||02-14-2011 02:15 PM
I have an "experimental" 10g running, sand substrate, full of plants, heated. Originally no filter, no light (it's in a west/southwest facing window). Small fish at the start, 9 Boraras brigittae, 7 Corydoras pygmaeus, 1 dwarf puffer (unexpected arrival with something for another tank), 2 shrimp (also unexpected, came with the pygmy corys). Weekly 40% water change.
After a couple months, I added a sponge filter. Not exactly sure why, there was just something not quite right. Glad I did, it is much clearer now. I removed all the named fish, since I used this tank for my Farlowella fry that need fresh algae and with the window I thought this was the best way to get it. Also added a CF light fixture with 2 10w daylight CF bulbs.
The point of the above story: small fish work in such a setup better than larger. Water quality is one important aspect, but so is the physical space. Rams (I assume you mean the common or blue ram, not Bolivian Ram) should, as noted in our profile, have at a minimum a 24-inch tank, a 15g or 20g. They are territorial fish, the male establishes his territory, and between spawning he might (I say might) take a dislike to the female. She needs somewhere to go out of his sight, and in a 10g that is not going to happen.
I would agree that on their own, a spawning pair in a 10g, well planted, no other fish, would work. But not long-term, and not with other fish.
Plecos are high-end waste factories. A 10g is too small for any species of pleco, in my opinion. Shrimp and snails work better in such small tanks as "scavengers." My 10g now has i don't know how many hundreds of Malaysian livebearing snails. Not sure what they are eating, I add no food to this tank, as the Farlowella fry eat algae and nothing else. The puffer all but eradicated them, but since he left they have reproduced big time.