Can Cichlids Eat Bloodworms? {How Often?}

Most fish love to have a treat on the odd occasion, especially cichlids, they love to try new food to switch up their diet. Can cichlids eat bloodworms?

Let’s find out in this article about possible cichlid treats such as bloodworms.

Can Cichlids Eat Bloodworms?

Bloodworms can be eaten by cichlids. Although feeding cichlids treats is ok, it shouldn’t be done too often as they need to have a balanced diet, hence why there is specific food that they should eat daily.

However, a treat once in a while such as 1-2 times a week is acceptable. Just like you and me with chocolate, cichlid fish want to indulge in a treat too.

Can Cichlids Eat Bloodworms

Are Bloodworms Good For Cichlids?

Bloodworms are the perfect treat for cichlids as they are filled with protein, but they are only good for them when given in moderation.

Despite most cichlids being ok to eat bloodworms, there are a few types of the cichlid species which should not have a large number of bloodworms due to the amount of protein in them.

The reason for this is because some types of cichlids are herbivorous in their natural habitat. Herbivorous means they feed off of plants instead of meat, for example, the Malawi Mbunas cichlid is herbivorous.

Most cichlids are carnivorous eaters which means that they will eat meat, including bloodworms.

Can All Fish Eat Bloodworms?

99% of fish can and will eat bloodworms, and this is why they are often used as bait when fishing. Bloodworms are suitable as a treat for all carnivorous and omnivorous freshwater and saltwater fish.

But, not all fish should eat bloodworms. It is entirely dependent on whether they are herbivorous, omnivorous or carnivorous.

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Can Cichlids Eat Mealworms?

For the smaller species of cichlids, we wouldn’t recommend feeding them mealworms due to the exoskeleton.

Though, for the larger species of cichlids which are omnivorous or carnivorous eaters, mealworms can be an appropriate treat once in a while. You can feed mealworms to your cichlids both alive or dead.

Most fish can eat mealworms, and as long as it can fit in their mouth, then there is no need to worry. Many large cichlid owners have found that their fish love them. We would not recommend feeding them mealworms daily, only occasionally.

Can Cichlids Eat Wax Worms?

Like bloodworms and mealworms, wax worms can be fed to your cichlids occasionally as a treat as long as they are omnivorous or carnivorous eaters. Herbivorous eaters should have a small amount of meat in their diet, so it is ok to feed them the one wax worm on the odd occasion.

If you choose to provide your cichlid with a wax worm as a treat you want to ensure that the wax worm is small enough to fit inside of the cichlid’s mouth.

Even though feeding these three different types of worms is ok for your cichlid fish to have as a treat, we would recommend that they are only bought from a professional marine/pet store.  There is always the risk of disease, bacteria, infections, etc. being brought into your aquarium, and it could potentially make your fish ill.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can African Cichlids Eat Bloodworms?

Yes. African cichlids are larger and aggressive fish looking for meat. These opportunistic carnivores would love the fatty richness of bloodworms.

Feeding African cichlid bloodworms will turn into a frenzy. They will eat as many as you are offering. Giving African cichlid bloodworms should be done in moderation.

2. How Often to Feed Cichlids Bloodworms

You cannot feed bloodworms to cichlids daily. This food is rich in protein but it causes issues to your cichlids such as:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Disease
  • Inflammation

Feed your cichlids bloodworms 1-2 times a week.

3. Do Cichlids Like Frozen Bloodworms?

Frozen bloodworms are a welcome addition to your cichlid’s staple diet. The thing is, these fish get bored of eating the same thing daily. Giving your cichlid frozen bloodworms is easy because it’s sitting in your freezer for the right time at any time. Just make sure it’s given to them 1-2 times a week and not more than that. Thaw out the bloodworms first before adding them into your tank.


Are bloodworms harmful to cichlids? No. Remember to feed your cichlids options for their diet ass treat that are meaty, packed with protein and fat.

Reduce feedings to 1-2 times a week because bloodworms are able to cause gut impaction and constipation in cichlids leading to lethargy, lack of appetite and illnesses.

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Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.