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What Fish Eat Mealworms? Facts & FAQs

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By Lindsey Stanton

mealworms as fish food

You have probably heard of mealworms before, or maybe not, but after today, you surely will have. You may have heard of people feeding mealworms to fish, which is what we are here to talk about today.

Your fish need to eat good food, and mealworms might just be one of the best foods to feed them. Today we are looking at what fish eat mealworms and some other general feeding questions when it comes to mealworms. So, when it comes to the question of which fish eat mealworms, the answer is more or less all of them

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What Are Mealworms?

Mealworms are in fact little insects. They are actually the larval stage of the mealworm beetle, a big, black, and nasty-looking beetle. The beetles lay their eggs, which hatch as little worms. After the pupal stage, they eventually turn into beetles. Many people actually feed their fish mealworms as they are very rich in protein and many other nutrients too. Generally speaking, pretty much all fish out there can eat mealworms.

Mealworms are safe to eat, they are rich in nutrients, and they make for a tasty snack no doubt. More or less, as long as the fish in question is big enough, it can eat mealworms. Baby mealworms that are freshly hatched can be fed to guppies and other small fish.

Larger mealworms, the adults that are getting ready to go into the pupal stage to turn into the mealworm beetles, can be fed to larger fish. As long as a whole mealworm can fit into the fish’s mouth, it can eat them.

lots of mealworms
Image Credit: Pixabay

Can Fish Eat Dried Mealworms?

Yes, fish can definitely eat dried mealworms. Dried mealworms are not quite as tasty or nutritious as the live option, but fish will probably still appreciate the tasty and protein-rich snack. In fact, freeze-drying mealworms is a popular alternative to keeping them alive. Freeze drying these nasty little bugs helps to extend their shelf life, but there is more to it than that.

Insects can harbor parasites and disease, so if the mealworms are alive, they might pose a risk to certain fish. However, the freeze-drying process will kill parasites and bacteria. Therefore, freeze-dried mealworms are actually safer to feed to your fish than the live option.

Image credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Can Goldfish Eat Mealworms?

Once again, yes, goldfish can eat mealworms. This should really not be a problem. Small goldfish might have problems eating large mealworms due to the size, but generally speaking, this should not be a problem.

Goldfish seem to love mealworms, especially as an occasional treat. Now, goldfish are not totally carnivorous and they need both plant and animal-based foods. So, while goldfish can eat mealworms, you should not feed them too many mealworms (more info on goldfish feeding here).

Image Credit: Jerawat Supajirakit, Shutterstock

Can Pond Fish Eat Mealworms?

Yes, pond fish like Koi and large goldfish can definitely eat mealworms too. Koi fish are more than large enough to consume them. Look up a video of somebody feeding a pond full of Koi some live or dried mealworms and you will see just how much they love the tasty treat. We have covered our top 10 food picks for Koi.

Keep in mind that mealworms do have a bit of a hard shell and they can be a bit taxing on the digestive system. So, you should not feed mealworms to pond fish all too often, but once every now and again is fine.

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Final Thoughts

Sure, in the wild, not all fish can get their mouths on mealworms, but if you feed your fish these little bugs in an aquarium, as long as the fish is big enough, it will eat them.

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Featured Image Credit: Ivabalk, Pixabay

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