09-13-2011, 12:19 PM
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Your tank sounds like my tank! I have a 10 gallon and cories are my favorite.
It sounds like you'll have a great set up. I would encourage the live plants, my cories love them and they do a lot to help stabilize water conditions. The great thing about aquatic plants is that you don't have to remember to water them or worry about over-watering them. Fertilizer will take you far, and generally you just toss some in when you do water changes. A lot of them act double as water conditioners anyways, so you barely have to remember to do anything for the plants!
If you wanted to add a single "focal" fish to the tank, I think a betta would be beautiful. Cories and bettas make good tank mates because Bettas like the top of the tank and cories like the bottom. The best tips I can give you for the betta are to have something floating on top- real or fake floating plants, but somewhere for him to hide that the cories won't invade, and ADD THE BETTA LAST. Cories aren't territorial but bettas really really are.
The driftwood will be good to lower the pH a bit, cories tend to like pHs a bit on the acidic side.
Sounds like you've got a good plan and a good set-up. If you have questions about cycling your tank, adding fish, equipment to add or not add, or anything else, you've come to the right place!