I had bad luck with gold barbs. I kept nine in a 20H tank. Later learned they grow 8cm in length, even 10cm in the wild. On the beginning it goes fine, but when they reached 5cm problems began..
In hot pursuit against each other, they bumped into my cabombas and destroyed them. They began eating my egeria densa and when they began eating some crypts, I gave them.
If you feed them twice a day, they may leave plants alone. Also, i think my tank was too small for them.
The 9 I have are the first school I've added to my tank and EXTREMELY active. I think 9 is too much for my size of tank so I'll be taking 4 back in a day or two and evaluate the other 5 from there. They've nipped my Bettas fins (separated him) and if hungry will nip at my snails. Both times its been the larger Barbs doing the nipping so the small ones may be ok for a time, but I'll still need to keep an eye on them. They're leaving my plants alone (for now).