Can Betta Fish Eat Earthworms? (The Preparation Is the Key!)

Earthworms are probably the most widespread species of worms. So this is why you’re probably wondering:

Can betta fish eat earthworms? Yes, betta fish can eat earthworms. They are a common part of the diet of bettas that live in the wild. No wonders, earthworms are a great source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. But, you need to be careful how you prepare them for your aquarium betta fish.

To learn how to prepare earthworms for your betta fish properly, continue reading.

Can Betta Fish Eat Earthworms

Can I Feed My Betta Fish Earthworms?

You can feed earthworms to your betta fish. Bettas (Siamese fighting fish) are carnivores in the end.

Earthworms are quite nutritious. Besides being high in protein, they also contain a lot of minerals and vitamins. In fact, these worms are packed with almost everything a betta fish needs to survive and do well.

In terms of minerals and vitamins, earthworms are also high in iron and amino acids. But they also contain manganese, copper, and zinc.

However, you need to make sure to clean and prepare the earthworms for your betta fish properly. We will talk about this in the following lines.

How to Clean Earthworms for Fish?

Earthworms are especially dirty. They are usually coated with dirt and other particles of dirt. If you want your betta fish to consume these worms safely, you need to clean them thoroughly for your fish first.

It should be enough to simply wash the earthworms in the water a few times, rinse off all the dirt and lightly grub them if necessary. You can see how to do it in the following video:

Anyway, if you are not sure about the origin of the earthworms or want to be 100% sure that nothing will happen to your betta fish, there are also more complicated cleaning methods.

To make sure that earthworms are perfectly clean, put them into dechlorinated water and rinse them 3 to 4 times a day, making sure they’re perfectly clean. Then, put them in the fridge overnight and check if the water is still clean the next morning. If so, the earthworms are ready to feed your betta fish. If not, repeat the process.

Another method you can use to ensure that your earthworms are 100% clean is to remove their top layer of skin. You can achieve that by squeezing the earthworms with your fingers or by using a scraping tool.

Author Note: These are extreme processes that, in most cases, are not needed at all. Usually, it is enough to rinse the earthworms a few times and get rid of all dirt, as shown in the video above.

How to Feed Betta Fish Earthworms?

There are three main steps you should follow when you want to feed earthworms to your betta:

1) Clean Earthworms

I’ve discussed the cleaning of earthworms in the previous paragraphs, but in short, we usually just wash them underwater a few times to clean the dirt off.

2) Make Them Into Small Pieces

For your betta to comfortably eat earthworms, they should be in small pieces. The best tool I have found for this purpose is a very ordinary pair of scissors.

Cut into a clump of earthworms until you have pieces of the desired size. It is then a good idea to rinse the whole mixture under water to remove any remaining dirt.

3) Putting in the Aquarium and Cleaning

Then simply put the appropriate amount of earthworms in the aquarium and let the betta fish eat. The rest of the earthworms that the betta does not eat within about two minutes should be removed. This will prevent ammonia spikes in your fish tank and, therefore, various diseases.

How Many Earthworms Can Betta Eat?

Betta fish should eat only so many earthworms they can eat in two minutes window. Any debris should then be removed from the aquarium to avoid ammonia spikes.

As for how often to give earthworms to your betta fish, it is recommended that it should not be more than once or twice a week.

Author Note: Although earthworms are a great source of nutrients, a varied diet is the most important. So please don’t overdo it with earthworms for your betta.

What Other Insects Can Betta Fish Eat?

There is a bunch of other insects you can feed to your betta. Some of them are:

And many more. Just try to avoid insect that is brightly colored.

Where to Get Earthworms for Your Betta?

It’s as simple as going out to your backyard.

Bury your hand a few inches into the soil, and start digging.  Earthworms are usually close to the surface, especially after it rains. 

If you can’t find any around your home, check out pet stores or bait shops. Places that sell worms for fishing should always have some earthworms available for sale.

You can also keep your own earthworms to have something as a treat for your betta. When you breed your own earthworms, they’re also pretty cheap, and you can be sure of their quality.


Bettas can eat earthworms, no doubts. Earthworms are a good source of protein and different minerals and vitamins.

However, you should pay attention to the preparation. First, you need to clean the earthworms and cut them into small enough pieces.

Then you need to make sure to remove any leftovers your betta doesn’t eat within two minutes after you put earthworms into the fish tank.

And most importantly, keep your betta’s diet varied. Limit earthworms to once or twice a week. And that’s it! Now you’re ready to feed your betta fish with earthworms.


Image credits – Canva

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