Everything You Need To Know About Blood Worms

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Understanding what your fish needs to eat on a day to day basis can be more complicated than it sounds.

Your fish’s needs may vary based on the natural habitat from which they came and their general biological make-up.

what are blood worms?

In light of this, some fish need a consistent supply of protein in order to survive happily in your fish tank. As such, you may find that you need to do a bit of research on blood worms.

There are a variety of different ways through which you can bring protein into your fish’s life, but blood worms are the most popular forms of fish food available beyond the standard pellets.

Overall, blood worms are a straightforward food source worth exploring if you want to make your fish’s diet all the more well-rounded.

Fish Diets: A Brief Summary

Fish are considered relatively easy pets to keep, but this does not mean that they’re free of complexity. Fish diets, as a matter of fact, vary by breed.

Whether or not your fish will be able to eat blood worms depends on its dietary restrictions and needs. Do a bit of research on the breed of fish you’re bringing into your home tank before introducing blood worms to the rest of your aquarium.

Fish are either herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores, and only the omnivores and carnivores will be interested in blood worms.


Herbivorous fish do not have the capacity to process meat of any sort, so they require access to algae or adequate food pellets.

These sorts of fish (parrot fish, for example, or most types of fish tank snails) will have no use for blood worms.

If your fish is a herbivore, feel free to diversify their diet with frozen vegetables or different types of in-tank and breed-appropriate plant life.


A number of fish – perhaps even the majority – are omnivores, meaning that they can eat and thrive on both plant life and meatier dishes.

blood worms in fish tank

The majority of cichlids, goldfish, and gouramis are omnivores, and not just out of necessity.

There are such things as scavenging fish which will eat whatever is available to them in order to survive, but fish like African cichlids require both the nutrients provided to them by plant life and that given to them when they consume live prey in order to live as healthily as possible.

Omnivorous fish, then, will be able to make use of any blood worms in fish tanks.

Make sure you don’t primarily feed your omnivorous fish blood worms, though. While they’ll be able to survive on a carnivorous diet, they do require diversity in their food, and their health will suffer if said diversity goes unaddressed.


At last, then, we come to the carnivorous fish. These sorts of fish will live and thrive off of a diet that is entirely meat-based, meaning that blood worms will be a staple in their food, especially if they’re the type of fish that can find enrichment in hunting live prey.

Loaches and bettas are both types of carnivorous fish. As such, both species are also notably aggressive; they cannot be placed in tanks with fish of meeker caliber, lest they become territorial, agitated, or hungry and attack their tank mates.

Keep your more carnivorous fish occupied by varying their diets, and by introducing blood worms or equally enriching food that keeps their attention and ensures that their bellies are full.

What Are Blood Worms?

Blood worms are not, as one might expect, adult worms that resemble the earthworms found in your average garden.

Blood worms for fish are, in fact, larvae of the large breed. Their red coloring results in their slightly ominous name as opposed to any lust for blood.

bloodworms for fish

Blood worms can be found in the wild, though their diminutive size makes them difficult to spot in the lakes and ponds they prefer to call home.

You don’t have to go fishing in order to get your fishy friends blood worms to eat, though. Blood worms for bettas and other species of carnivorous fish are easy enough to find at any general pet store.

You can find them in one of four states. Live blood worms are ideal for fish that need enrichment while eating, but they are also available frozen, freeze-dried, or as a gel.

It’s worth noting that live bloodworms are not especially dangerous to humans, as they don’t have the capacity to bite. There is a risk that the blood worms you bring into your home may carry diseases or that you may be allergic to them, however.

If you find that the skin on your hands becomes irritated after handling blood worms, consider finding an alternative source of protein for your fish to eat and take a quick trip to your doctor’s office.

Bloodworms sold by the majority of pet stores are most frequently safe to touch and equally safe for your fish to consume, so don’t feel the need to worry unnecessarily.

Here’s a video showing an example of how to feed your fish frozen blood worms.

Do you have any tips for feeding your fish bloodworms?

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