Getting my 10 gal. cycling. I have gravel, live and silk plants and hidy-holes.
I am considering either a solo male, or a sorority of females. If I go with females would it be ok to get an aquatic frog, shrimp and/or a snail? If so, how many of each would you recommend? I'd also love cories, but am not sure if I should have them in a tank that small.
I am open to other suggestions as well, but I am interested in a beautiful tank that will not overburden the eco-load of a 10 gal.
For your ten gallon I would suggest decorations, a gentle filter, and a heater. These are highly recommended. Snails are fine, but frogs have a different diet, and may fight with the bettas, or even eat them. I think you should get a maximum of ten bettas, but that may even be too many. If you get a male, you can either have a divider with female bettas on the other side. You cannot put two males in the same tank- unless you have a solid colored divider without holes. If two male bettas see each other, they will feel as if they always need to be alert and on guard, and this will cause stress and exhaustion which could eventually cause death. If you get females, you need at least 5 or they will fight. Don't listen to myths you hear- one gallon per betta is enough, people here will tell you that it is 5 gallons per betta, but they don't need that much. People keep their bettas in tiny bowls in flower vases, and they survive. True, the bettas will not thrive, and it is not recommended, but they will survive. But they need at least one gallon- in anything smaller the betta will be unhappy, and they will get bored and start tail biting. And it's hard to keep good water conditions in a tank that little. And bettas need a heater, and they are hard to find for bowls and vases.
african dwarf frogs are adorable and sometimes crazy animals to have in your tank XD I've owned a large amount of them over the time I've had them (they have died due to mini plagues in the tank or some other horrible disease getting them, one of them even had dropsy right from the shop :/). Some people argue what the best space is for them, I'd say 2 gallons per 1 frog. My frogs have NEVER tried to jump out of the water (the only time I've read from other people whose frogs attempted to jump was because their water parameters were TERRIBLE). I recommend in having communities of 5+ frogs per tank, because they're happier in larger numbers.
African clawed frogs are cool too, but they're a bigger version of the dwarf frog and MUCH more aggressive (both in temperament and in eating habits). I generally recommend 1 CLAWED frog per 10 gallons and nothing else in the tank because the frog might try to nip at anything it considers to be "in its territory". Jellybean frogs are the same thing as clawed frogs, but they're albino with their skin having been dyed. The dye slowly fades as they get older.
I had a ten gallon with a male betta two cories and four platies but I have since learned that was too much. But I do think you could have a male betta, a couple dwarf cories, some snails, shrimp depending if they sell them in your state. Five female bettas in a ten would probably not be happy.
Personally, I would get a sorority of about 6-8 girls, if you have a lot of decorations so they won't constantly fight.
You could also do two males, divided. Or a male and a female divided. The divider doesn't have to be a solid color. It needs to have holes for water flow. I had two males in a divided 10 gallon with fancy guppies, and the divider I used was see through. I just used my decorations to help block their view a little, and they were perfectly fine. I think they actually liked each other's company, because when I moved one of the bettas out of the tank, they seemed a little down. :(
Or, if you want just one male betta, you could get some shrimp. Red Cherries or Ghost shrimp are the best, from what I've heard, but the Red Cherries usually get chased because of their color. At least the ghost shrimp are harder to see. xD As far as snails go, my favorite are nerites. They're clean, they do a good job with cleaning, and their eggs don't hatch in freshwater. :)
Most of the other fish you could potentially have in there with a betta need to be in groups of 5 or more to be happy. Neon tetras, endlers, and fancy guppies are the most common ones from what I've heard. Cories are bottom feeders and like a lot of space to swim, so they might not be the best.