GulfCoast, It is really super to have someone who has traveled this same path, waterwise, to help me along. Advice from someone who begins with similar parameters is so valuable!
So... if you're not too tired of me pestering you, some questions about starting to add fish.
I read that the bloodfin tetra can tolerate changing water conditions all the way up to pH of 8 which would cover me if I forgot or dropped the CO2, and the big store has some.
Only 5 left today, though. They are very jumpy, probably not enough buddies there to keep them happy as there was a tank full just a couple of days ago. This fish is written up as a pretty tough fish, good for beginners. It is not the most beautiful fish, but it is good looking and might be a good start. Should I start with a few, like the 5 left now, or try to find a larger group, since these do prefer groups of 6 or more they say.
I can add some used filter padding from the cycled 29 gallon that is healthy, though lightly stocked.
What I'm not sure of, is whether I need to stock slowly, because of cycling concerns, or add a small pack of 6 small fish so they feel better together. The objective here is to have nice fish, but a beautiful tank, so a species tank is more what I'm shooting for. With 10 gallons, can I even get 6 small fish and a few ottos and a corry or two and not be overstocked?