Bloodworms – Information About This Aquarium Food

Bloodworms frozen in box

Bloodworms are a common food that is given to lots of different types of fish. 

They can be purchased at many fish and pet stores frozen or live. If you keep any fish, you’ll want to learn all you can about these worms and what they have to offer.

What Are Bloodworms?

Bloodworms are the larvae form of the midge fly. They are so red they almost look pink, which is due to a certain protein that is present in their tissue. These worms are often fed to freshwater fish, snapping turtles, shrimp, frogs, and many other aquatic creatures.

Types of Bloodworms

1. Live Bloodworms

While live bloodworms can be a little difficult to locate in stores, it is certainly possible. These worms have a life cycle that lasts a little less than two weeks, and you should give them to your fish within a few days.

When you purchase these live worms, you will get them in a container made of plastic. It is important that you thoroughly wash them in warm water before putting them into your tank. This will ensure that no potentially harmful bacteria affect your wet pets.

You will also need to keep these worms in the refrigerator until they are all gone. Make sure that the container is filled up with at least 2-3 inches of water at all times.

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One of the main benefits of buying live bloodworms is that they offer more nutritional value to your fish. There is also an increased risk of disease, which can be a concern. You should only buy these worms from a fish shop as opposed to gathering them in their natural habitat. This will reduce the chances of them passing on infection of some kind to your fish.

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2. Freeze-Dried Bloodworms

You also have the option of buying these worms freeze-dried. These worms are often graded according to their overall quality. Grade A is the best quality, while Grade B is still good but not quite as much.

While these worms don’t offer as much nutritional value as the live kind, they are still worth looking into. They tend to be far less expensive and a lot easier to give to your fish. It is crucial that you allow them to soak in warm water for at least 15 minutes prior to dropping them in the tank. This will soften them up a little bit so they will be easier for your fish to consume.

Freeze-dried bloodworms are ideal for bottom-dwelling fish, so you’ll need to keep that in mind.

3. Frozen Bloodworms

It is also possible to get bloodworms frozen. These worms can be stored for as long as six months before you’ll need to throw them out. They are available in a variety of forms. Some of them come in thin sheets while others are available in rectangular blocks.

One of the great things about this particular option is that it doesn’t pose a significant threat of disease to your fish. A lot of fish don’t take to frozen bloodworms as much as the live variety, simply because they don’t get to satisfy their hunting instincts.

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All you have to do is scoop a container into your aquarium to get some of the water in it. Put the frozen block or strip with the bloodworms in it. It can take a little while for it to thaw, so you’ll have to be patient. Once it has thawed, you can use a colander to collect the actual worms.

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Best Fish to Give Bloodworms to

There are definitely certain fish that can benefit from bloodworms more than others in terms of diet and nutrition. Pretty much any fish that is considered an omnivore or carnivore can eat these worms.

Betta fish, guppies and Mollies are three fish that you should consider giving bloodworms to on a semi-regular basis. They can certainly benefit from the high level of protein in these worms. Bloodworms also contain lots of amino acids and iron, which is good for a fish’s overall health.

Bloodworm Breeding

You might be disappointed to learn that breeding bloodworms aren’t as easy as you might think. In fact, it can be downright difficult, especially if you don’t have any previous experience.

In order to breed these worms, you will first need to get midges to mate. This is one of the most challenging aspects of the entire process.

Bloodworm FAQs

Can Bloodworms pass the disease to humans?

Bloodworms are perfectly safe for humans to handle, but they are capable of biting. This is why it is a good idea to wear gloves when doing this.

How frequently should I give my fish bloodworms?

You shouldn’t give your fish these worms more than a couple of times in a single week. They can do wonders for supplementing their diet, but too much of a good thing can be bad.

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Bloodworms are eaten by dwarf fish

Are Bloodworms Capable of Biting?

While bloodworms can bite, they rarely get the opportunity when it comes to fish. They tend to get eaten up before they get the chance to do this.


  • Bloodworms are actually the larvae of the Midge Fly.
  • These worms get their name from their bright red coloration, which almost appears pink.
  • Live bloodworms can be very nutritious for your fish, but they are fairly expensive and pose the risk of disease.
  • If you are going to give your fish live bloodworms, you’ll need to run them under a cold tap for at least 10 to 15 minutes beforehand.
  • Freeze-dried bloodworms are available in Grades A and B, with the former being the much better overall choice.
  • It will be necessary to soak freeze-dried worms in warm water for 15 minutes so they can thaw out completely.
  • Frozen bloodworms offer a fairly convenient and affordable option, but they are definitely not preferred by most fish due to not being live.
  • It is very difficult to breed bloodworms unless you know exactly what you are doing.
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