Skip to Content

Should You Use Bloodworms For Saltwater Fish?

Bloodworms are one of the best treat food options for most species of carnivorous and omnivorous fish within the freshwater side of the fish keeping hobby but we have noticed people asking about using bloodworms for saltwater fish recently.

With the popularity of keeping saltwater tanks increasing, the number of people who are curious about using the bloodworms they use for their freshwater tank in their saltwater tank is also increasing.

Due to this, as well as how much incorrect information we see on the topic on social media, we have decided to publish this article going over the topic in more detail.

Our hope is that we will be able to help our readers better understand the advantages and disadvantages of giving saltwater fish bloodworms to help you make a more informed decision.

You also have to remember that the taste preferences of your saltwater fish will also come into play too so just because some people can feed their saltwater fish bloodworms does not mean that your saltwater fish will like the texture or flavor.

Are Bloodworms Safe For Saltwater Fish?

For the most part, bloodworms are perfectly safe for saltwater fish to eat and many people who keep marine tanks feed their fish bloodworms without issue.

You just have to remember the basic rules of feeding your freshwater fish bloodworms and apply them to your saltwater fish.

For example, frozen bloodworms always have to be defrosted prior to adding them to your saltwater tank to prevent issues with your fish.

You should also make sure that any live bloodworms are healthy and not showing signs of infection as this can be a common issue with live bloodworms that you have had for a couple of days.

Can Saltwater Fish Eat Freshwater Bloodworms?

The simple answer to this question is yes, saltwater fish can eat freshwater bloodworms without any issues.

In fact, bloodworms are such a good treat food for saltwater fish that many people who keep marine tanks will actually culture their own bloodworms so they have a constant supply on hand.

The majority of carnivore and omnivore fish species on the saltwater side of the hobby will at least try bloodworms but some individual fish don’t seem to like the taste.

For example, say you have a pair of clownfish in one of your tanks that are the same age and species.

One of your clownfish may love eating bloodworms where as the other may not touch them.

This is a very common thing that we have seen people report seeing in their own fish time and time again.

At least trying to offer your saltwater fish bloodworm can be worth it as bloodworm as a cheap, widely available treat food option that you can often use for your saltwater fish as a treat food for them if your fish like the taste of the bloodworms.

Are Bloodworms Good For Saltwater Fish?

As we have already briefly mentioned, bloodworms are an excellent treat food for saltwater fish and they can offer a lot of benefits to your fish.

The main benefit that bloodworms offer to both freshwater and saltwater fish is the high protein content that they contain.

This makes them perfect as a treat food for carnivorous and omnivorous fish who require a diet that is high in protein.

Another benefit of bloodworms for saltwater fish is that they can help to train your fish to accept frozen foods if you are looking to wean your fish off of live foods.

This is because most bloodworms that you buy will be frozen so getting your saltwater fish used to eating frozen foods can be very beneficial for you in the long run.

One thing to remember is that bloodworms should not be used as a staple diet for your saltwater fish.

This is because bloodworms do not contain all of the nutrients and vitamins that your saltwater fish need to stay healthy.

They should only ever be fed to your saltwater fish as a treat food and not as a main source of nutrition for them.

This is something that a lot of beginner fish keepers do not realize and it can often lead to health problems for their fish down the road.

Just remember, depending on the type of bloodworms you get, they can be surprisingly deficient in many essential nutrients that your fish require.

How Do You Give Bloodworms To Saltwater Fish?

The way you actually give your bloodworms to your saltwater fish will depend on the type of bloodworm that you are offering them as the three different types of bloodworm may need to be offered to your fish in a different way.


Frozen bloodworms are arguably the best option for your fish as they usually hold the highest nutritional value due to the bloodworms being frozen right out of their commercial culture tanks.

You have to remember to fully defrost the frozen bloodworm cubes that you get when you purchase the product prior to adding it to your saltwater tank.

We would always recommend that you just leave your frozen bloodworm cube at room temperature to slowly defrost rather than try to speed up the defrosting process.

Letting the frozen bloodworm cube slowly defrost will usually maintain the most nutritional value rather than trying to heat the frozen bloodworm up and then once the cube has defrosted, you can add it to your saltwater tank.

Freeze Dried

Freeze dried bloodworms are usually considered the second best option when it comes to the nutritional value in the bloodworms.

This is due to the bloodworms being freeze dried quickly, often right out of their commercial culture tanks.

Unlike freezing bloodworms, the freeze drying process does use up some of the potential nutrients in the bloodworm though so they are usually less nutritional than the frozen option.

You can usually just add the freeze dried bloodworm to your tank to feed your saltwater fish with minimal preparation being required.

Just remember that freeze dried bloodworm will usually float for a long time so they usually end up being eaten by fish that live at the top and middle layers of your tank.

If you do have a saltwater tank with lots of bottom dwellers then frozen or live bloodworm will probably be a better option for you.


There are two types of live bloodworm, shipped bloodworm and cultured bloodworm.

Although many people think that they are the same because the bloodworm are alive when you add them to your tank, the actual nutritional differences are very different.

We usually recommend against using shipped bloodworm due to so much of the nutritional value of the bloodworm being used up by the bloodworm just to live for the day or two while being shipped out to you.

This is surprisingly common and even if the shipped bloodworm have a food source in their packaging when shipped out to you, it is rare that the bloodworm will eat it at a rate where they are able to maintain their nutritional value for your fish.

Cultured live bloodworm can be an excellent option and they are becoming increasingly popular for people within the fish keeping hobby.

This method involves getting a culture kit and actually farming your own bloodworms.

There are a number of different culture kit options out there these days with most of them being cheap but letting your farm bloodworm in different ways.

Some of these kits allow you to instantly add the bloodworm to your saltwater tank for your fish to eat where as others may need you to strain your bloodworm to remove the water that they live in prior to adding them to your tank.

Always check the instructions for your specific culture system prior to adding the bloodworms to your saltwater tank.