Can Tetras Eat Bloodworms? (It Depends…)

Bloodworms are a popular fish food for all kinds of fish because most fish will eat bloodworms. This has led neon tetra owners to wonder if their tetras can eat bloodworms.

Yes, neon tetras can and will eat bloodworms of all types, but there are some things you must know before feeding your tetras bloodworms to ensure the safety of your fish.

This article will cover everything you need to know about feeding bloodworms to your tetras.

Types of Bloodworms

Bloodworms is a broad term for small, blood-red worms that live in still water. There are hundreds of species of bloodworms, but they all have the same blood-red appearance (hence the name).

This section won’t cover the types of bloodworms because, quite frankly, it doesn’t really matter. Your tetra doesn’t care about the species of bloodworm. Instead, this section will cover how the bloodworms are stored when you purchase them.

Freeze Dried Bloodworms

The most common storage method for bloodworms is freeze drying them. Have you seen bloodworms in a dry container like flakes?

Those bloodworms are freeze dried.

We don’t really recommend feeding your fish freeze dried bloodworms as the nutritional value of freeze dried bloodworms is scant, but they do work. And your tetras will eat up freeze dried bloodworms.

That said, you do need to do a little extra preparation before feeding them to your fish.

Preparing Freeze Dried Bloodworms for Neon Tetras

The key thing to remember with freeze dried food is that it expands when it gets wet. This is because the food does not have any water in it… hence the “dried” part of the name.

This means that simply dropping freeze dried bloodworms into your tank will result in your fish eating the small bits and then them expanding in your fish’s stomach. Will this cause them to explode?

No, we don’t live in a cartoon. But it can lead to bloating, especially in tetras as they have extremely small stomachs.

With that in mind, make sure to soak freeze dried bloodworms in water before feeding them to your tetras.

Frozen Bloodworms

Frozen bloodworms are another option for feeding your fish. However, they are much less common than freeze dried bloodworms as they are a lot more difficult to store because they obviously must be frozen.

The nutritional value is much greater and they aren’t very expensive, which makes them a great value if you want to give your tetras a nice treat. Preparing them is also pretty easy – just let them thaw out to room temperature and cut them into small pieces.

Do not feed your fish cold food. In the case of tetras, feeding them cold bloodworms can actually kill them as the shock to their body is way too much for it to handle.

Other than that one caveat, they make a great food for your fish.

Live Bloodworms

Finally, you can feed your tetras live bloodworms. You probably won’t find them at a fish store, though some locally owned ones might have them, so your only option is to start your own bloodworm farm or know someone that has a bloodworm farm.

Anyway, your fish will greatly prefer live food as it best simulates nature. Drop a live bloodworm into a fish tank and you will see a mini feeding frenzy start as the fish compete for the still moving food.

It’s definitely something that is exciting to see and your fish will love you for it. It’s something we recommend doing at least once with your fish. Be warned, feeding your tetras flakes after feeding them live bloodworms just isn’t as fun.

Closing Thoughts

That covers it for whether you can feed your tetras bloodworms.

Yes, feel free to feed your tetras bloodworms of any variety. Tetras are omnivores and will greatly appreciate the protein and fat that a bloodworm contains. Just make sure to thaw them if frozen and soak them if freeze dried.

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