What are bloodworms, the most popular food of aquatic denizens, available in almost all pet stores? This article throws light on these blood-red insects.
Ever been to a pet shop that stores frozen cubes filled with tiny red worms in it?
They might look disgusting to you, but these worms are one of the favorite foods of your little aquatic pets.
The tiny red worms are called bloodworms, and they are popular as fish food.
In this article, we will discuss how you can use these worms as fish food and how to feed them to your pets properly.
What Are They?
Bloodworms are worms that are found residing in freshwater sources like ponds. These worms are also farmed on the Northeast coast of the United States, as they are excellent fishing bait.
You can identify them by their long pink-colored bodies. They also have four tiny antennae.
Bloodworms are considered the ultimate fish bait, as almost every species of fish will happily eat these.
Also, in the varied diet of different fish, these worms serve as a good laxative.
You will be fascinated to know that due to the consumption of dry food, goldfish suffer from constipation. If you regularly feed bloodworms to them, the problem can be tackled effectively.
Types of Bloodworms
If you are looking to buy bloodworms as fish food, you must know that they can be purchased in three forms: frozen, live, or freeze-dried.
Each type has its own set of advantages that we will discuss in the sections below.
Live bloodworms are fresher compared to the frozen and freeze-dried varieties. They are packed with good nutrients.
Feeding live bloodworms to your pet fish is an excellent way of ensuring that they receive a nutrient-packed diet, especially when its breeding season.
However, one of the downsides of purchasing live bloodworms is that they can’t be stored for long.
Once you purchase them, you must feed them to the fish within 2-3 days. If not, the bloodworms will die, and feeding dead bloodworms to fish is almost giving an open invitation to illness.
Another drawback of purchasing live worms is that there is a higher risk for the fish to catch other parasites by consuming them.
Therefore it is good to give small quantities first and monitor the fish’s health.
Unlike fresh bloodworms, the frozen type can be stored for up to 6 months. You can easily purchase these from a nearby pet store.
One of the best things about purchasing and feeding frozen bloodworms to your pet fish is that they have lower chances of transmitting diseases to your fish.
The main reason behind it is that when the bloodworms are frozen, most of the disease-causing bacteria die.
These worms are usually packed in frozen blocks or thin sheets. Compared to freeze-dried worms, they are more nutrient-rich.
Note that it is good to thaw these frozen bloodworms before dropping them into the fish tank. A sudden drop in temperature might deliver a temperature shock to the fish.
Freeze-dried bloodworms are the cheapest of the three. But as mentioned above, freeze-dried worms contain lesser nutrients compared to the other two types.
These are popular because they need no additional preparation time; you just need to soak them a little in water before feeding them to fish.
This will make the worms settle down to the tank as they usually float on the water surface if not appropriately soaked.
Where Do Blood Worms Come From?
Bloodworms are usually found in shallow marine water sources; you can also find them in still freshwater sources.
Apart from fish food, these worms are also used as great bait for fishing. Let us take a look at the different uses of these bloodworms.
What Are Bloodworms Used For?
From the information given above, it must be clear that bloodworms are an excellent food source for fish.
They can be used if you have pet aquarium fish or are a breeder. But as we mentioned in the above passage, these worms are also great bait for fishing.
Fishermen and anglers regularly use bloodworms for fishing as bait.
One of the main reasons behind this is the fact that fish love consuming these worms, and using them as bait is of the best ways to lure out the fish from hiding.
Blood Worms for Betta – Are They Safe?
If you have betta fish in your aquarium, there are certain things that you must know before feeding them bloodworms.
When you add bloodworms to the tank for the betta, make sure that you leave them in the water for a short time.
If there are leftovers after a few minutes of adding the worms to the tank, you should immediately take them out.
The fragments might begin to rot and cause an ammonia spike in the water tank.
The betta fish in your aquarium will keep eating even when they are full. Therefore you must not overfeed them as it may lead to problems.
Just stick to 1-2 bloodworms in a meal to avoid constipation. Do not drop the whole frozen cube at once.
Also, you must keep an eye on the feeding frequency. Blood worms are rich in fat and protein, and too much of it will cause problems for your betta.
Therefore feed bloodworms once or twice a week only to these fish.
Where To Buy Live Bloodworms?
You can find frozen bloodworms in any nearby pet shops, but it can be a little tricky to find live bloodworms.
But thanks to technology, you can order these online from various sites like Amazon.com or eBay. Here are a few options that you can explore:
Do Bloodworms Have Hemoglobin?
Yes, the larvae of worms in the Chironomidae family have hemoglobin in their bodies. Due to the presence of hemoglobin, these worms can draw oxygen from the water.
The reddish tint in their bodies is also due to the presence of hemoglobin.
Although bloodworms are found in freshwater sources, they can also survive really well in polluted water because of the presence of hemoglobin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Do Blood Worms Live?
Bloodworms are found in freshwater sources like ponds; you find them in shallow marine water. Due to the presence of hemoglobin, they can also survive in polluted water.
They are also farmed in some places on the Northeast coast of the United States, as they are excellent fish food and fishing bait.
Are bloodworms harmful to humans?
Bloodworms can bite a human, and the bites are painful. It might feel like a wasp sting, but fortunately, the bite is only dangerous for the small crustaceans that they consume.
The bite is not harmful enough to cause any significant damage to humans or pets like dogs and cats.
What do bloodworms turn into?
The bloodworm larva hatches from a midge egg. They stay in the larva stage for around seven weeks.
During this time, they consume organic matter and other small insects. After that, they go into the pupal stage, and later they emerge as adult midge flies.
What kills blood worms?
You can use an aquatic vacuum to suck out the eggs and larvae deposited in the bottom of your tank.
To remove the ones floating on the surface, you can use a skimmer. These worms are usually better for your tanks as they serve as great fish food.
Bloodworms are one of the best fish foods for your little aquatic pets, but it is important to know the right way to feed these things to fish.
We hope this article was useful to know about bloodworms and how beneficial they are. Thank you for reading the article.
Over the years, our readers have often asked us questions about Bloodworms – some quirky, others just inquisitive, and still others so hard we had to figure out the answers by asking other fishing experts.
Read a cross-section of these emails and let us know if we were able to cover everything in the article above!
Letter 1 – Bloodworms
1 cm long Red Nematode-like Worm in the Pool Water
I love your website, What’s That Bug. I’ve used it dozens of times to identify insects around my neighborhood and workplace. Now I’d like to try your amazing knowledge on these little wigglers! Every spring when opening our family above-ground pool, I find hundreds of 1 cm long red segmented nematode-like very wiggly worms in the pool water. They have a small black head, small legs near the head, a forked tail, are semi-clear with a dark gut, and are very wiggly. So what are they?
These are Bloodworms. Bloodworms are the aquatic larvae of non-biting Midges in the genus Chironomus. They are a prized live food for tropical fish kept by aquarists.
Letter 2 – Bloodworm
Mosquito Project Location: Grand Rapids, MI May 1, 2012 Hey Daniel, You guys were so interested by it last year, I figured I’d just drop u a quick email letting you know that I’m doing my mosquito project again this year. Just started it last week. I’m actually going to be buying a few small fish soon so I’m hoping to be able to raise them for fish food as well. Just wanted to share with someone who shares my passion for bugs!!! I knew what it was last yr when I did my mosquito project but I forgot what it is. I also didn’t know it goes thru a process much like that of a mosquito until I saw this lil guy with the white beard. 🙂 Later! -Amanda Gorman Hi Amanda, The aquatic creatures in your photos are Bloodworms: a larva and a pupa. Bloodworms are the immature phases of Midges in the genus Chironomus. Here is a matching photo from BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “Larvae are usually found in sediments, and can occur in highly polluted conditions or in relatively clean water. Larvae of the Ch. decorus group, Ch. riparius and Ch. stigmaterus are most often associated with high nutrient/low oxygen conditions.” Fish will relish Bloodworms as much as they do Mosquito Larvae.