What Do Bloodworms Eat? Unraveling the Mystery

Bloodworms are the favorite fish food for many types of fish, but did you know what do bloodworms eat themselves? Let’s look at what bloodworms eat and how to breed them for your fish.

Fish bloodworms are one of the most popular fish foods in the world. These worms are highly nutritious for the fish and budget-friendly for the breeders.

Therefore people often breed bloodworms to ensure a steady supply of nutrients to aquatic pets. Others often buy them from pet stores.

But have you wondered what these creatures eat? Why do people add them to their aquariums? In this article, we will discuss what bloodworms eat and why they should be added to your aquarium.

What are Bloodworms?

Bloodworms are larvae that live in still marine waters and freshwater sources like ponds. Due to the presence of hemoglobin, these worms can also survive in polluted water.

These bugs can be identified by their long red-colored bodies; They can grow up to 14 inches in length. They have four sharp and hollow jaws connected to the proboscis for injecting venom into the prey.

Bloodworms grow up to become non-biting midge flies after pupation.

Bloodworms are excellent fish food for both freshwater and saltwater fish and are also highly used as fishing bait.

They are considered one of the best fish food for your aquarium fish as, despite the varied diet of different fish, these worms act as a good laxative.

You can purchase them in three different forms, live bloodworms, frozen bloodworms, and freeze-dried bloodworms.

But, before purchasing and feeding bloodworms to your aquarium fish, you must know that these worms are capable of biting, and the bites are almost as painful as a bee sting.

What do Bloodworms Eat?

You must be aware by now that bloodworms are consumed by fish but do you know that bloodworms are also predators, and they use venom to kill their prey?

Let us take a look at what they eat.

Bloodworms usually prey on tiny insects, crustaceans, insect larvae, and more.

Once they catch the prey, they use the four hollow jaws present in the proboscis to shoot venom into their bodies.

In some cases, the bloodworms also consume decaying organic matter present in different water bodies.

Bloodworm Life Cycle

As mentioned above, bloodworms are larvae, and these larvae grow to be midge flies. Therefore let us take a look at the lifecycle of midge flies to understand bloodworms better.

The cycle starts when the female midge lays eggs. These eggs usually hatch in around 7 to 10 days.

The larva coming out of these eggs are bloodworms, and they stay in the larvae stage for around seven weeks.

During these seven weeks, the bloodworms actively consume insects and organic matter for proper growth.

After that, the pupal stage starts, and it lasts for around three days. After the pupal stage, they finally emerge as adult midge flies.

The above information points out that the average lifespan of bloodworms is around seven weeks.

How To Keep Blood Worms Alive

Reasons To Keep Them in Your Aquarium

Bloodworms are a great addition to your aquarium; mentioned below are a few top reasons why you should add them to the tank.

  1. Bloodworms are clean creatures; they are low maintenance and don’t require a lot of external care from your end.
  2. Bloodworms act as an excellent laxative for the fish in the aquarium. They also strengthen the immune system, which is perfect for fighting off diseases.
  3. These worms are a great source of protein for the fish, and they can be a good food source for baby fish, especially when they struggle to find food.
  4. At times goldfish can suffer from constipation because of the high consumption of dry food. Feeding them bloodworms is a great way to cure them.
  5. Since these worms consume decaying matter, they can be instrumental in keeping the aquarium clean.
  6. Bloodworms are a great source of iron, due to which they can be effective for treating diseases like anemia in your aquatic pets.
  7. High levels of protein are beneficial for the fish, especially during the breeding season. Since these worms are a great source of protein, they can be helpful during the breeding season.
  8. You don’t have to search hard for these worms; you can easily buy them in a pet shop that sells aquarium goods.
What Do Bloodworms Eat

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you feed blood worms?

Bloodworms usually consume small insects; in some cases, the large ones can eat small fish as well. These worms also consume dead and decaying matter like dead leaves in the water bodies.
Also, be careful while feeding them, as they may bite you, and the bites are highly painful. To avoid bites, you can wear gloves while interacting with them.

What happens if a blood worm bites you?

If a bloodworm bites you, there is a high chance that you will be in great discomfort as the bites are highly painful.
The bites are almost as painful as a wasp and bee sting. There is also a chance that the bite might trigger an allergic reaction in your body.
If that happens, it is advisable to rush to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.

How do you keep bloodworms alive?

Bloodworms are clean organisms, and they need minimum attention from your end to stay alive. However, make sure that there is sufficient food for them in your aquarium.
Since they also feed on decaying matter, you do not need to worry much. You simply need to keep adding manure from farm animals to the aquarium, as it serves as food for the worms.

How many bloodworms should I feed my fish?

If you are feeding bloodworms to betta fish, just stick to 1-2 worms in a meal. 
Also, if you are feeding frozen bloodworms, refrain from dropping a whole cube into the aquarium, as it might cause constipation problems to the fish. 
Feeding them once or twice a week with bloodworms is enough.

Wrap Up

Bloodworms are simple creatures and can be a valuable addition to your aquarium. Not only are they highly healthy for the fish, but they are low maintenance.

After reading this article, we hope that you will be able to feed these bloodworms well once you decide to add them to the aquarium.

Thank you for reading!


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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1 thought on “What Do Bloodworms Eat? Unraveling the Mystery”

  1. I have a question. I have a very small toad pond. I just had a bunch of baby toads leave. I had new tadpole, squirming around. Now they are gone. I noticed the bloodworms ALL over the bottom of the pond. Did they eat my tadpole larve?


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