Yes, Goldfish can eat bloodworms, in fact, they will relish them. Bloodworms should be fed as part of a balanced goldfish diet. Bloodworms are full of goodness for aquarium fish and can be fed either live, frozen, or freeze-dried.
In my experience of keeping and feeding goldfish, variety is the key to strong, healthy goldfish. I feed my goldfish a wide range of live and frozen foods. One question I am often asked is can goldfish eat bloodworms?
It is easy to see why goldfish have remained a firm favorite in the fish-keeping hobby. I currently have a 180 gallon (680 liters) aquarium filled with a mixture of Fantails, Ranchu, and Pearlscale goldfish. Out of all the tanks in my fish room, it is this one that everybody is stunned by.
What Are Bloodworms?
Most bloodworms used to feed goldfish fish are the larvae of the non-biting midge fly or chironomids. These bright red ‘worms’ are in fact not worms at all, they are the larval stage of the fly.
Bloodworms are bright red due to the high levels of.red iron-porphyrin protein in their blood and body tissue. Due to the Bloodworms’ high hemoglobin content, they can survive and even thrive in polluted water or water with very low oxygen levels.
Bloodworms are a major part of the aquatic food chain with almost every omnivorous fish-eating bloodworms at some stage in its life.
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What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Goldfish Bloodworms?
Bloodworm is packed full of protein. Goldfish seem to find bloodworms irresistible. This can make bloodworms the perfect food to feed if your goldfish is off their food.
When trying to provide a Goldfish with a varied diet, bloodworms are an important piece of the puzzle. Do remember however that bloodworm can’t be used as a sole source of food, they have to make up part of the varied diet. If you just feed bloodworms your fish they will quickly become unwell due to too much protein in their diet and not enough other vitamins and minerals.
What Forms Are Bloodworms Available In?
In the aquarium hobby, bloodworms are most commonly available in 3 different forms, live bloodworms, frozen bloodworms, and freeze-dried bloodworms. All 3 forms have their advantages and disadvantages. Below we have a look at all 3 forms in more detail.
Live bloodworms are usually purchased from the fish store in small bags or containers. When you purchase your bloodworms, check the bag is full of wriggling worms rather than dead ones sitting on the bottom of the bag. Fresh bloodworms wriggle constantly when you move the bag around.
When you get the bloodworms home and you are ready to feed them to your goldfish, cut the corner of the bag and pour the water and bloodworms through a net into a bucket. The bloodworms should stay in the net and the dirty water in the bucket. You can now feed the bloodworms to your goldfish without adding the polluted water to your aquarium.
Live bloodworms will wriggle furiously when you add them to your aquarium and the goldfish will be attracted to them instantly. The goldfish will eat almost all the bloodworms within a few minutes, but if they don’t, any that survive will continue to live in your aquarium until the goldfish are ready to eat them.
The advantages of feeding live bloodworms to Goldfish include the fact the bloodworms will live in the water until your goldfish are ready to eat them. It is said that live bloodworms have a higher nutrient content than frozen ones.
The disadvantages of feeding live bloodworms are that they don’t store very long. You really want to feed the live bloodworms within a day or two of purchasing before they start to die off in the bag.
Live bloodworms also carry a slight chance of introducing disease into your aquarium, although I am not aware of this ever happening to me. Due to this risk of disease, you should never collect your own bloodworms from the wild.
Frozen bloodworms are usually sold either in individual cubes in a blister pack or in larger frozen ‘slabs’ of bloodworms. Frozen bloodworms can either be placed in the aquarium as cubes so the fish can pick at them, or a cube can be defrosted in a cup of aquarium water before being added to the tank.
I usually feed frozen bloodworms in cube form. I just drop a few cubes into the tank and the goldfish pick at them furiously until they are all gone.
The advantages of feeding frozen bloodworms include the fact you can keep them in your freezer for many months, only defrosting what you need when you need it. You can also feed just the right amount to each tank. You can defrost a cube, then add a little of that cube to multiple tanks if needed.
One of the disadvantages of frozen bloodworms is that you can’t know the quality of those bloodworms before they were frozen. You can’t know if they were alive and healthy or just a soup of dead larvae. Only buy and use reputable brands of frozen bloodworms and where ‘Grade A’ are available, make sure you purchase those.
Freeze Dried Bloodworms
Freeze-dried bloodworms are bloodworms that have had all the moisture forced out of them by a freezing and drying process. Freeze-dried bloodworms are usually available either in small cubes or loose in tubs.
The main advantage of using freeze-dried bloodworms is that they keep for months, probably years providing you store them correctly. You can have a tub of freeze-dried bloodworms in your store ready to use whenever you want to feed them to your fish. Freeze-dried bloodworms can also be soaked in suitable vitamins before feeding to your fish, allowing you to ‘dose’ your fish directly if they need additional vitamins or minerals.
A disadvantage of freeze-dried bloodworms is that you have to rehydrate them before feeding to your fish, otherwise you run the risk of them absorbing water once swallowed and expanding in the fish’s gut.
How Often Should You Feed Bloodworms To Your Goldfish?
Bloodworms, whatever form you feed them to your goldfish in, should only be fed either as a treat or as part of a balanced diet. I feed my goldfish 3 to 4 times a day. One of those feedings will usually include either live or frozen bloodworms. As with any food, only put in as many bloodworms as your fish will eat in a few minutes. Uneaten frozen bloodworm will soon rot if left uneaten for long.
What Other Live Or Frozen Foods Can Be Fed To Goldfish?
There are many other varieties of live or frozen foods your goldfish will eat. We have articles on each of the following:
Bloodworms make a fantastic addition to a Goldfish’s diet. Packed with protein, bloodworms make a great alternative to goldfish flakes or pellets. Feed as part of a balanced diet and your goldfish will grow strong and healthy.