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?
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 ;) ):
|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 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: