I think barbs are very nippy fish, not 100% sure though. You originally posted about White Clouds-those are peaceful community fish and will probably get along with your betta. Mostly it depends on your betta's personality, though. Cory cats and ADFs are also good tank mates.
Cycling with fish can be done. You just need to keep up with measuring the ammonia levels and the water changes. But it's okay if you can't do it.
Along with adding your betta's water to the bigger tank, I suggest dropping a bit of fish food in there, as well. It's easy to do, and it's a method of building up ammonia to help your tank cycle.