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I have a 40 gallon planted tank. I have had it for awhile. I have 4 skunk loaches and 3 tiger barbs. I want to get back to 8 tiger barbs but i am afraid if i introduced 5 young tiger barbs then would end up killing my original 3. should i wait or maybe just add a couple a week or just get 5 more and see what happens.
 

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Get the new ones and set up a quarantine tank where they can see each other.
If they just sort of swim near each other calmly, then they may get along OK. Give them a month to be sure they are healthy, and plenty of time to get used to seeing each other.
After the new fish are clear of diseases and parasites you could try adding them to the main tank with a clear divider, see if that helps. If the fish are fighting each other with the barrier in between then I would not remove the barrier. See the next step.

This works for Cichlids:
Remove established fish.
Move things around in the main tank so the fish territories are not there any more.
Introduce the new fish.
Give them 24 hours to figure out where the hiding places are.
Then put the original fish back into the tank.
The original fish may still try to be somewhat bossy because they are older, larger, more comfortable in the overall setting. But they will be unsettled by their territory markers being gone or moved. Sort of what happens with the rainy season starts and washes away the old branches, and brings in a lot of new branches and whatnot into the stream.

The problem is that if a fish is being chased in the wild he can get well away from the space claimed by the dominant fish.
In an aquarium there is a strict limit to how far away he can go. If the lower ranking fish sticks around, too close to the territory, the higher ranking fish might think the lower ranking fish is not acknowledging their respective ranks, but is sticking around to challenge.

If the territories are broken up, changed, then the lower ranking fish added first, then the higher ranking fish become the 'intruders' so are a little more cautious. Gives them all a chance to figure out that they can live together.

Still, watch it. In every crowd it is likely that there is a bully that wants to beat up on the others for no reason we can tell. This might be one of the new fish, or one of the established fish.
You could try placing this fish in a separate tank for a few days, then re-introduce him. If he is still a bully, return him to the store.
As for quantity, I would get all of the new ones at once. It is a small enough quantity.
 
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