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Before a private fast day, one must stipulate the day before that he will be fasting, traditionally done at the end of the Mincha Shemona Esrei (Artscroll Siddur).

What classifies as a private fast? Would a person who wants to fast Bahab, Shovavim, or Yom Kippur Katan, have to declare that he will fast as even though some people do keep these fasts?

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The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן קכז - הלכות תענית יחיד discusses this.

Assuming your real question is Would a person who wants to fast Bahab, Shovavim, or Yom Kippur Katan, have to declare that he will fast as even though some people do keep these fasts?

The Kitzur informa us:

מִי שֶׁהוּא רָגִיל לְהִתְעַנּוֹת בַּעֲשֶׂרֶת יְמֵי תְּשׁוּבָה אוֹ בְּיוֹם רִאשׁוֹן דִּסְלִיחוֹת וְעֶרֶב רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְקַבְּלָם, שֶׁהֵם מְקֻבָּלִים מִכֹּחַ הַמִּנְהָג. וְכֵן תַּעֲנִית חֲלוֹם, אֵינָהּ צָרִיךְ קַבָּלָה. וְכֵן תַּעֲנִית שֵׁנִי חֲמִישִּׁי וְשֵׁנִי שֶׁלְּאַחַר פֶּסַח וְסֻכּוֹת, אִם עָנָה אָמֵן אַחַר מִּי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ וְהָיָה דַּעְתּוֹ לְהִתְעַנּוֹת, דַּי בְּכָךְ וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ קַבָּלָה אַחֶרֶת. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם אִם מִתְחָרֵט וְאֵינוֹ רוֹצֶה לְהִתְעַנּוֹת, רַשַּׁאי, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא קִבֵּל עָלָיו בְּפֵרוּשׁ וְלֹא הוֹצִיא בְּפִיו שֶׁהוּא רוֹצֶה לְהִתְעַנּוֹת.‏

I.e.: When it's customary to fast, then one needn't declare it the day before. Seems like one can make a last-minute decision whether to join.

Even if one answered Amen to the Behab Mi Sheberach, one can decide to not fast.

Even if one had full intention of fasting, but didn't explicitly accept it during Mincha the day before, one should break one's fast, and join a Seudat Mitzva that happens to be on that day, says the Kitzur.

תַּעֲנִית שֵׁנִי חֲמִישִּׁי וְשֵׁנִי שֶׁלְּאַחַר פֶּסַח וְשֶׁלְּאַחַר סֻכּוֹת, וְכֵן בַּעֲשֶׂרֶת יְמֵי תְשׁוּבָה, שֶׁלֹּא קִבְּלָהּ בִּשְׁעַת מִנְחָה, אֶלָּא שֶׁהוּא מִתְעַנֶּה מִכֹּחַ הַמִּנְהָג, וַאֲפִלּוּ כִּוֵּן בִּשְׁעַת עֲנִיַּת אָמֵן עַל מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ, כָּל שֶׁלֹּא קִבְּלָהּ בִּשְׁעַת מִנְחָה, אִם אֵרְעָה בְּרִית מִילָה אוֹ פִּדְיוֹן הַבֵּן אוֹ שְׁאָר סְעוּדַת מִצְוָה, מִצְוָה לֶאֱכוֹל וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ הַתָּרָה. כִּי כָל הַמִּתְעַנֶּה בְּיָמִים אֵלּוּ, עַל דַּעַת הַמִּנְהָג הוּא מִתְעַנֶּה, וְהַמִּנְהָג לֹא נִתְיַסֵּד לְהִתְעַנּוֹת בִּמְקוֹם סְעוּדַת מִצְוָה.‏

So, it seems that the "customary" fasts are not really private fasts; they have rules of their own.

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I think one example of a private fast is Ta'anit Chalom (I'll edit in source of this, B"N, later.) There is a custom to fast after someone has a bad dream. Clearly, this is a private fast.

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    Does he need to accept it the day before? – Double AA Sep 2 '16 at 17:12
  • @DoubleAA Obviously not. But, at the beginning of the 2nd par., OP asks "What classifies as a private fast?" This answers that question. – DanF Sep 2 '16 at 17:36
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    This gives an example of a private fast. It hardly explains what makes a fast classified a private one that you'd need to accept it the day before. – Double AA Sep 2 '16 at 18:43

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