Are mirrors good for betta fish?

In this post, we will answer the question “Are mirrors good for betta fish?”. We will also discuss the benefits of having a mirror for betta fish and also the best manner to use mirrors.

Are mirrors good for betta fish?

In moderation, mirrors are beneficial to betta fish and are excellent for exercise and boredom relief. Excessive mirror use or keeping a mirror in the tank all of the time isn’t suggested because it can stress the betta. 

One of the most fascinating elements of owning a betta is seeing them flare, spread their lovely fins wide and flaunt their beauty. This is a territorial display that occurs most commonly when they get a good look at themselves in the mirror. 

One of the finest methods to make your betta flare is to show them a mirror, but is it terrible to show them their reflection? Moderation is vital in fishkeeping, as it is in other else.

Can mirrors be bad for betta fish?

Betta fish do not mind being in front of mirrors. They can even be a good kind of exercise for the betta when used sparingly. When a betta flashes at a mirror, it’s reacting to a reflection of itself. Bettas flare as a territorial display, and when they see themselves in the mirror, they believe it’s another betta they need to frighten away. 

Showing your betta its image in the mirror once a day, or a few times a week, is a terrific way to keep them entertained while also providing much-needed exercise. Bettas are incredibly intelligent fish, and when they are placed in an environment with little stimulation for long periods, they can become bored, which leads to undesirable behaviours such as glass surfing and fin nibbling. Allowing your betta to flail around in front of a mirror is a fun method to keep them entertained. 

However, there’s a considerable difference between doing a mirror exercise regimen once a day and leaving a mirror in the tank. A betta will become anxious and fatigued if it is constantly exposed to a mirror while defending its area from what it sees to be an unreachable opponent. For the greatest results, use a mirror with your betta once a day and keep an eye out for any signs of stress from the fish.

What are the benefits of using a mirror?

A betta believes there is another fish in their aquarium, which they must scare away by flaring their fins. A betta can benefit from a mirror in three ways:

  • Encourages natural behaviour: When keeping fish, we aim to emulate their natural habitats and habits as much as possible. Flaring is one of these naturally occurring behaviours. 
  • Aids betta aggression: Bettas can be kept as community fish when matched with the correct types of fish, but if they become bored or restless, they can bully their tank mates. Flaring at a mirror daily helps to relieve these frustrations and keep them calmer around their tank mates.
  • Prevents boredom: If a betta grows bored, it may display negative behaviours like glass surfing and nibbling at its fins. A mirror is just one example of how you may keep your betta entertained.

When a betta gets constipated, some owners say that utilizing a mirror to help their fish flare can help. Flaring expands the betta’s muscles enough to let them have a bowel movement, even if they were previously stopped up.

How often should I use mirrors?

While using a mirror to break up the monotony for your betta is beneficial, too much mirror time can be harmful. You can put a mirror in your betta’s tank for 30 seconds to 1 minute every day, but never more than 5 minutes. 

We want to use a mirror to support natural behaviour while avoiding stress. Your betta may be irritated that another fish has entered their domain, but by limiting mirror time to just a few minutes each day, we can minimize high levels of stress. 

Your betta will reap the benefits of daily flaring while also feeling they were able to quickly scare away their dummy opponent. Never keep a mirror in your betta tank for long periods. Your betta will become agitated if they believe there is always another fish in their aquarium. Your fish will grow more hostile toward other tank mates in this state, and they may even stop eating as they get increasingly consumed with defending their territory. Make sure you don’t spend too much time in the mirror. 

Accidental mirrors, or reflecting surfaces in your betta’s tank that they can see their reflection in, are another item to keep an eye out for. Some decorations or tank backgrounds have a reflected quality to them, and just like having a mirror in the tank all the time, a reflective surface might stress your fish. If at all feasible, get rid of these items.

Do betta fish like mirrors?

We don’t always appreciate the things we have to do to keep ourselves healthy, and the same can be true for mirror time and bettas. Bettas dislike mirrors, but the benefits of occasionally gazing at their image exceed the temporary discomfort they feel when staring at one. 

It may seem harsh to irritate your betta once a day by forcing them to look in the mirror, but they must have a chance to flare up in a safe atmosphere now and again. It’s far better for your betta to be upset at themselves in the mirror than to take their rage out on helpless tank mates or even their tails if they get bored.


In this post, we answered the question “Are mirrors good for betta fish?”. We also discussed the benefits of having a mirror for betta fish and also the best manner to use mirrors.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Are mirrors good for betta fish?

How often should I mirror my betta?

The exercise mirror should be placed in with your Betta for a maximum of 5 minutes at a time, once or twice per day.

Is it true that betta fish battle their reflection?

Male bettas frequently misinterpret their reflections in the aquarium glass for competing with male fish and flare to protect their area. When they are moved into a new tank, this is very frequent, and they will usually stop within a few days as they adjust to their new environment. 

Are fish attracted to mirrors? 

According to a new study, some fish get scared just by looking in the mirror. Fish exposed to a mirror had higher brain activity in fear-related regions than fish exposed to an actual fish separated by glass, according to the study. 

How do you keep a betta fish entertained? 

You can teach him to do things like follow your finger, feed on your hand, swim through a hoop, play soccer, and even jump out of the water or come up to be touched with patience and effort. The best reinforcement for desired behaviour is fish food. 

Is it possible for fish to see their reflection in a tank? 

As a result, it is undeniable that a fish can see their reflection on clean glass from the inside. They can see through it, even if it’s just a coloured glare. The reflecting characteristics of the pane were improved after algae were removed from the glass during a major maintenance project.


Thomas, S. Are Mirror Good or Bad for Betta Fish?

Betta Fish And Mirrors: Exercise, Entertainment, And More.

Stanton, L. 2022. Do Betta Fish like Mirrors? Everything You Need to Know!