Do Betta Fish Like Mirrors?
Do betta fish like mirrors? You may notice that every time they see their reflection that they go crazy trying to chase it. This may make it seem like they don’t like mirrors. However, the answer isn’t so simple.
It can be hard to tell if betta fish like mirrors because we don’t know what they’re thinking. While we can’t know for sure, one thing that is certain is that the moment your betta see’s his own reflection it’s going to reduce his boredom.
Boredom in bettas is extremely common in bettas who don’t have enough stimulus and it can often lead to things like depression, stress, glass surfing and tail biting
So while they may not exactly LIKE mirror’s like they like food, there are a lot of benefits to using them. Here are a few of the main benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Mirror?
When you’re using a mirror not only is your betta going to benefit but so are you! Here are some of the best reasons you should start showing your betta his reflection.
Let’s Them Fulfil Their Natural Instinct
Betta’s are fighting fish and they have a natural instinct to fight. If they don’t feel like they’re hunting, chasing or trying to mate then they could become depressed.
By showing your betta his own reflection he’s going to think a competitor is entering his territory. Once he’s chased it for a while and you move the mirror away, then he’ll think he’s ‘won’.
The short periods of stress followed by the victory is good for your betta and it will help keep him happy.
Nothing Is Going To Get Hurt
A lot of bettas want to fight but it’s cruel to put two bettas together, with no chance of escape, one of them is going to lose badly. By using a mirror you’re going to make sure no other fish is going to get hurt. Once your betta is suitably riled up you can just remove the mirror. No animals will be harmed.
Less Hostile To Other Fish
If your betta is being hostile to other fish it could be because he has a lot of pent up aggression. If you show him a mirror then this pent up aggression will be let out, and he may be less hostile to other tank mates.
However, just be careful. If he gets too used to chasing other fish around then he might end up attacking everything in the tank.
He’s Not Going To Be Bored
One of the quickest ways you can snap your betta out of boredom is by showing him his own reflection. And it’s not going to be the immediate stimulation either.
After he sees his reflection he’s going to start patrolling his tank in an attempt to make sure no other rivals try to steal his territory. Patrolling is going to keep him entertained and stop any boredom he’s feeling.
Help With Constipation
Did you know that flaring can help your betta if he’s suffering from constipation?
Because your betta will be flexing and tensing all kinds of muscles when he’s flaring it’s not uncommon for him to flush his bowels while he’s doing it.
If you think overfeeding has caused constipation and nothing more sinister then this can be a great way to help him recover.
Promotes Breeding Instincts
Showing your betta his own reflection is also going to encourage his breeding instincts. When bettas think there’s another male in the vicinity they build bigger bubble nests. This is an attempt to woo females quicker.
If you’re trying to breed your betta and he isn’t making a bubble nest then this might do the trick. However, don’t add a female betta in the tank when this is happening or he may end up turning on her as well.
As well as building a big bubble nest he’ll also try harder to impress females.
You Can Take Better Photos
And lastly, a little benefit for you is that you can take better photos. To get your betta in his prime it’s best to see him flaring. If you’re having trouble getting the perfect shot then this might be the ideal solution for you!
How Long Should You Use A Mirror For?
Unfortunately, there’s no right answer to this question it really depends on your betta. However, I wouldn’t do it for more than 5 minutes at a time. As a rule of thumb the less time a day you spend doing it, the more often you can do it.
For example, I show my betta his reflection for about 30-45 seconds every day. But you could show your betta his reflection for 5 minutes every few days.
It really depends on what your betta responds to. The most important thing is to make sure you’re watching your betta to make sure he’s not being too stressed out.
Is Using A Mirror Harmful?
Using a mirror isn’t going to be harmful to your betta but overusing a mirror can be. While your betta is going to become stressed when he sees his reflection it’s good stress. And as long as you don’t leave it to the point he’s becoming exhausted or manic then it’s not going to be harmful.
It’s well worth using a mirror because the benefits definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
So Do Betta Fish Like Mirrors?
As you probably know by now while betta fish may not necessarily like mirrors, they are extremely beneficial. They’re going to improve your bettas wellbeing in a number of ways including:
- Letting them fulfill their natural instinct.
- Removing pent up aggression.
- Encouraging breeding behavior.
- Stopping boredom
- And helping to stop constipation as well.
And remember if you plan on using a mirror, you should use it sparingly to reduce the chance of him becoming stressed for too long.