• If you have observed any or all of above then much to your shame you must admit the obvious: Fraidy is a sissy! Fraidy is a sissy !

    Since the martial arts coach is probably out of your price range, let us explore some more practical options for you:

  • If you decide to conduct above experiment, (which I hope you do) I would love to hear the results and will publish them here. I hope next time you email me Fraidy's new name will be TERMINATOR.

    Goodluck!

    Q: It's supposed to be healthy to let the bettas flare at each other and at their own reflection once in a while, but the mirror literally scares the poop out of mine (hence his name Fraidy).  Is this normal and does it stress him out?  Will he become braver if he sees himself more often?

    Question submitted by Aileen, Vancouver - BC

    A: Sometimes, when I look at myself in the mirror it scares the living daylight out of me, too LOL, especially in the morning . Maybe your betta is having a bad hair day everyday ;) or has an acute sense of esthetics LOL.

    Well, mom, I am not sure how to break the news to you without upsetting your sensitive maternal fiber but the answer is NO, it is not 'normal' for Fraidy to be so scared when he sees his reflection in the mirror. So you must face the fact that Fraidy is, in deed,  a little betta wimp LOL. But worry not, we are going to make a real macho male out of him in no time.

    You will need to get him a martial arts coach and that can get costly, but after all what one wouldn't do to prevent their kids from getting beat up by the local bully? LOL Granted Fraidy's reflection is not much of a real threat, but to him it is as real as can be and Fraidy is sure that it is going to do just that: beat up his little fishy tail. Does it stress him out? Probably a little, but character (we call it 'disposition') in a male betta is a very desirable trait, one worth working for. After all people who show bettas do train them to flare. So maybe we can try to teach some courage to Fraidy and he will get over his apprehension and the slight resulting stress should promptly subside.

    Now my question is: How do you know he is scared? Here is a few translations of the words "I am scared" in bettash (betta language ;) ):

    loss of color. Betta will turn pale (probably in an effort to 'blend in'. It is harder for predators to spot a pale fish).
    vertical dark bans. Can indicate fear or excitement (while spawning for example). A trait predominant in females and little sissy males ;).
    running away. Or should I say swimming away? A scared fish will try to escape the danger by darting away and/or hiding in a corner.
    if at first you don't succeed, try again. You did not say how many times you have experimented with the mirror. If less than 5 times, I would try some more. It is possible that if you leave the mirror there permanently Fraidy might realize, in the end, that the reflection means him no harm. Or not ;). You'll just have to see. Drawback: He might become a complete narcissist LOL (just kidding). Other drawback: He might stop eating. If that is the case, then give up on this experiment and remove the mirror.
    another way to make a man out of him (yes, there is still hope for Fraidy). Find somewhere another betta wimpier than Fraidy (but that may be hard LOL) a 'smaller brother' Fraidy can pick on ;P! (just kidding) But seriously a good alternative for you would be to get a female betta to put in a SEPARATE jar/tank right next to him. Fraidy will not feel as threatened by a female, especially a smaller one, and may become more social, inquisitive and interactive and find his own rank in the pecking order (at least in his head). You might also find that the presence of the damsel may cause him to want to 'show off' and play macho (sounds awfully familiar doesn't it? LOL). Once he has asserted himself with a female, you could try to add the mirror and see if he now defends his new conquest against this sudden male rival. You might be surprised at how courageous Fraidy might instantly become :). Be sure to never put the female or any other male INSIDE the same tank as Fraidy. (duh) The last thing you would need is for Fraidy to REALLY get the living daylight beat out of him, and even a small female can do that (hehehe girl power!). So be wise, use only a female, and keep her in a separate jar. All they need is to be able to SEE each other up close, which can be safely achieved by simply putting the two tanks/jars next to each other (touching).

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