Are mirrors beneficial for bettas?

In this post, we will understand it is true that betta fish does not like seeing themselves in a mirror. We will also outline if there are benefits to betta fish heath using a mirror in the tank.

Are mirrors beneficial for bettas?

Yes, but betta fish may not particularly like mirrors, but they are really useful. They will benefit the health of your betta in a variety of ways, including allowing them to express their natural instincts. Eliminating pent-up hostility.

Does betta fish like seeing itself in the mirror?

Since we are not sure what a betta fish is thinking, it might be difficult to determine whether they like mirrors.

Uncertainty notwithstanding, it is guaranteed that the instant your betta sees its own reflection, his boredom will be alleviated. Boredom in bettas is particularly prevalent in bettas who lack sufficient stimulation, and it may often lead to sadness, tension, glass surfing, and tail biting.

While they may not appreciate mirrors as much as they do food, there are several advantages to employing them that we will address in this article.

Betta behavior

Male bettas are the most popular option for pets, mostly because of their vibrant colors and magnificent, flowing fin. Male bettas are very aggressive and will attack any other betta that enters their territory.

The renowned ferocity of the betta gained it the popular moniker The Siamese Fighting Fish.

This habit may be triggered by displaying your betta his image in a mirror.

However, is this a good idea?

If you show your betta his image in a mirror, he will become instantly more energetic and will likely “flare.”

What does “flaring” mean?

When a male betta detects another male in his area, he will flare his gills and fins in an aggressive display that makes him look larger than he is.

Typically, one of the fish will retreat. However, if the situation is tied, a battle may begin, sometimes lasting until one of the fish is killed.

Interestingly, a wild betta would deliberately avoid such situations and will rather hide than engage in combat. However, it is not unusual for two fish to get stuck in a tiny puddle during the dry season.

As a result, bettas have evolved to be very proficient jumpers, allowing them to leap away from tiny amounts of water where they may be threatened or challenged by other bettas. This allows the fish to easily leap to safety.

Sometimes, bettas flare for no apparent cause, as if they were merely stretching, and it is believed that this is the case.

Also, female bettas flare at one another. This behavior is often seen in betta sororities during the establishment of the pecking order, but it typically vanishes after the hierarchy has been formed.

Why is your betta showing aggression at you?

When you are doing tank maintenance or approaching the aquarium to feed your fish, you may see that your betta flares at you.

This behavior is indicative of stress. Perhaps your fish perceives you as a large predator, putting him on the defensive. Or he may be delighted because he understands it’s time to eat.

Flaring does not indicate that your pet dislikes you or is acting aggressively towards you. Ensure that you use only moderate, delicate motions to avoid frightening your betta, particularly while cleaning his tank or doing water changes.

Your pet should develop used to the surrounding activity, and flare-ups should become less frequent or strong with time. Therefore, flaring is quite stressful for your pet, and excessive flare might reduce the lifetime of a betta fish.

However, a tiny bit of flare might be helpful for your betta, thus the popularity of betta exercise mirrors.

What are the advantages of mirror use?

When utilizing a mirror, not only will your betta benefit but so will you! Here are some of the most compelling arguments for beginning to show your betta his reflection.

Let them display their instinct

The betta fish instinct is to fight to protect its territory or mates. So, fighting is their natural inclination. If they do not believe they are hunting, pursuing, or mating, they may get sad.

By displaying your betta’s reflection, he will believe a rival is nearing his domain. Once he has pursued the mirror for a time and you remove it, he will believe he has “won.”

The brief bouts of tension followed by success are beneficial for your betta and will contribute to its happiness.

Nothing will be injured.

Many bettas like to fight, but it is cruel to put two bettas together with no way to escape; one of them will be severely injured.

By utilizing a mirror, you will ensure that no other fish will be harmed. Once your betta is sufficiently agitated, you may remove the mirror.

No animals will suffer any damage.

Less aggressive than other fish

If your betta is antagonistic to other fish, it may have a great deal of pent-up hostility. This pent-up animosity will be released if you show it a mirror, and it may become less antagonistic toward its tankmates.

However, use caution. If it becomes too used to pursuing other fish, it may end up attacking every fish in the aquarium.

It will not get bored. One of the simplest methods to distract your betta from its boredom is by displaying its reflection.

In addition, it will not be an instant stimulus. After seeing his mirror, he will begin patrolling his tank to ensure that no other competitors attempt to invade its area patrolling will keep him busy and prevent him from becoming bored.

Alleviate Constipation

Did you know that flaring might help alleviate constipation in your betta?

Because your betta will be flexing and tensing a variety of muscles when flaring, it is not unusual for it to flush its bowels at the same time.

If you believe that overfeeding is the only reason for his constipation and nothing more problematic, then this may be an excellent technique to aid in its recovery.

Increases the breeding instincts

Displaying your betta’s reflection will help stimulate its breeding instincts. When bettas detect another male in the area, they construct larger bubble nests. This is an effort to attract women more quickly.

If you’re attempting to breed your betta but it is not producing a bubble nest, this may be the solution. However, do not add a female betta to the tank at the same time as the mirror, since he may also turn on her.

In addition to creating a large bubble nest, he will work harder to attract females.

You can take better images

Additionally, you will be able to capture better photographs. For your betta to reach his peak, it is essential to see him flare. If you’re having difficulties capturing the perfect image, this may be the appropriate solution.

How long should a mirror be used?

Unfortunately, there is no correct response to this question; it depends entirely on your> however as a general rule, when utilizing the workout mirror for your betta, you should not overdo it. Although mirrors are excellent for betta exercise, we do not advocate allowing your pet to flare for more than five minutes every session.

Aim for small and frequent repetitions while using a mirror to train bettas. Therefore, you may utilize your fish’s betta exercise mirror daily for around 30 seconds, or you might show your pet his reflection for five minutes, twice each week.

However, each fish is unique, and it is your responsibility to monitor your betta to ensure that he does not get too unhappy and anxious. Never encourage your fish to fight its reflection to the point of exhaustion or mania.

Is it harmful to use a mirror?

Using a mirror is not going to be damaging to your betta but overusing a mirror might be. While your betta is likely to feel worried when he sees his reflection it’s a healthy tension.

And as long as you do not leave it to the point he is growing weary or crazy then it is not going to be bad.

It’s certainly worth utilizing a mirror since the benefits exceed the downsides.

Accidental mirrors exposure

As we have indicated, persistent stress is unhealthy for your betta, therefore you shouldn’t use his mirror too much. However, there may be mirrors that you cannot see but that your betta can!

The inside surfaces of the aquarium’s glass tank may behave like mirrors, reflecting his image to him.

Therefore, if you see your fish flaring, seemingly at nothing, it may be because he has noticed himself in his tank’s mirror.

You may avoid the reflections that are disturbing your betta by placing pieces of card or cloth on the exterior of the aquarium’s glass.

Alternately, you may reduce reflections and glare by placing tall plants against the tank’s sides and back.

The comparison of reflections and actual opponents

Numerous investigations have shown that bettas exhibit the same flare behavior in front of mirrors as we mentioned before. It looks that the ruse nearly fools them.

They seem to feel there is a legitimate adversary among them, therefore their response. However, there are discrepancies in how bettas react to simulated and actual dangers.

Research reveals that bettas employ surface breathing more often and for longer durations when confronted with a mirror image as opposed to a genuine adversary. Similar to gouramis, these fish are labyrinth species.

This implies that atmospheric oxygen may be obtained from the air above the tank. On the surface, you may see them opening and shutting their jaws. You may wonder why they might react differently.

Another research investigated the same topic. Researchers discovered that male bettas secreted more pheromones in front of a mirror than when confronted with an opponent. These data show that these substances may be responsible for the observed behavior.

The betta’s capacity for learning may also have a direct effect on the frequency and length of labyrinth breathing. The researchers explained that bettas get familiar with their surroundings. Bettas are aware of the locations of the rock displays and plants. Additionally, they can detect and react to visual stimuli in their tank.

This might imply that bettas behave automatically even if they “know” a mirror image is harmless.

The worth of Mirrors

A betta’s reaction to a mirror is not indicative of its dominance or aggression. The most plausible answer would be instinct.

These fish are rather sociable. The more they are separated, the more probable it is that they will become aggressive when they meet another guy. There are already red flags about the utility of mirrors for pet fish.

Remember that bettas’ behavior is caused by a perceived danger that will likely result in a battle. This requires effort and adds stress. Since bettas’ existence relies on judicious use of their resources, it makes little sense to stimulate their flaring behavior if it is not essential. Ethically speaking, we cannot help but believe that teasing a pet fish with a mirror is cruel.

They probably dislike them nonetheless. If there are any advantages to utilizing a mirror, it may be the opportunity to alleviate boredom. Territorial fish, such as bettas, continually patrol their area in search of predators.

We suggest minimizing the number of times you utilize a mirror so as not to overstress your fish.


In this post, we understood if it is true that betta fish does not like seeing themselves in a mirror. We also outlined if there are benefits to betta fish heath using a mirror in the tank.

If you have any comments, please drop them below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Are mirrors beneficial for bettas?

How frequently should I place the mirror in my Betta tank?

It is crucial not to overdo it, since aggressiveness and flaring are also kinds of stress that may be damaging to your fish if he is stressed too often and for too long.

We suggest using a betta workout mirror with your betta for around 30 seconds many times each week.

Are mirrors beneficial for fish?

Recent research demonstrates that some fish are frightened by their own reflection.

The research revealed that fish seeing a mirror had more brain activity in areas associated with anxiety than fish confronting a genuine fish separated by glass.

Do betta fish ever get bored?

If you keep your betta in a tiny tank with no decorations, give him the same food every day, and do not make any changes to his habitat, he may grow bored soon.

And this boredom may often result in despair and anxiety.

How can I determine whether my betta is content?

Swimming Without Effort. Daily, a content betta will swim around its tank. Sometimes they move almost slowly, while at other times they dart fast from side to side. If the betta looks to swim without difficulty and is not leaning to one side or straining, it is healthy and content.