Can Betta Fish Eat Mealworms?

Do you have a betta fish and are wondering what to feed it? You may already be feeding them flakes or pellets but are now thinking about treating them to some live foods. Well, wonder no more!

Here we will discuss the benefits of feeding your betta fish mealworms.

They are an excellent food for your bettas as mealworms are a good source of protein, and they are easy to digest.

We will also provide tips on how to feed betta fish mealworms and the other types of food they can eat. So, read on to learn all about it!

Can Betta Fish Eat Mealworms

The quick answer to this question is yes; you can feed betta fish mealworms.

Both live and dried mealworms give them a tasty meal full of proteins and fats, which their digestive system can easily handle.

While your Siamese fighting fish can eat mealworms, there are a few things you should know before you drop them into your fish tank.

You want to feed your betta the right way to ensure they don’t struggle to eat and aren’t overfed.

What Do Bettas Eat In the Wild?

Two Betta Fish in picture that makes people wonder if can betta fish eat mealworms

One of the main questions people have is what do betta fish eat in their natural habitat?

These tropical fish are carnivores in the wild, and they primarily eat small insects and larvae. This gives them the essential nutrients they need for a balanced diet.

However, in captivity, their diet can be slightly different as those beautiful creatures you buy from pet stores don’t need to fight for their meals.

Many betta fish owners choose to feed their fish pellets or flakes as their primary food source.

But, you can also supplement their diet with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and, yes – mealworms!

Why Mealworms Are Great for Bettas

Mealworms are an excellent source of protein for your betta fish. They are also easy to digest, which is important for your fish’s health.

When feeding mealworms to your betta, it is essential to avoid overfeeding them. A good rule of thumb is to feed them only as much as they can eat in two minutes.

This is why most fish keepers will give them different foods rather than just one type.

With the fat content of mealworms, it’s very easy to overfeed. If they don’t eat all of their food, you risk ammonia spikes if rotting worms are left in your tank.

It’s worth noting that mealworms have an exoskeleton that acts as tough skin.

This is why you need to get mealworms at an appropriate size. For small betta, baby mealworms are necessary so they can digest them easily.

For full-sized betta, you can feed them mealworms that are a little bigger. It’s always important to match your food to the size of your fish.

Live Mealworms or Dried Mealworms?

There are two options for feeding your betta fish dried mealworms or live mealworms.

Both are great options, so don’t worry if your fish eat dried mealworms.

These freeze-dried mealworms are easier to keep and better for those who may be a little squeamish about handling live worms.

While freeze-drying these creatures is fine, there are some advantages to live worms, as you can gut load them.

This means you can feed your worms nutritious food such as fruit before feeding your betta.

This allows you to transfer that nutrition from the worm into your better for an even better meal. It’s something that you can’t do with freeze-dried food.

The bottom line is whether they are alive or freeze-dried, betta fish love eating worms.

How To Feed Mealworms to Bettas

To start, drop a few mealworms into the tank and see if your betta fish is interested in eating them.

If they are, then you can start feeding them on a regular basis. If not, don’t worry; there are plenty of other food options out there for your fish!

A problem that some fish keepers have is that large mealworms can be difficult to eat for smaller fish.

Keep the size in mind, as live mealworms can sometimes be too big for any little betta.

You also want to avoid the risk of too much dead food being lost in your betta tank, as rotting food can quickly ruin your water quality.

To counter this, you can try feeding them to your betta fish using feeding tongs. This can take a bit of practice, but you’ll have no wasted food.

Best Live Food for Bettas

Now you know that betta fish eat mealworms. With that knowledge, you may also be wondering what other live foods they can eat?

Thankfully you’re going to have plenty of options for your beautiful aquarium fish.

Tubifex Worms

These worms are another perfect food for betta fish. These often come in cubes which are easy to use as you can drop a whole cube into the tank with your bettas.

These creatures can often carry diseases, and although you can feed them live, many prefer giving their bettas the dried version.

Blood Worms

Mealworms and tubifex worms aren’t the only species betta fish will eat, as they also love to eat bloodworms too.

Like mealworms, bloodworms are perfect for bettas. You can feed bloodworms the same way as mealworms, as both are available live or frozen.

Brine Shrimp

Brine shrimp is another brilliant way to keep your betta healthy for those who want their betta fish to have a varied diet.

Some may find them not as squeamish to deal with as the likes of bloodworms.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies and other insects may seem like a curious choice for fish but are a great source of fresh food and are often what bettas will eat in the wild. Add a few to the water’s surface, and they’ll soon get eaten.

Mosquito Larvae

Mosquitoes at the larval stage can become a healthy part of their daily diet.

As with fruit flies, mosquito larvae are often what bettas will eat in the wild. There are a few different types available, but they all work well as delicious betta food.


Commonly called water fleas, daphnia is a common source of food for a wild betta.

They promote a healthy digestion system for your fish and can be an easy way to keep their diet varied.


Can I feed mealworms to my fish?

Absolutely! Mealworms are a nutritious food but are used best as a tasty treat, and you should get a size that is appropriate for your betta fish.

What insects can I feed my betta?

Many insects are appropriate for your bettas, such as fruit flies, ants, and aphids.

Can we feed dry worms to betta fish?

Betta fish love both live and dried mealworms, so the one you use is down to personal preference.

What live food do bettas eat?

Bettas are carnivores that eat a lot of living creatures such as small insects, fleas, and larvae.

Final Thoughts

Mealworms are a great food source of nutrition for your betta fish, and they are easy to digest.

Feeding them to your fish regularly can provide many benefits for their health.

So, if you’re looking for a way to supplement your betta’s diet, consider giving mealworms a try! Your fish will thank you for it.

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Kelly Stanley