I recently purchased a 10 gallon starter kit complete with lighting, filter etc. After running it for only a day my girlfriend got impatient and wanted to add fish. We got 5 Tiger Barbs, 3 Balloon Mollies, and 1 Pleco from our local Petco. (I now know after doing a lot of reading online this is probably overstocked especially for a new tank)
We lost one of the mollies after about 3 days. Took it back to the shop and were told that the water had too much ammonia (no surprise there) so I bought an API liquid test kit and started testing the water daily and doing frequent ~25% water changes. I also got 3 small plants a Java Fern
, an Anubias
, and a crypto. Also I started using a product called 'Cycle' once a week. About a week later we lost another molly and one of the barbs. I expected to lose more fish since we were still overstocked. Another week goes by and I have to go away for the weekend. I ask my roommate to turn the light on in the morning and off at night. He decides to feed the fish and I assume he overfeed them. During the last week we have lost most of the fish and are down to 1 barb and 1 molly. The Ammonia in the tank tests ~1ppm with very low to any nitrites now and some nitrate but not tons.
My plan is to let these fish ride it out as long as they make it and then continue to cycle the tank fishless style for a while if thats what it needs.
I would really like to get it right this next time around and not kill any fish because it makes me very sad. I've come to the conclusion that 10 gallons is too small a tank to have schooling fish that need to live in groups. What I need are suggestions of some fish that do well alone or in groups of 3 or less and have interesting behaviors or looks.
The only thing I know that I want is a Bristlenose Pleco
or a couple ottos so I am looking for fish for the middle of the tank. Sorry for the long post and thanks for your help!