identifying a julidichromis marlieri pair
Hi, so I think I messed up trying to get a pair of these julis. I started with 4, one got cornered and rejected from the groups and banished from the rocks minutes after putting them in. This lasted about a week but the rejected one was just getting chased some if he came too close so I kind of tried to catch him out but it was impossible with the rock work so since it wasn't physical attacks I just left him in. The other three were getting along but then suddenly overnight the biggest of the three just started relentlessly attacking one of the other three. This went on a few days as I tried strategies for reducing aggression like adding more visual breaks and rearranging rocks, to no avail, and constant fighting and lip locking continued with no peace at all. Eventually I took out all the rocks and gave the two rejected ones to the pet store.
Now I have two that seem to have gotten significantly more aggressive with the synodontis petricola focused in the area of one cave, though they both wander away often and are often not together. Does this seem like pair formation? I didn't realize pairs often fight among themselves so I wonder if I removed the wrong ones and gave up too soon. The two I have left have never once fought or chased each other. It's more out of curiosity since with 7 synodontis petricola in this 90g as well I doubt many if any eggs will even make it to fry stage let alone survive, but I'd still just like to understand what is going on. There is a size difference as one is 3 inches and the other about 2 so I'm not sure at all if they're even sexually mature.