I just got my Betta fish yesterday, and he is super shy. I've had Betta Fish before, but I really want this one to like me and learn tricks. I thought; "Hey, why not boost his confidence by making him flare?" But whenever I put a mirror up, he either just stares at it, or swims away. No flaring. Nothing. I really want him to like me, please help! Why won't he flare? I dunno if he likes me much or not, either....
He just got put into a new environment and a new tank. Now he has the added stress of protecting his territory against his reflection. Just let him adjust to your presence, and he'll realize you're the person giving him food, and he'll swim up to meet you.
You can teach him tricks after he's comfortable with you
Every Betta has a different personality. My male won't flare either, he either turns tail and hides, or plays dead (literally almost stops moving, even his pectoral fins are virtually motionless). He even hid when his tank was close enough to my female's tank that they could see each other. There she was, trying to get his attention, and he freaked out and hid.
My betta, Fishie, would flare like crazy at night when his tank light was on because he was seeing his reflection, but one night my parents came over and he stopped flaring and then as soon as they left he started flaring again. He didn't know my parents, so he got shy and didn't flare in front of them! Your fish may just be getting used to you. Or he might not be a flarer.
I just got my boy on Saturday. Today was the first day I put up a mirror. It took him a few minutes of staring at it and swimming past looking at it before he started flaring. Once he started, holy cow he would swim laps and dart back and forth and make sudden stops and flare again. It was amazing to watch. I only left the mirror about 5 min and he kept racing around the tank for another 10 looking for the "other" fish.
Sorry for not replying in so long! Been busy! :)
It's been a week now since getting him, and he's warmed up a little. I'm giving him a lot of time to get used to his new home, then I'll try mirrors and tricks. He's a shy boy, and would usually high-tail it to the other side of the tank when I'd press my fingers to the side of the tank, but now he just calmly stares at my hand with a little hesitation, which is good. :D
I'm changing up his tank decoration every few days to give him something new to look at and swim around, and he LOVES it! And I'm planning on getting some blood worms to start feeding him by hand sometime soon.
Thank you everyone for your lovely comments! :)