i'm new and i've been asking a few questions. i've mentioned wanting to get my betta some tank mates when i move him to my used 10gal after its cycled and i've done some reading on possible tankmates. i think i want some neons, corys and maybe a dwarf fish. i'm pretty sure they are all compatiable. however, i'm confused on how many of each would fit once at max. i know one of each would certainly be fine but i would like a small school of neons and maybe 2-3 corys. so, for a 10gal at max, would 1 male betta, 1 dwarf frog, 4-5 neons and 2-3 corys be too much? or could i fit in an extra neon or two? what would be ideal? once i start introducing fish (1-2 at a time) how long should i wait in between adding more fish?
i know i need to wait until after i cycle, and i know not to put them all in at once too otherwise it'll be too much for the filter to handle.
a quick question about cycling too. i plan on doing a fish cycle (because i think i understand how to that best) and i read that cherry barbs are good for this, and likely to survive, would they be ok with a betta and the other fish i'm considering? also, i have a friend with a tank, to shorten the cycle period would it be a good idea to borrow a toy before she cleans it or take some of her water when she does a change? would this work for my tank?
i have other considerations for tank mates to replace the neons is appropriate for the betta, frog and corys. i would like your opinions on them. should i stick to the regular neons, would these be good or as they are from the same tetra base would a mixture of the different tetras school together so i can have one or 2 of each type and still provide them with a school?
here's what else i'm considering:
black phantom tetra
bleeding heart tetra (really unsure if this would be a good choice but would like your opinions)
cardinal tetra (concerned that this fish may be hard to care for, for a beginner like me-should i wait on them until i have more experience under my belt?)
1 red tailed shark (my mother had one of these when i was young and i would love to be able to incorporate one in my tank)
white cloud mountain minnow
1 kuhli loach
the information i read on them all cam from fishlore.com. i do plan on researching them further but would still like some experienced opinions and/or advice on these species and their compatiablity for a betta in a 10 gal