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Old 12-14-2012, 10:03 AM   #1 
bethyMT
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Bettas and mirrors/flaring

I read last night on my other (ridiculous) fish forum that mirrors are bad for bettas in any quantity, because all they do is stress them out. This was from the self-described "betta expert."

I have read in many places that giving them some mirror exposure(like 5mins once a week or something), is actually good for them, that the flaring can actually be healthful.

I kinda feel bad now that I put a mirror in front of Sassypants the other day for a couple minutes. Goodness knows I don't want to hurt the dear baby!

Can we discuss this? What is the "right" answer? Conflicting information alert!
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:25 AM   #2 
sainthogan
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I don't see any reason not to put a mirror in front of them for a few minutes once in a while. Now if you've got a mirror placed there all day, every day, that could be a problem, that would definitely stress the fish. But I don't see a problem with what you're doing at all.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:28 AM   #3 
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I agree.It would not harm them for a couple minutes. Just do not do it all the time. :)
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:30 AM   #4 
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I think it would be okay occasionally, helps cure bordem im sure. and they are fighting fish, why wouldn't flexing their muscles be good?
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:33 AM   #5 
bethyMT
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That's my thinking exactly....once in a while, for just a few minutes, should be OK. That's a good general recommendation. Sassy will only see the mirror occasionally, since there's a good bit of enrichment for him outside the tank already. He lives in the kitchen, and my family is always in there, being active and somewhat chaotic.

I am just tired of so many people calling themselves "experts" when they obviously are not. It's a problem for me because I want to do the right thing, and stupid things like this take up too much of my energy/time. As a complete novice, I am always looking for the best way to care for my fish. But I feel people will prey on that and tell me opinions, labeling them as fact.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:37 AM   #6 
xtcking
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I find this community to be the most helpful. everyone seems pretty knowledgeable. and will tell you if your doing anything wrong!
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:38 AM   #7 
bethyMT
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Yeah, this place is awesome, especially in comparison to the other forum I'm on. There is so much niceness and helpfulness on here, I feel comfortable asking my usual dumb questions.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #8 
Myates
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A daily dose of mirror is healthy for them.. 5 mins a day is a good thing for them for a number of reasons.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:07 PM   #9 
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My mom makes me keep the mirror up all day, and my betta is not stressed at all.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:44 PM   #10 
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If you know anything about anatomy and stress and the effects of stress on the body, I would say a mirror CAN be hurtful. In the simplest of explanations, stress breaks down the immune system which leads to disease. That's why you don't want bettas living in the same tank to see each other because they get stressed out and sick. So why is it different seeing themselves? It isn't.

That said, a few minutes a day or week probably isn't going to hurt them, and it can be helpful for getting their digestive system moving. I have a betta waiting in a smaller bowl for his tank to be ready and when he gets sluggish in the gut I show him a mirror, but I wouldn't do it just out of habit or for very long.
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