What are your opinions on mirror training Bettas?

tapwater

I've been watching a few YouTube videos on the topic of mirror training and its benefits, and have mirror trained my betta fish just twice so far, just for a couple of minutes. I've been trying to lift some more information from these youtube videos to see how much of this would be appropriate for a betta, but I've found that a lot of the information varies. For instance...

^...this video says it should only be done once or twice a week at a maximum of 5 minutes...

^...while this one says up to 5 minutes once every day... (and the packaging on the is similar to this, but says once or twice a day)

^...while this one suggests doing it 15-20 minutes every day (though it also offers suggestions of training your betta to flare at your hand or tip of a pen, so I'm not sure if that's somehow less stress inducing than a reflection, which makes it viable to train for this long?)

Personally, a few years ago I didn't really even know mirror training was a thing, and since then I thought Bettas seeing their reflection or getting stressed / flaring at all meant something was wrong, or was just bad in general. However, recently with my new betta and after reading more about bettas, I've been getting more interested in using mirror training as a form of enrichment for my little guy. I've been weary of it though, since I don't want to make him think that his tank isn't a safe spot for him / isn't his, and his tank is pretty small (3.1 gallons; don't want him to get worked up, then get even more stressed just because of the size of the tank alone). The few times I've done it have been pretty spread apart (I think by over a week or so), and each session was like one or two minutes. My fish would run away from the reflection, but once I saw he flared his beard and fins I would take away the mirror. Since I've done it so few times I'm not really sure if it had a good impact on my fish or not, but I do feel it made his day a little more interesting at the very least.

It's this kind of variation in ways of mirror training that makes me wanna hear more from the people here. What are yall's takes on it? Do you think it's actually good for bettas? Do you do it? And if so, how do you do it, how often, and for how long? Have you seen any positive results from mirror training?
 

StarGirl

I have never done much with it. I have heard to make them flare will help them poo when they are constipated.
 
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BigManAquatics

I've been watching a few YouTube videos on the topic of mirror training and its benefits, and have mirror trained my betta fish just twice so far, just for a couple of minutes. I've been trying to lift some more information from these youtube videos to see how much of this would be appropriate for a betta, but I've found that a lot of the information varies. For instance...

^...this video says it should only be done once or twice a week at a maximum of 5 minutes...

^...while this one says up to 5 minutes once every day... (and the packaging on the is similar to this, but says once or twice a day)

^...while this one suggests doing it 15-20 minutes every day (though it also offers suggestions of training your betta to flare at your hand or tip of a pen, so I'm not sure if that's somehow less stress inducing than a reflection, which makes it viable to train for this long?)

Personally, a few years ago I didn't really even know mirror training was a thing, and since then I thought Bettas seeing their reflection or getting stressed / flaring at all meant something was wrong, or was just bad in general. However, recently with my new betta and after reading more about bettas, I've been getting more interested in using mirror training as a form of enrichment for my little guy. I've been weary of it though, since I don't want to make him think that his tank isn't a safe spot for him / isn't his, and his tank is pretty small (3.1 gallons; don't want him to get worked up, then get even more stressed just because of the size of the tank alone). The few times I've done it have been pretty spread apart (I think by over a week or so), and each session was like one or two minutes. My fish would run away from the reflection, but once I saw he flared his beard and fins I would take away the mirror. Since I've done it so few times I'm not really sure if it had a good impact on my fish or not, but I do feel it made his day a little more interesting at the very least.

It's this kind of variation in ways of mirror training that makes me wanna hear more from the people here. What are yall's takes on it? Do you think it's actually good for bettas? Do you do it? And if so, how do you do it, how often, and for how long? Have you seen any positive results from mirror training?
I wouldn't call what i do training, exactly. I do like to grab a mirror or take my phone on selfie mode and make them flare on a halfway regular basis, but usually for a minute or two.
 
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IzabelB

I just do it occasionally for a couple minutes. I think it would be stressful if it was done any more than once a day for a couple mins.
I also wouldn’t call it training, it’s good for taking good pictures, constipation, and replicating it’s natural environment where it would cross paths with some other bettas. Other than that I don’t think it makes a significant impact on their health or happiness.
 
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kansas

It's like throwing a ball for a dog. the fish enjoys it as long as it's only done for a short time.
 
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jake37

Seems like a mild form of torture. I mean you are triggering an aggressive response from the fish not a playful response.
 
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Fisch

He does not seem to enjoy it very much when he tries to get away.
For a mellow guy that would make him feel very stressed, not sure if it is good for his health.
He does not seem to enjoy it very much when he tries to get away.
For a mellow guy that would make him feel very stressed, not sure if it is good for his health.
 
Upvote 0

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