The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Bloodworms

In Aquarium Fish by

In this guide we will talk about what a is a bloodworm, the types of blood worms, where they are from, dieting, uses for them, whether they have teeth, breeding bloodworms, the life cycle of bloodworms, and some bloodworm facts. If these sound interesting to you read some more articles we have for you on our blog.

What is a Bloodworm

Bloodworms can have almost see-through bodies with a very distinctive red coloration. It’s as if you can see the blood pumping from the heart to heart in their bodies. Bloodworms can be found in many different parts of the world. Many can be found from the sea to the land it all depends on the type.

Types Of Blood Worm

There are two main types of bloodworms. One is sought after for fish in aquariums and some are sought after for fish in waterways the type is very distinguishable as one type will end its life cycle as a fly and the other will end its life cycle as a worm. Read More to find out which is one is used for what.

Glycera Bloodworm

The Glycera is commonly known as the original bloodworm. They have received the name on account of you can see their blood pumping through their skin. These types of bloodworms can be found at the bottom of Shallow Marine Waters. 35 centimeters

Red Larvae Midge Flies

The Red Larvae of the midge fly is a bright red color. They emit bright red coloration due to the hemoglobin chemical in their bodies that allow them to live in areas with poor oxygenated water supply. The color is also attributed to the red iron protein found in their blood and tissue.

These larvae have such an incredible will to live that they can survive in heavily polluted water.

Bloodworm Environment

Both of the bloodworms are similar in color but other than that they are total opposites. Then again I have heard opposites attract.

Glycera Bloodworm Environment

Glycera Bloodworms can be found in marine waters. They are primarily found in pools of water and very watery areas with a low volume of seawater. They wouldn’t be found in saltwater in fact if they were put in freshwater then they would perish.

Red Larvae Midge Fly Environment

Red Midge Fly Larvae can be found in most freshwater places. Ponds, lakes, marshes, streams are all perfect places to find them. They would be found in places around your house similar to places mosquitos would lay their young.

Bloodworm Diet

Bloodworms eat a vast array of food items. It all depends on exactly what type of bloodworm you are talking about. Just like we talked about before they are polar opposites.

Glycera Bloodworm Diet

Glycera Bloodworms are carnivorous so they feed on meat. They prey on other worms, snails, slugs, bugs. They use their 4 sharp pronged teeth to impale their victim protruding their large proboscis and inflicting poisonous damage. They then drink their pray up like a warm cup of coffee on a cold day.

Red Larvae Midge Fly Diet

Red Larvae Midge Fly plays an important role in our ecosystem. It’s because of them that we have detritus recycled back into the ecosystem. The chemical energy detritus is consumed when the red larvae consume dead decomposing plant and animal matter. Having these little guys do wonders for the fish in our rivers, ponds, and streams but they still aren’t welcomed in my backyard.

Do Bloodworm Have Teeth

It all boils down to exactly which bloodworm you are talking about. The herbivore or the carnivore?

Yes, Glycera Bloodworms do have teeth. They use them to impale their victims with but not for grinding their food as we use ours for.

No, Red Larvae do not have teeth. They use a chemical produced by the dead plant and animal matter.

Do Bloodworms Bite

Yes They Sure Can

Yes, but only the Glycera Bloodworms not the Red Larvae. Their bite is powerful enough to hurt us humans however it’s not as terrifying as you might think. The sting would be compared to that of a bee sting. But, I still do not want to feel them so I will let the bloodworms do their own thing.

Bloodworms What Are They Used For

Bloodworms are used from fishing in the seas around the world to fishing in freshwater ponds and streams inland. Red Larvae can be used for composting but just don’t. They are primarily used for feeding aquarium fish. The Bloodworms are rich in protein which is perfect for fish.

Glycera Bloodworms on the other hand are used for fishing big fish in the marine waters. The Bloodworms are the fish’s favorite food which is why they are highly sought after and fetch a pretty penny to saltwater fishermen.

How Much Do Blood Worms Cost And How Much could You Make For Them

Salt Water Glycera bloodworms can go for $4 – $5 for a dozen. It is a pretty penny when you consider sometimes people catch a good 1000 a day to sell. Those 1000 worms can retail for $373.50 a day (1000 / 12) * ($4.50). roughly $10,000 a month in a good month.

You can purchase Red Larvae Midge Fly from anywhere from $4 a can to a large tub for $40. I think personally you should stick to the brine shrimp.

Where Can You Find Bloodworms

We mentioned before that you can find bloodworms in marine waters. So pretty much anywhere along the coast. They aren’t something I would try to find though if you are considering them for your aquarium you may wanna stick to Brine Shrimp for protein or smaller fish you breed yourself.

Can You Use Bloodworms For Fish

Yes, although I would stick to feeding the Midge Fly Larvae to save some hassle unless your fish are larger then it would most likely be okay. Talk with your local veterinarian to determine if you should for your type of fish first though.

How To Portion Your Bloodworms

Here is a video that will help you with portioning for your bloodworms. Sometimes it’s best to consume content through video and we get that which is why in our posts we list many different videos to help you understand better. If you get some good value out of these posts do share it helps other fish enthusiasts.

Can You Breed Bloodworms

Yes, you sure can. Fish breeders use them as a very cost-effective way to feed their fish. That is one of the main reasons why we decided to talk about bloodworms in this article but to also shed light on the 2 main differences between the Red Larvae of the Midge Fly and The Glycera Bloodworm.

Steps To Home Bred Midge Fly Bloodworm Larvae

The First Step is to find your eggs. You can source them online or you can find them in your backyard. Pretty much any body of water will work. But, if you are limited on space you can store your larvae in a regular food grade bucket.

If you are going to use a bucket make sure you have a mesh cover to make sure the Flies do not escape.

The next step is of course your food supply. They are herbivores so you can feed them rotting dead plant matter or anything you would like to supplement it with. You can use a mix of 50/50 soybean powder and yeast.

If you are going to use dead plant matter we recommend using dried leaves, and leftover vegetable scraps from your house. Blend the mixture together and make sure the concoction is a good really loose mixture for the substrate that way when it’s time to remove the larvae it will make the process much much easier for you.

After you add the food just add dechlorinated water and there you go you are all set up.

Bloodworm Life Cycle

  1. Egg Mass
  2. 1st Instar
  3. 2nd Instar
  4. 3rd Instar
  5. 4th Instar
  6. Pupa
  7. Adult

Blood Worm Facts

  1. If you are in search of these blood worms take caution that they have some seriously uncool neighbors. They share their muddy homes with even bigger sandworms and tapeworms.
  2. When blood worms are going to mate they have one shot at making babies. As soon as they release their “seed” they perish. Doesn’t sound like too bad of a life.
  3. Those 4 prongs that we were talking about earlier are actually metal. Their teeth are copper.
  4. Regeneration is pretty common among worms but is still a cool fact. They can regrow half their body!
  5. The Bloodworm is actually the inspiration for some pretty cool scary pieces of art.

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