I'm picking up a ten gallon tank tomorrow and, after it has cycled, I plan on putting some otos or panda corys in there with my male betta. Any chance I'd be able to safely put in some middle swimmers? If so, how many of what should I be getting in order to keep everything in balance?
Otos and panda cories! Two sensitive species! Otos have a tough adjustment period, but after they are pretty hardy, you'll have to feed them algae wafers. Panda cories are one of the more sensitive cories, people have trouble with them surviving over 6 months. I'd try a different species if you're a beginner :) Julii are very pretty.
What kind of substrate do you have?
Wha-? Man, I'm glad I asked. Yeah, I actually am a beginner. I'm trying to move my betta into something bigger, and hopefully get some more fish. I was going to get some gravel. Didn't put much thought into what specific grade or color or anything, to be honest.
Go buy some play sand at a hardware store. It's a good option, once you rinse it it doesn't have trouble settling after the first time. Trust me I stir mine all the time. Sand is much more friendly on bottom dwellers.
If you have soft water, kuhli loaches are a cute option.
Otherwise, Julii and peppered cories come to mind. You could do bronze+albino, they are the larger ones and you could only have 4 though. :)
You are pretty limited to one other species in 10 gallons, more can make a betta stressed from being around so many fish in a small space.
Yep. The pet store sand brand CaribSea has pretty colors, but is 4 times as expensive and is made from glass shards, bad for bottom dwellers. So cheap play sand or pool sand is the best option.
Also, when you do your weekly water change, sift through the sand with a comb or your hand, you'll notice little bubbles being released. These are causes by bacteria, and you don't want a lot of this gas in your tank or it can be dangerous (and your tank will smell like rotten eggs). It's not that much maintenance at all, sounds scary I know. xD
It does make me a little nervous, BUT I like the idea of BD having more to interact with, and more area to interact in. And I'll hopefully be able to pull off a fishless cycle, so when he gets put in his new pad, everything will be cool.
I've skipped a week of sand stirring, not much happened there were just more bubbles to deal with.. No smell, I think it has to get really bad before it gets dangerous.
I pulled off my first 3 weeks of a fishless cycle blind without a test kit, so I'm sure you'll do fine. If you use pure ammonia just be careful not to OD on it.