First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
Plants are always beneficial. A 10g tank is only going to be suited for fish that will be better if surrounded by plants, so I would strongly consider these. We can discuss the present plant problem, which could be light, filtration, nutrients, type of plants, individually or together.
Substrate fish are limited in a 10g. The dwarf species of cory in a group of 7-9, one Whiptail Catfish, or as an alternative shrimp. For upper fish, there are many dwarf species among the cyprinids, and a few others. Knowing the water parameters would help narrow these down, but most are soft water fish. Check the profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page.
Sand substrate will be good for any of what I've mentioned, including plants.