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I never put a female in with a male until I see a bubble nest.
He also will be too busy "sparring" with a rival male to concentrate on a bubble nest.
I think he's just overwhelmed; too much at once.

Everybody has a different method, but this is how I "kick start" a bubble nest.
Tape a piece of bubble wrap, bubble side down, in a corner of the tank so it floats on the water.
Crisscross it with a slightly smaller piece of dried banana (this is another reason I love banana leaves), in your case, IAL.
Then release your male in the tank.
He will see the psuedo bubble nest, get all puffed up and proud like he blew it,
and add to it.
After he gets his bubble on, I then place the gal in a container either in the tank/breeder itself, or next to the tank like you did with the male.
Unless I see bubble, I do not release her.
Even then, they may still not take to each other, but first step is bubble :)
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