I have been keeping the same school of neons at 7.6 for over 4 years. I do water changes 1-2 times per week no more than 25% at a time. Keep water parameters where they need to be with no big fluctuations and you should be fine.
for keeping these fish yeah higher pH is okay since they are not wild caught; however if you end up wanting to breed them, that would require lower pH. To simulate a spawning condition, would require low light, lots of hiding places, cooler water than 70 F ( i think it was 68 or 65 degrees) and use of rain water or distilled water. Any water with very low TDS ( total dissolved solids) levels and not loaded with chemicals should be great.