Bloodworms For Betta Fish

Bloodworms are a very common food choice for a fish species we keep as pets. Betta fish are no exception and owners often give them as a meal to their fish pet.

There are several types of bloodworms and they are not always the best food choice to give to Betta fish. Most are rich in protein and fat, necessary for Betta fish, but they lack vitamins and minerals.

What Kind Of Bloodworms Are There?

In most pet food specialized stores two types of bloodworms can be found: Chironomidae and Glycera. And although their common name is bloodworm, Chironomidae is a fly in the larval stage, while Glycera is a species of worm that grows and inhabits only marine areas.

They are not all the same nutritional value and although in principle you can give them all to Betta fish – you need to divide them into various meals. Constantly giving one species can harm Betta fish; it will have a lack of nutrients necessary for strong immunity. That is the reason why most experts consider Bloodworms to be more of a dietary supplement than a proper meal.

You can buy bloodworms in frozen, frozen-dried, or live form.

Live bloodworms nutritionally are the best and of the highest quality, but it is a little bit more expensive and demanding to maintain and store.

Why Are Live Bloodworms The Best Choice For A Betta Fish?

They are natural, i.e. and literally alive, no process has been carried out on them that would destroy necessary nutrients. Besides, when you put live bloodworms in the aquarium, you stimulate the natural instincts of Betta fish and they turn into experienced and fighting hunters.

Betta Fish

Bloodworms are so reminiscent of Betta fish in their natural habitat; it will even stimulate them to mate. So, if you are or are planning to breed Betta fish – live blood worms will speed up the process and make it more natural.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Live Bloodworms?

They are a little more complicated to store. You can’t really buy two or three bloodworms, for just one meal, and if you buy more – you can’t give Betta all at once. Even if you keep them in the fridge – after two days they will start to turn into flies.

Just the idea of keeping worms in the fridge doesn’t sound overly pleasant or comfortable. In addition, bloodworms, like any other live food for Betta fish, carry a risk of infection. It is quite possible that they transmit very dangerous bacteria and viruses that can endanger the life of Betta fish.

Why (Not) Choose Frozen-Dried Bloodworms?

They are definitely the easiest to store and can last a long time. All you have to do is let them swell before you give them to Betta fish and that’s it.

However, bloodworms treated in this way have very few nutrients; moreover, they can be called “empty food” because it only serves to satisfy hunger.

It often happens that the owners do not know that before they can give them to Betta fish, they have to swell. Otherwise, it will swell in Betta’s stomach and most likely cause constipation. Of course, there are more species and more quality levels of frozen-dried bloodworms. The more expensive they are, the more nutritious they have and a higher percentage of protein.

You don’t have to avoid processed bloodworms like this, it’s just important to buy more nutritious ones so that Betta can really benefit from them,

Are Frozen Bloodworms The Best Choice For Betta Fish?

When it comes to storage, frozen bloodworms are a solid choice. You can keep them in the fridge and when you feed Betta, just cut as much as you need.

They are mostly in the shape of ice cubes, so they are very easy to handle. Before you put them in the aquarium, you need to defrost them briefly. You can also do this by taking some water from the aquarium in a bowl, letting the bloodworms melt there, and then giving them to Betta fish.

Since they come frozen, it is easy for producers to add more water, i.e. ice – than bloodworms; so it would be better to always buy better quality and more expensive. This way you will be sure that your Betta really gets the necessary proteins and minerals.

Don’t forget to remove any excess food from the aquarium that Betta doesn’t eat within 10 minutes. Any excess food can easily contaminate the water.

How Many Bloodworms Per Meal Is Ideal?

If your Betta fish is healthy, it will eat to exhaustion. It is part of their nature. Therefore you as the owner must carefully measure the meals. Overeating harms Betta fish. When it comes to bloodworms 1-2 worms per meal is enough.

When feeding Betta with frozen worms, do not put the whole cube in the aquarium, but cut as much as necessary. No matter what they like to eat – Betta fish have a very sensitive digestive system. This means that they can get sick very easily because of just too much food.

How Often Should I Feed Betta Fish With Bloodworms?

Most veterinarians and experienced Betta fish owners agree that bloodworms are more of a treat or dietary supplement than the basis of the Betta fish menu.

There is too much protein and fat in them, which is very difficult for Betty’s stomach. Once or twice a week is enough. This will keep Betas’ diet rich and varied, and Betta will not suffer from constipation or other illnesses caused by bad food.

Why Are Too Many Bloodworms Dangerous For Betta Fish?

Primarily, because it harms their immunity, that is, it does not have enough nutrients, but only proteins and fats. Too much food like that creates constipation but also other dangerous diseases.

Also, if you have more fish species in the aquarium – they could also eat bloodworms when you put them in the aquarium, which can harm them too

Too many bloodworms or a diet based solely on them – can cause a disease called Ammonia Spikes. In addition to feeding, the cause of this disease is an increase in ammonia levels in the aquarium, which is precisely the cause of bloodworms. That is, rotten food contributes to the increase of ammonia in the aquarium and beneficial bacteria cannot decompose it.

If you use live bloodworms and buy them from an unverified supplier, chances are high that your Betta will get sick from various types of infections and other dangerous diseases.

Live bloodworms can carry many bacteria which, even if they spare the Betta fish, can be fatal to other fish species you keep in the aquarium.

Betta Fish Won’t Eat Bloodworms

If Betta refuses to eat only bloodworms and eats all other foods normally – it probably doesn’t like the taste. Since bloodworms are a treat and you don’t have to give them to Betta fish all the time, try to find another treat.

If, on the other hand, Betta refuses any other food – it may be an infection or the water is polluted. Sometimes, when the water is polluted, and the water filter is clogged with rotten food – Betta knows how to behave strangely, sometimes even funny.

This is often a sign that the water is poisoned due to excess food stuck in the filter and causing an increase in algae, ammonia, and other water parameters that harm the Betta fish.

However, if your Betta is recovering from an illness – a meal of bloodworms will give it an energy boost. In situations like these you can give these treats to your Betty more often, but always be careful not to overdo it.


Bloodworms are a welcome food for Betta fish and it is quite OK to include them in your pet’s regular diet. However, be careful when you buy bloodworms, how you store them, and how much you give them to Betta fish.

They are not very economical food, because they are so difficult to store, and Betta eats very little. Whatever option you decide on, always keep the health of Betta fish in mind and take care not to overdo it.