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Will painting the sides of my aquarium help betta from seeing his reflection?

6386 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  PK1
Hey guys,

I recently set up a 15g with a single betta.
Plants are jumping back after melting, and everything is coming along nicely.

What I've been noticing is that he has been swimming back and forth taunting the sides of the tank. He doesn't flare, but i know he can see himself. I have some left over Black Acrylic paint that i used to paint the background and was wondering if i should paint the sides too.

Will it look funky? Should I wait and see if it goes away? He is new to the tank, I got him last Sunday night. Will painting the sides even help?

Any opinions will be greatly appreciated.

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The fish should not be able to see himself in the sides of the tank unless you put a mirror against the tank wall.

When a fish looks at the glass head-on it is clear and they see out into the surrounding room.

The only time you can see a reflection in glass-water boundaries is when you are viewing them at a very steep angle. Such as when you look through the front of the tank at the sides, they look like a mirror. Looking through the sides, the front and back do the same. The far side is crystal clear.

If you're looking at a steep enough angle to see a reflection, you can't see your own reflection. The view is of things past you, not back in your direction. This is why you see the back wall of your tank reflected in the sides, not your own face.

Painting the sides, or applying a plastic film won't change the reflections, because they are occurring on the inside of the tank. It is the difference in refractive index between glass and water causing the reflection. A paint or film will prevent the fish from seeing outside the tank, but won't stop the high-angle mirror effect.
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