40 Gallon Tank Cherry barb questions.

So firstly, which stocking would be best (they’ll be going in a 40g breeder):
2-3 males and 4-6 females or 1 male and 6-8 females?
Also what is the best diet for these guys? I’ve noticed in pictures they have similar (but shorter) whiskers to Cory catfish and in the store they seem to chill in the bottom half of the tank so I’m assuming flakes won’t work that well. (Currently feed my mystery snails sinking carnivore pellets and blanched zucchini).
All i know for sure is the males have more color. But i think 2-3 males for 5-6 females might be alright since they will have some space to run around.

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