Will His Reflection Stress Him Out?

rironin

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Hi, I got an all-in-one tank with a filter and a light. When the light is on in the tank but the lights in the rest of the room are off, the sides of the tank act like a mirror and he flares up. This is amusing for a few moments, but if I leave the light on in the tank and leave the room, I have a habit of turning off the room lights. I'll come back a while later and he'll still be aggressively posturing at his own reflection. Is this kind of prolonged aggressive response bad for my fish? It looks tiring at least If I leave the light on 24-7, will he eventually get used to his own reflection and not be bothered by it anymore? Thanks!
 

nmwierman1977

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If you put some kind of dark construction paper or something around the backs and sides of your tank it will cut it down a bit. He can still see his reflection, but not nearly as much if there wasn't anything on the glass. Also putting tall or medium hight plants along the walls will help too because they will block the wall. If he is pretty new at having the light on just gradually let him get used to it. Put it on for a few hours then turn it off for a few hours. Eventually it will have to be on 8-10 hours a day because he needs the light. He will eventually stop as he get's used to seeing himself. He probably will sometimes still flare at himself, but it won't be as often as he does now.

Welcome to fishlore. Natalie
 

Dino

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Most fish we keep do best on a 10-12 hour light/12-14 hour dark cycle.
The closer you copy the fish's natural conditions, the better off the fish will be.
As to flaring at his reflection, I see no harm in it.
In the wild, fish must search for food. They do not have to do so in captivity, so the exercise will do him good.

Dino
 
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rironin

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Ah, Good! Just wanted to make sure that there were no horror stories out there of fish wrenching their face-flaring appendages or dying of exhaustion in marathon standoffs with their own evil twins. I will allow him to flare and posture at himself during the daytime and hope that he adjusts to his reflection in due course. Thanks again all! Glad to have a resource like fishlore to help out ;D
 

Phloxface

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My Bettas did the same thing when I first got lights for their tanks. They do get used to it and stop flaring so much after a few days. In the meantime you can try just turning on the light for a hour on, and hour off etc. to give him a bit of a rest and chance to get used to it. Once they realize the fish they see is not going to come into their space they settle down. If he flares mostly at one corner you can try putting some tall bushy plants in that corner to block his view somewhat.
 

lisa987

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Wow I should have read this earlier. I just made a post about the same thing except I didn't know why he was doing it!
 

Xenomorph

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I was about to ask why nobody uses those 'mirrored car window' films as a backing for the tank to make it look bigger etc. (I am really considering it!)... Fish don't like their own reflections? or is it just a betta I need to worry about? I plan on running a large community tank, is a betta not a good choice for this?
 

COBettaCouple

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Xenomorph said:
I was about to ask why nobody uses those 'mirrored car window' films as a backing for the tank to make it look bigger etc. (I am really considering it!)... Fish don't like their own reflections? or is it just a betta I need to worry about? I plan on running a large community tank, is a betta not a good choice for this?
I'm not sure about all fish, but a Betta can kill himself with a mirror or reflective surface - flaring until he dies from the damage it does to him to constantly flare.
 

Phloxface

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I agree. A mirror reflection all the time would be WAY too stressful for a Betta. They don't do well in community tanks either. There are SO few fish they really get along with. They really are happiest all alone.
I'm not sure but I don't think a mirrored background would be great even for a community tank. It might be stressful.
 

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