Can Guppies Eat Bloodworms? Is it Safe for Them?

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Bloodworms are some of the most popular live foods for aquarium fish. They’re delicious and nutritious. Almost any fish would eat them. In fact, bloodworms have a good reputation as the ultimate bait in fishing. They’re known to attract some of the fish that are hardest to catch. Did you know? — Bloodworms are such a powerful food that their use is banned in many fishing matches.

Now, combine this irresistible food with guppies, and you get a match made in heaven. Guppies are small fish but they have huge appetites. Truth be told, they’ll eat almost anything you feed them. But bloodworms hold a special place in their hearts (and stomachs).

But is this safe for them? Can guppies eat bloodworms? Are there any negative health effects? Find out the answer to these questions and more in this article!

Are Bloodworms Good for Guppies?

Bloodworm is a universal favorite among all omnivorous and carnivorous fish. Guppies love it too! And because guppies are omnivores, they can eat pretty much anything without any issue. So, bloodworms are completely safe and actually pretty good for them.

A small serving of bloodworms wakes up a guppy’s appetite like nothing else. Besides, bloodworms are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that your guppies need to stay healthy. The only downside is that bloodworms are also rich in fatty acids. Adult guppies need a lower-fat diet.

Because of that, bloodworms should be kept to a minimum. Other than that, there’s nothing wrong with them. You can offer your guppies bloodworms as a tasty and nutritious treat. Just make sure to keep them on a balanced diet that also includes plenty of other foods including fish flakes, algae pellets, and fresh and frozen veggies.

Can Guppies Eat Only Bloodworms?

Guppies could devour bloodworms till they burst, and I mean this quite literally. They have an insatiable appetite for this food. As much as they seem to enjoy it, it’s not a good idea to feed your fish only bloodworms though. Your guppies need a diverse diet consisting of both plants and protein-rich foods.

And most importantly, adult guppies need a lower-fat diet. Feeding them only bloodworms would be unhealthy because bloodworms are too high in fat. Such a diet would lead to dangerous weight gain and fatty liver disease in your fish.

And as nutritious as bloodworms are, they shouldn’t displace other healthy vitamin-rich foods like algae and vegetables. Plant foods are also important for guppies. They contain special pigments that your guppies need to maintain their vibrant body colors.

How Often to Feed Your Guppies Bloodworms?

Think of bloodworms as a tasty treat for your guppies. You shouldn’t feed them to your fish every day. It’s best to stick to feeding them only two to three times a week. This feeding frequency should be good enough for your fish to reap the benefits of the extra nutrition without any negative health effects.

Don’t feed them a large quantity of bloodworms at a time. A little bit less than a pinch should be enough. It also depends on how many guppies you have in your aquarium though. Another good rule of thumb to remember is dosing the bloodworms according to feeding time.

If your guppies devour every morsel of food in just a few seconds, you’re probably feeding them too little. Adjust the quantity bit by bit at each feeding. If the guppies take a few minutes to finish the food, you’re in the right ballpark.

Can Guppies Get Sick from Eating Bloodworms?

Guppies can indeed become sick from eating bloodworms. There isn’t an inherent problem with bloodworms though. This usually happens if guppies eat too much, or if bloodworms displace other important foods in the diet. There are a few negative effects worth mentioning:

  • Bloating is the most immediate problem. When guppies eat too much, their belly becomes distended and filled with undigested food and gasses. Just like in humans, this can lead to indigestion. It’s not life-threatening, but it’s not desirable either. This can also lead to swimming problems in the short term.
  • Constipation is a more serious problem caused by the overconsumption of bloodworms. The guppy’s digestive system gets backed up. This could lead to intestinal blockage, issues with appetite, and difficulty swimming. This problem can be prevented by adding fiber-rich vegetables to your guppies’ diet.
  • Weight gain is also a potential issue. Bloodworms are rich in fat and high in calories. It’s very easy for guppies to overeat on this food and gain excess weight. Consistently overfeeding your guppies with high-fat foods like bloodworms can lead to the accumulation of dangerous fat around their internal organs.
  • Infections are also a possibility when it comes to bloodworms and other animal foods. Bloodworms can carry dangerous bacteria and parasites. When eating contaminated food, guppies can become infected regardless of how little they eat. Depending on the type of bacteria or parasite infecting guppies, symptoms might vary. Weight loss, a distended stomach, fin and tail rot, bleeding, and peeling skin are just some of the most common signs of infection.

Can Guppy Fry Eat Bloodworms?

Not only can guppy fry eat bloodworms, but they also love them! Both the fry and adult guppies go crazy when given bloodworms, whether fresh, dried, or frozen. And they make a good addition to a growing fry’s diet. They’re energy, mineral, and vitamin-rich.

Besides the great nutrient content, bloodworms are also very high in protein. They offer all the building blocks that your fish need to grow and develop properly. If you want to add this food to their diet, you can definitely do so! Just remember to keep things in moderation.

Besides bloodworms, your guppy fry will also enjoy eating daphnia, brine shrimp, earthworms, and infusoria. Frozen and fresh vegetables, fish flakes, and pellets are also an important part of the daily diet.

Freeze Dried vs Frozen Bloodworms

When picking the perfect bloodworms for your guppies, you have three main choices. First, there are fresh, live bloodworms. This is the least common feed option. Live bloodworms are more expensive, they’re hard to come by, and they’re the most likely to carry dangerous bacteria and parasites. While they are the most nutritious option, the benefit isn’t worth the hassle.

The real battle here goes between freeze-dried and frozen bloodworms. These two options have a lot in common. They’re convenient. They’re cheap and easy to find. They both store very well too. So, how do they compare? Which one is better?

Well, freeze-dried bloodworms come in different quality grades. You have a lot of options when it comes to the price range. They’re easy to feed, but they require some soaking beforehand. They’re very lightweight and they don’t sink in the water.

Some of the nutrition gets lost during the drying process. While very convenient, these bloodworms are the less nutritious option. They’re cheap, but your guppies get less bang for their buck. They get a high-fat meal, but fewer vitamins.

Frozen bloodworms are pretty cheap too. You can also store them in the freezer for up to six months, so you can buy them in bulk and never run out. They’re relatively easy to feed, but you’ll have to plan ahead because you need to thaw them beforehand. Frozen bloodworms maintain most of their nutrition because they’re usually preserved from fresh.

They’re more nutritious than freeze-dried worms, and more readily comparable to the fresh live feed. Another huge benefit of frozen bloodworms is the low risk of infection. The freezing process kills virtually all bacteria and parasites, making this feed a safe option. Clearly, frozen is the winner!


Bloodworms are an effective and easy way to supplement your guppies’ diet. They’re rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. But they’re also calorically dense and should be kept to a minimum. Overconsumption of bloodworms could lead to some health problems in the long term, such as constipation, trouble swimming, intestinal blockage, and fatty liver.

Around two to three times a week works well for both fry and adult guppies alike. If you’re thinking about adding them to your guppies’ diet, frozen bloodworms are the best. They store for a long time, they’re cheaper than other options, and they’re the least likely to contain dangerous bacteria and parasites.

Updated: January 25, 2022

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