Bangai Cardinal breeding/aggression
Almost a week ago I saw my mated pair of cardinals doing the mating dance. This is the second time they've done this -- the first time, the male had the eggs for less than two days, then he started eating again. I figured they were a little young to be mating anyways so they'd probably try it again some time. This time, the male got the eggs in his mouth, but the behavior was radically different.
JSYK, I have four cardinals. Other than the mated pair, which are slightly bigger than the other two, I don't know their sexes.
The first time, the female was very protective of the male, and would stand up to the largest/most aggressive fish in the tank. This time, the other three cardinals (even the shrimpy one that usually gets picked on, and his former mate) are being VERY aggressive towards the male. They clearly have been beating up on him and I think (not sure about this) he dropped his eggs again. However, he looks really bad and still isn't eating. I'm thinking I should move him down to the refugium where he can have some peace, I'm hoping that this is just a result of aggression.
My main question is this: what could have possibly happened that the behavior changed so drastically so quickly? It's only been a couple of weeks since the first time they mated. I don't know too much about their mating behavior, but I'm stumped here. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.