Thanks for all the responses.
I am happy that my fish are chilled out and meander around the tank. But on the other hand i do like a nice tight school of fish that tracks you as you run your finger along the glass.
I picked my neons because thats what they looked like in my LFS, but i guess they were pretty stressed there, and as soon as they got into my 180l tank, they chilled out and spread out.
I have black mollys. i introduced them as part of my algae clean-up crew. the neons pretty much ignore them.
Ive checked out the threads on which is the "best schooling fish" seems a pretty subjective debate to me.
None of them really seem to cover evolving fish behavior or long term social behavior (now why do I get the sudden urge to wear a tweed jacket and smoke a pipe?). Which is why I posted this thread, out of curiosity to see what other people had observed and whether anyone had developed practices based on observed behaviour...
my three angelfish are juveniles, 6 - 8 cm in length.
They really seem to acknowledge the existence of the neons, let alone harass them. I have caught them nipping at the flowing fins of a couple of my guppies though ....which i thought was a bit like someone who lived in a glass house chucking stones...
Interestingly enough I put some silver sharks into my 350l tank and they seem to have held a school pretty well. watching their acrobatics, reflecting flashes of light as they roll around is definitely one of the more entertaining aspects of this obsession