When deciding what kind of feed to get for your aquarium fish, you must have come across the option of bloodworms.
Bloodworms consist of several different kinds of worms that people often use as fish food, with some of them being small red larvae of midge flies.
They also include the glycera group of worms. The majority of fish food you find for purchase are small red larvae and they’re either bought live, frozen or frozen and dried.
In this article, we will talk about bloodworms as fish food and what aquarium fish eat bloodworms.
Should You Feed Bloodworms to Your Fish?
Bloodworms are a common diet option for all meat-eating fish.
Not only are they used to feed meat-eating fish, but they’re also fed to other aquatic animals like turtles, crabs, and frogs.
If you buy a packet of Grade A bloodworms, they’re better for your fish because they contain more bloodworms and lesser non-bloodworm substances.
Even though bloodworms aren’t very nutritional or healthy for your fish, they’re an easy way of making sure your fish are fed for the day.
If you keep the number of days you feed bloodworms to a minimum, it’s okay to feed them to your fish every once in a while.
One benefit of bloodworms is that they’re rich in protein and can be used as a supplement to your fish’s normal pellet diet.
They also have iron but are missing out on many very important amino acids, minerals, and vitamins that are essential to helping fish reproduce.
How Do You Feed Bloodworms to Your Fish?
You have to first rinse the bloodworms out before putting them in your tank, or you risk dirtying the water of the entire tank.
This also gets the bacteria off of the bloodworms so they don’t contaminate your tank.
You should also avoid letting any of the water used for the bloodworm’s storage enter into the tank water.
Because there are some risks of infection if you feed bloodworms to your fish, you have to make sure that you get the most hygienic ones to feet to your fish.
Bloodworms are most often found in a frozen form and this usually isn’t an issue for most fish.
It’s also easier to store frozen bloodworms in your refrigerator for months at a time, so you can stock up on as many bloodworms as you need in one go.
Depending on how many bloodworm-eating fish you have, you need to add the number of frozen bloodworm cubes accordingly.
If you have a small tank with only a couple of fish, you can add just one cube.
If you have more fish, you can add more cubes, as long as you aren’t overfeeding the fish and none of the bloodworms are left uneaten.
What Type of Aquarium Fish Eat Bloodworms?
You can’t feed bloodworms to fish that aren’t carnivores or omnivores.
Herbivore fish will not eat bloodworms, but almost any fish that is a meat-eater, be it freshwater or saltwater fish, will eat them.
Some fish that commonly eat bloodworms are bettas, mollies, guppies, discus, eels, and loaches.
Betta fish love eating bloodworms, which is why most betta fish owners prefer to stock up on these to feed their fish over the months.
Some people even feed bloodworms to their fish every day, but this isn’t the best idea if you care about your betta’s health and wellbeing.
Bloodworms have a lot of fat as well as protein, so the best schedule for feeding them to your betta is around once, or maximum twice per week.
This helps switch things up in their diet but also ensures that they don’t fall sick with constipation.
Bettas can also end up with other kinds of diseases from eating too many bloodworms.
They can get swim bladder disease, which is very common in bettas. Although this disease is often treatable, it is possible that your betta could die from it too.
If you throw too many bloodworms into your tank and there are too many for your fish to consume, your tank can end up with an ammonia spike from all the food that’s creating waste and pollution inside the water.
This can lead to ammonia poisoning as well, so make sure you never add more bloodworms to the tank than is consumable by your fish.
Mollies and Platys
Mollies and Platys regularly eat bloodworms as a part of their diet.
Combine the diet of mollies with a mixture of brine shrimp and flakes, giving them bloodworms once a week.
Add a few other potential treats, like wafers, and give the fish only one of the treats every other day.
Depending on what kind of fish you have, it is possible that feeding too many bloodworms can cause a blockage in your fish’s digestive tract, which can result in death at worst and illness at best.
Fish tend to eat however much food you throw into their tank, so it is up to you to ration off how much of every food you are feeding to them.
When feeding Platys, make sure that all of your fish are eating.
It’s important to keep an eye on their stomachs and ensure that they all look well-fed because they often steal each other’s food and one of them will end up without their share of food for that serving.
They also need some servings of vegetables, so you should add a little bit of vegetable protein in their mixture of food every once in a while.
You need to monitor your guppies closely when you first get them, to understand what their eating habits are.
It’s easy to end up overfeeding them, resulting in overweight fish that have problems swimming around normally.
You should ideally be feeding your guppy flake food for daily use.
Don’t get pellets for guppies because they’re very small and can end up choking while attempting to eat the pellets.
Every once in a while, you can exchange the flake food for something more nutritional, like baby brine shrimp or bloodworms.
Guppies also need vegetables in their diet, so you need to feed them shucked peas and tiny pieces of cut up lettuce or cucumber.
Discus love to eat bloodworms, although they aren’t very beneficial to their health.
It’s also possible that if you have a very small discus, the outer skeleton of the bloodworm can get stuck in its digestive tract.
If you have discus that has already become habitual to eating bloodworms regularly, you need to start working towards weaning them off of them.
Some ways to get discus to stop eating only bloodworms and eating other types of food is to start with small portions of a different food day by day.
Start by giving them new food the very first thing in the morning, because that is when they’re the most hungry, so they’re more likely to accept any other kinds of food given to them at that time.
It’s better to start the discus off on different food from birth, or from when they’re still very young because they are more likely to become accustomed to bloodworms if they’ve been eating them routinely for their entire life.
If you’re feeding bloodworms to your eels, you need to make sure that you aren’t adding too many and that it isn’t the only source of nutrition for your eels.
Spiny eels are bottom-feeding carnivores, so if you have more than one bottom-feeding carnivore in your tank, you have to make sure that they’re all getting their share of the food you’re putting into the tank for them.
Spiny eels can also eat other animals like earthworms, krill, brine shrimp, and glass worms.
They can also eat tiny pieces of seafood and white fish fillet.
The more options you offer to your eels, the less likely they are to become dependent on only one kind of fish food.
The last fish we are going to discuss are loaches.
Loaches can vary in their love for bloodworms, with some of them eating as many as you put in the tank and others not even acknowledging its presence in the tank.
Regardless of whether you feed bloodworms to your loaches or not, you have to make sure that you don’t leave any lying in the tank if your fish decide that they don’t like them.
You also have to keep in mind that loaches need a sand substrate that they can dig around in to look for food.
Without a sand substrate, the loaches will have a hard time finding their food and might become frustrated as well
Although bloodworms are a favorite among many carnivorous fish, it is up to you, as the fish owner and food provider, to keep their diet healthy and full of variety.
Whatever you feed your fish in the initial days of its life, your fish will likely become accustomed to only eating that kind of food, whether it is healthy or not.
Overfeeding your fish with too many bloodworms can cause tank contamination as well as illnesses for your fish.
You also need to make sure that you use bloodworms as a form of an occasional treat only and not a stable part of their everyday diet.
You should also be vigilant about giving your fish a serving of all the different nutrients they need.
They shouldn’t have too many proteins or too few vegetable servings. This will ensure that your fish are healthy and can live out their full life in your tank.
Other fishkeeping articles you may find useful: