Can Betta Fish Eat Worms?

Your betta fish can in fact eat several different types of worms. Depending on the type of worms, they may require a bit of preparation before feeding.

While betta fish are often described as the “perfect” fish to get an aquarium started with, a lot of new owners are surprised to learn that these fish can be a little picky when it comes time to eat.

Yes, you are reading that correctly!

Betta fish might gobble up everything you add to the tank the first few times you go to feed them. But it won’t take too long for these fish to get a little finicky, little picky, and pretty particular about what they want to eat.

This leads a lot of new betta fish owners to hunt down the perfect food for these beautiful and brilliant fish. And that’s a whole another rabbit hole to fall down, with tons and tons of different options to pick and choose from.

At the end of the day, though, lots of folks want to know if they can feed their betta fish worms – earthworms, even – and that’s what we are here to help you out with.

Black and Orange Betta

Can Betta Fish Eat Worms?

Worms are a fantastic source of protein and a real treat for pretty much every fish swimming in freshwater, but they are also a little bit on the “chunkier” side of things when you are thinking about feeding them to smaller fish like a betta.

Luckily, though, with just a little bit of preparation (we give you tips for that in just a moment) you can reliably and consistently feed your betta fish worms without any worry at all.

Think about that – you can go out in the backyard, root around in the soil a little bit, and come up with a week’s worth of food in no time at all. Without spending a penny of your hard-earned money, either!

On top of that, betta fish can eat all different kinds of worms – not just earthworms.

That can be a game changer when you’re looking to diversify the kinds of foods you give your fish, especially if you have multiple types of worms in your backyard or available for sale at your local pet supply store.

Prepping Worms for Bettas is Key

As highlighted a moment ago, the real trick to feeding earthworms to your betta fish is making sure that they have been prepared correctly.

No, we’re not talking about sautéing these earthworms in a little bit of butter with some garlic.

We are talking about cleaning them, breaking them down into bite sized chunks, and making sure that just the right amount of them get added to the tank for your betta to enjoy without getting overstuffed.

The very first thing you’re going to want to do when you hope to feed earthworms to your betta fish is clean them as best you can.

To the surprise of no one, earthworms are pretty dirty – but then again, they live in the dirt.

All of that needs to be cleaned off.

Simply add your worms to not Tupperware, rinse them with a little bit of warm water (gently), and swirl them around until that surface dirt, gunk, and grime is released. This guarantees that your fish eats nothing but worms and isn’t potentially contaminated by anything hitchhiking on the back of its food!

The next thing you’ll want to do is dice those earthworms up into tiny little chunks.

You can use a paring knife, a chef’s knife, or even just a good old-fashioned pair of scissors to snip and slice earthworms into little pebble sized bits. Try and get these chunks as small as you can (without making them microscopic) and you’ll be rocking and rolling.

All that’s really left to do now is to add bits of earthworm to the tank when your betta fish is ready-to-eat. Add these bets relatively slowly (just a few at a time), giving your fish an opportunity to gobble them up before the heavier chunks inevitably settle down near the bottom of the tank.

This might take a little longer to feed your fish than it would have if you were using flakes. But the nutrition is off the charts and well worth the extra effort.

Of course, it’s important to make sure that you don’t overfeed your fish too much. Give them just as much earthworm as they can eat in about a two minute span of time and then wait until the next feeding session to give them more.

Other Healthy Food Options for Bettas

Earthworms aren’t the only insects that your betta fish can eat, either.


Blood worms are a bit of a delicacy in the fish food world, if only because fish absolutely love them – but you have to be careful not to go overboard.

These kinds of worms are very high in fat, very high in iron, and absolutely loaded with protein. This makes them very rich and can throw the daily nutrition off for your fish in a hurry.

Add them to the tank once or twice a week and you’ll be good to go.


Mealworms are another protein packed food for your betta fish and super easily available at pretty much every pet food and pet supply operation in the country.

Just like earthworms, though, you want to make sure that you break these down into tiny chunks for your fish to enjoy. You don’t have to break them down quite as much as chunky earthworms, though – just a few snips or slices per worm makes them easier to eat.


These little underwater creatures look a lot like tiny freshwater shrimp – and they may as well be in the eyes of your betta fish!

If you are going to feed these to your fish, though, it’s important that you raise your own culture in the tank itself. Wild variance can be pretty toxic, not only to the fish that eat them but to the rest of the tank life as well.

Mosquito Larvae

Lastly, mosquito larva are a prime food source for your favorite betta fish and a food source that they eat pretty regularly when they are out in the wild.

The important thing to remember here is that mosquito larva are going to float on the surface of your tank. If your betta fish stops eating them it’s important to scoop them out, clean the water, and remove them before the next feeding session.

You don’t want a lot of larva gumming things up on you.