. They're also powerful swimmers against a current. Mine rocket shipped himself out of the tank right onto the kitchen floor. 

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