05-16-2011, 05:23 PM
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The best characins for angelfish are the 30-odd species in the Rosy Teytra Clade of Hyphessobrycon. Their disk-shape means they are not regarded as food (as any of the smaller linear tetra can be), and they are colourful to contrast nicely with the black/silver of angels. There are several species in our profiles, do a search using the scientific option for names and the Hyphessobrycon species will be together.
My particular favourite in this clade is Hyphessobrycon bentosi, the so-called Robert's Tetra. There really is nothing much more beautiful than two or three males in full display, darkening to a black/wine red, with the extended dorsal fins flared.
As for "schooling," most tetra are loose in their groups. They remain within eye-sight of each other, and those within the Rosy clade have what is believed to be a signalling strategy, the "signal" or "flag" dorsal fin. They need plants, they do not like to be out in the open unless they have cover overhead (floating plants) and around them. Angels need this too, so that's a good match.