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I am buying toys (a Betta leaf and log) for a male Halfmoon Betta that I will buy adopting when his tank is done, I can't decide if I should get him a small mirror.

I have done some reading but can't find a clear answer one side says that it is good to have the fish act the way they would do naturally once in awhile, another side says never to do it that it's a terrible stress and since they aren't going to be breeding it leads to nothing so it's not really that natural, he will have apple snails in his tank (13.7 gallons)

I want him to have the best life possible I don't find flaring pretty one way or another I would rather him happy and stress free I also am worried about acute stress (the buildup of stress over time)
 

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I wouldn't recommend it. Betta is a territorial fish. It will only stress him out. If you would like, you can show him a hand mirror for five minutes or so once in a while.
 

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Hey m8. I brought the Betta hammock (I think a lot of us here have) and still use it.
"ZooMed" sell the mirror toy and Log aswell, but..

I would avoid it if you love your New Betta
To make the Log float, it is a kind of Styrofoam dipped in plastic.

The plastic starts to flake off and leeches something nasty into the water.
Even if you soak it overnight, it still degrades with use

Do a google search and you'll find some Forum posts from people who put them in tanks, and their Bettas went downhill or even died soon after.
These might have been unrelated as it's a common decoration for starter tanks, but still.

Some pics of mine (after only a couple weeks)..
 

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You can absolutely use the mirrors as an exercise time. But only for 5-15 minutes a day is a good time period. Then take out the mirror and let him rest.
Betta's do need exercise and flaring their fins is perfect! Just like any other animal, it's good to show off and strut their stuff lol. Flaring does not hurt or stress them out. If you find that your fish does not flare to it when he see's it, but rather, pales in color and clamps his fins then take it out; you'll know its a stress factor then. Otherwise, if he flares, it's not stressful at all, just don't leave it in all day ^_^
I keep Betta's close together and flare them daily typically to keep their fins nice and strong. I've never had a fish harmed or stressed because of it, personally. But everyone's experience differs.
 
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Random Reflections, the TV and people in the living room are mostly enough for my guy to Flare up.
Though he has chilled out lately.
Rather than a mirror ball. Do a youtube search for "Betta footage" of a female (or Male), and lean your Smartphone against the glass.
My guy gives it his best when i do this. Alternates the side to side wiggle Dance and then profiles/flares proudly for as long as you leave it there.

He's known to blow a whole bubble nest overnight after me doing this.
Cant get his mind off women, or men?
 

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Random Reflections, the TV and people in the living room are mostly enough for my guy to Flare up.
Though he has chilled out lately.
Rather than a mirror ball. Do a youtube search for "Betta footage" of a female (or Male), and lean your Smartphone against the glass.
My guy gives it his best when i do this. Alternates the side to side wiggle Dance and then profiles/flares proudly for as long as you leave it there.

He's known to blow a whole bubble nest overnight after me doing this.
Cant get his mind off women, or men?
Haha I love when my betta does his wiggle dance. Reminds me of a dog wagging their tail :)
 

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Flaring is good exercise for bettas, but too much exercise may stress him. As others have said, 5-15 minutes daily should be enough.

I wouldn't recommend those mirror toys that you put in the tank. I'd recommend you placing mirror on side of tank. If you want to leave it longer - cover mirror except 5-10mm diameters and place it about 1/3rd of tank hieght. That way, when he flares, he loses sight as soon as he moves or when he goes up for air. But I still wouldn't leave it there (mirror) for a whole day and chance him flaring for too long.
 

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Random Reflections, the TV and people in the living room are mostly enough for my guy to Flare up.
Though he has chilled out lately.
Rather than a mirror ball. Do a youtube search for "Betta footage" of a female (or Male), and lean your Smartphone against the glass.
My guy gives it his best when i do this. Alternates the side to side wiggle Dance and then profiles/flares proudly for as long as you leave it there.

He's known to blow a whole bubble nest overnight after me doing this.
Cant get his mind off women, or men?
I just tried showing my betta a video of another betta & its seemed like he "liked" it better. He was more interactive with the video than his own reflection. I saw him actually attempt to bite the fish in the video. He never did that with the mirror. Seemed like a better quality flare but I didn't leave it up for long. Maybe 30 seconds
 

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I've used the Betta logs for donkey's years with no issues. However, I do recommend using clear Krylon Fusion spray paint to seal the log so it won't flake. Or, you can use clear aquarium sealant to "paint" the log.
 

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Showing him his reflection once in a while is fine. I think that letting him see a rival, strut his stuff, and "scare" them off a few times a week is fine exercise. I would not leave a mirror in there 24/7. That would be too stressful.
 

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Oh and make sure you don't do it before you feed them. I'm pretty sure I just accidently trained my betta to flare for food. Oopps!! He flares everytime I approach the tank now :/
 

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Oh and make sure you don't do it before you feed them. I'm pretty sure I just accidently trained my betta to flare for food. Oopps!! He flares everytime I approach the tank now :/
That's actually perfectly fine. You can train him like that, some train them to jump for food; it's all exercise.
Plus, I doubt he learned it like that but is rather flaring at the sides of his tank. :) that's much more common
 
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Mc lurvs jumping for bloodworms.
I love watching the concentration as they line up for the jump (i dont make it too easy).
Koolest thing is when they chomp half off mid flight :smile2:
*off to feed bloodworm*
 
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