Okay. I know that my water's on the soft side because we use a water softener. My local pet store doesn't stock dwarf rasboras. They do have cories, but I haven't found pygmy cories there. Is there another type of cories that would do well in a 10 gallon? I'm thinking of taking a ride to a fish store, though, so maybe I can find those there? I know they have a pretty wide variety of fish... But I don't remember exactly how wide a variety. I haven't been there in years.
Another species I've been looking at is dwarf puffers, but, like the rasboras and pygmy cories, I know I won't find those in the local pet store, so I'd have to drive a bit to get them. Would they be able to handle the car ride? It's not terribly far. Leaving time for me to get lost, which will probably happen at least once, I'd guess maybe 40 minutes. That's not too long a drive for the fish, is it?
Sorry if these questions seem silly. I haven't had a community tank in years, and when I did it was my dad who really took care of it so I don't really have much experience to go on and I'd like to do this right and not accidentally kill any fish.
Not silly questions at all.
Unfortunately, it will probably take more than one trip to your local fish store. You'll need to cycle your tank and so need to decide if you're going to do a fishless or fish in cycle. Corys are not a great fish to cycle a tank with as they can be a bit more sensitive to water params as opposed to some other hardier types.
And when you add fish to a newly cycled tank, you should only add two or three at a time to let the beneficial bacteria catch up to the tank load. If you add them all at once, you more than likely would have a pretty significant ammonia spike (keeping in mind your tank size) and risk losing all of your fish.
Have you read the stickys here about tank cycling? I'll find and post them here for you if you need to read up on it.
I'd set up the tank, let it run for a few days and then bring a sample of your water to the store where you're going to purchase your fish. If you're limited to local stores, you can see what they're going to have in stock that will work in your tank and most of the chain stores will take requests for shipments if they're going to be able to resell them easily.
Have you considered a tank of male guppies and corys? The males are beautiful and if you keep to one sex, you won't have to worry about them having babies constantly. Platys would work too in that case and they're also very pretty and common fish.