Would a group of cherry barbs do okay in a 5 gallon tank? I've been doing some research and I'm finding a lot of mixed opinions. Some say they're perfect for a 5 gallon (second maybe to the betta, which I've decided to try and avoid), other things I've read say they need 20 gallons minimum. If so, how many should I get? Are they a schooling species? (once again conflicting information) I'm perfectly fine with having a single-species tank, I just dont want a betta..
Right now the tank has 5 serpae tetras, which is what the LFS suggested for a 5 gallon after they didn't have the fish I was looking for (ember tetras or sparkling gourami). It seems like they might
work, but they dont seem to leave each other alone for long. They do spend some time relaxing and picking around at the plants and other things, but they also spend a good bit of time chasing and trying to nip. The plants allow them to get away from each other when this happens (and so no damage occurs) but it doesn't seem like they're very happy. Is this just a natural "settling in" phase, or is this just part of their personality? It's been almost a week.
Basically I want to know if it would be worthwhile to think about trading the serpae tetras for some cherry barbs. Or, are the barbs likely to have issues once they're in the tank? I've also considered guppies or neon tetras, but it seems like cherry barbs would be better suited. I'd like to keep the serpaes if I could, but how long should I wait to see if they settle down? Could I do anything to help them get along? Any thoughts? Thanks!
Here is a picture of my tank