I already have a 12 gallon tank.. there's no reason for me to get a 10 gallon.
If I set up the 12 gallon I will need all new supplies because I want to plant it and IME gravel just doesn't cut it. That means eco-complete, driftwood, all new plants, sponge filter, and a good heater since the one in my 5 gallon is a 25w. That's ~$25 for the E/C, ~$30 for the heater, $20+ for the plants, $5 for a sponge filter, and who knows how much for driftwood. Plus shipping for most of the equipment and all of the fish (because I'm not buying the pathetic looking fish at petsmart). That's about $80-100 for supplies then however much it costs to get my fish/shrimp.
The tank is tall.. about 18in I believe. Its an eclipse tank so the bulb is already fluorescent. Eclipse lights are usually pretty good about growing plants. I toyed with the idea of purchasing an entirely new filter assembly but that will cost $50 plus shipping from Marineland.
I'll have to look more into those different fish. Anyone know how big panda cories get? Saw some on aquabid last night and they're super cute. In any case I won't be getting any new fish until I make sure whatever killed the last three isn't going to kill anymore.