Over the last few years, I have started to firmly believe that a variety of food is the key to healthy, colorful goldfish. When I give goldfish talks up and down the country and the subject of food comes around, there are a few questions I get asked every time. One of them is, Can goldfish eat Mosquito Larvae?
Yes, Goldfish can eat mosquito larvae. Mosquito larvae are a great food source and goldfish seem to relish eating them. Mosquito larvae are full of goodness for your goldfish and can be fed live, frozen, or freeze-dried.
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 Mosquito Larvae?
Mosquitos have 4 stages in their life, egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. The first 3 stages are essentially aquatic. Goldfish will readily eat the mosquitos in any of the 4 life stages, however, the larvae stage is the easiest to collect and feed to goldfish.
Mosquito larvae are usually available in 3 different colors, red, white, and black (red are usually sold as ‘bloodworms’). As far as your fish are concerned, they are all essentially the same.
Mosquito larvae form a major part of the food chain in the wild in almost all waterways where they exist. Any omnivorous fish large enough to eat mosquito larvae will usually consume them on sight.
What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Goldfish Mosquito Larvae?
Mosquito larvae are packed full of proteins, fiber, and crude fats that your goldfish need to eat to grow and stay healthy.
Mosquito Larvae seem to be irresistible to goldfish. Whether fed live or frozen, goldfish will quickly devour them. This is especially useful if you have a goldfish who is underweight or off their food.
Mosquito larvae are too rich to be used as a sole food source. They do however make up a large piece of the puzzle of feeding your goldfish a balanced, varied diet. Goldfish which are overfed on mosquito larvae may become overweight and their health will fail due to a lack of proper nutrients from other foods.
What Forms Are Mosquito Larvae Available In?
The most commonly available forms of mosquito larvae are either live or frozen. Both forms have their advantages and disadvantages. Below we have looked at some of those pros and cons.
Live Mosquito Larvae
Live mosquito larvae are usually sold in stores in either small bags or containers. When you purchase live mosquito larvae, take a minute to check the larvae are alive. Mosquito larvae wriggle constantly.
They rarely stop moving. If the bag or container appears to be full of life, the chances are they are healthy larvae. If the bag isn’t full of little wriggles, then avoid purchasing it. There isn’t great nutritional value in a bag of dead larvae.
When you get the mosquito larvae home and you are ready to feed them to your goldfish, cut the corner off the bag and tip the contents through a net into a bucket. The larvae will stay in the net, whilst the dirty water passes through into the bucket.
You can then feed the larvae to your goldfish by tipping them all into your aquarium. The dirty water can be discarded.
Once added to your aquarium, the mosquito larvae will wriggle constantly. Your goldfish seem attracted to this wriggling movement. Your goldfish will quickly start to eat the larvae and the majority will be consumed within a few minutes.
Any larvae which aren’t consumed straight away will live happily in the aquarium for a day or two until they are eaten.
One of the major advantages of feeding live mosquito larvae is the fact they remain alive in the aquatic environment for a day or two after feeding if uneaten. Unlike dry flake or pellet food, which will rot if left uneaten in the tank, live mosquito larvae won’t affect your aquarium water.
The disadvantage of live mosquito larvae is the fact they don’t live very long in the bag after purchasing. You can’t buy a few bags and feed them over the coming weeks. You need to buy them when you need to feed them.
There is also a slim chance of live mosquito larvae introducing disease into your aquarium. I have to say though, I don’t believe I have ever had mosquito larvae infect my goldfish.
Frozen Mosquito Larvae
Frozen mosquito larvae are usually sold in cubes in blister packs. You may also find them in half-pound size slabs.
When feeding frozen mosquito larvae cubes, you can either drop a cube or two into the aquarium and let your goldfish pick at them as they defrost, or you can place the cubes into a cup of aquarium water to allow them to defrost, then pour the mosquito larvae soup back into the tank.
The advantage of feeding frozen mosquito larvae to your goldfish is that you can keep a blister pack or two in the freezer, then just get them out to feed as and when required. I suspect frozen mosquito larvae will last for months, possibly years in the freezer
There is a disadvantage to using frozen mosquito larvae which is, there is no way to tell how good the quality of the mosquito larvae was before they were frozen. Were they alive and wriggling before freezing, or were they a soup of death? Always buy a reputable brand to avoid buying poor-quality frozen mosquito larvae.
How Often Should You Feed Mosquito Larvae To Your Goldfish?
Mosquito larvae are a rich food source, high in protein, fat, and fiber. They should not be fed to your goldfish at every meal. I feed my goldfish 3 to 4 times a day and for one of those feedings, I try to feed a live or frozen food like mosquito larvae, daphnia, or bloodworms.
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:
Can You Produce Mosquito Larvae At Home?
CAUTION: In many countries mosquitoes present a real danger of spreading diseases to humans. Take care when producing your own mosquito larvae!
Yes, you can produce your own mosquito larvae at home. Simply place a bucket or other container of water outside during the spring and summer months. Sooner or later the mosquitoes will find the water and lay their eggs in it.
Within a day or two, the bucket will be squirming with small, wriggling larvae. At this point, you can fish out as many as you need with a net and feed them directly to your goldfish.
Remember to collect the larvae on a regular basis, otherwise, all you have done is create a mosquito farm in your backyard.
Like so many live or frozen fish foods, mosquito larvae are a great addition to your goldfish’s diet. They make a perfect supplement to the dried flakes and pellets you usually feed. Remember, mosquito larvae are very rich in protein, fat and fiber so should only be fed as a treat or part of a varied diet.