So, I've seen those little Betta mirrors that float around in the tank and the Betta will get all huffy at his reflection. I don't like the idea of stressing my betta out by leaving a mirror in the tank, but once and a while, I will hold a mirror up to the glass and let him flare at his reflection for a couple moments before taking it away. I hear it gives male bettas a sense of accomplishment, since in the wild, they are constantly defending their territory against other encroaching males. My male crown tail, Odysseus seems to be much less bored since I started putting the mirror up on occasion. He's always swimming about the tank patrolling his waters. He also doesn't hide when I come in the room anymore. Maybe he has some more confidence?
Anyways, opinions?? Anyone else do this? Is it good, bad? I've heard people say both.
It's good exercise, and when used properly can really help your bettas self esteem! :) Don't leave it there all day--eventually the betta will get frightened--no matter how much he flares, the 'intruder' flares back just as big--but maybe bigger!! So your betta feels defeated and hides..no longer in control of his 'territory'! But, use the mirror properly--let him flare for a while, get out some energy, and when he puts on a nice big show and looks like he's trying his all--take away the mirror. The intruder has left, he won! And he will proudly parade around his tank, knowing he is the boss!
I use that floating ZooMed mirror because I don't want to sit with my arm up for 5 minutes (yes, that probably qualifies as lazy). I like the fact that the mirror moves gently with the current in the tank and my boy can chase it by nudging it if he likes. I think it's good exercise for him to stretch those gorgeous fins of his once a day, and I always give him a pellet afterwards to reward him. :) He does seem pretty chuffed when he chases that nasty intruder right out of the tank. ;)
I use a make up mirror every once in a while for two of my boys. I don't use it on the 10 gallon simply because they two boys in there are trying to impress the girl that's in the middle portion (She's beginning to think she's a guy, so she just ignores them).
I usually only let Ratchet flare for a minute or two because his fins are still healing up from tail biting and chemical burns. I haven't flared Mirage in a while because he's still healing up his most recent til biting damage as well.
Odysseus, my male Crown Tail put on quite a good show last night. He flared up very big and scared the 'intruder' away. He's always so proud after he defends his territory. He'll swim about the tank with his tail fin fanned out. i always give him a treat too. :)
I don't have that floating mirror (though I've looked for it..), but after I feed Mr. Bubbles, I usually pull out a mirror and let him flare for a few minutes. He usually sees himself and just stares for a minute like, "hmm...wonder what he's doing here...Wait a second!" Then he starts flaring and swimming all around his bowl. Then he'll go under his bubblenest and flare, and then keep swimming around. Then when I move the mirror he comes and flares at me! lol
I have the Zoo Med mirror too. I found it on eBay. I will occasionally rotate it through my guys' tanks - no more than 5 min at a time. A few of my guys are pretty desensatized to other bettas - since they are in divided tanks. But a few still flare at their own reflection since there is nothing dividing them. A couple of my guys dont even notice the mirror and some go nuts at it.
Mine loves (hates) the Zoo Med floating mirror. He seems to have a ritual when I put it in. Peek from the left, peek from the right, repeat 4 or 5 times, then slap the mirror with his tail once or twice, then nose dive directly into it. Then I remove it.