Can Betta Fish Eat Mealworms? (The Preparation Is Crucial!)

It is known that betta fish can eat bloodworms. But what about a slightly different kind of worm, mealworms?

Can betta fish eat mealworms? Yes, betta fish can eat mealworms. Anyway, it’s a little more complicated than that. Mealworms have hard skin or are too big to feed, so you need to prepare them for your betta fish. But when you prepare them, they are nutritious. You just have to not overdo it with them.

Let’s talk more about how many mealworms to give your betta fish (or should I say Siamese fighting fish?), how often, and much more.

Can Betta Fish Eat Mealworms

Can You Feed Betta Fish Mealworms?

Yes, you can feed betta fish mealworms. Betta fish are carnivorous and will eat most of the worms in their natural habitat (or in a fish tank, it doesn’t matter). Mealworms are no different.

The only problem that can arise is that mealworms have tough skin, and some are too big for your betta to eat.

This is why proper selection and preparation are crucial. Or you can use mealworm babies or larvae, which usually do not have such hard skin.

Mealworms are also rich in nutrients, so they are a great source of complete nutrition for your betta. In addition, mealworms are among the best protein sources (50% of their weight is pure, high-quality protein.) and lipids.

About 28% of their weight is fat. Mealworms are also a great source of minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin B12. In fact, mealworms are a better source of these minerals than conventional meat such as chicken, beef, pork, etc.

Mealworms are also rich in fatty acids, which are beneficial for your fish because they help reduce inflammation in the body and keep your betta healthy.

Well, no wonder they’re also called the food of the future.

Can Betta Fish Eat Dried Mealworms?

Yes, you can feed your betta fish with dried mealworms. Dried mealworms are not as attractive to your betta and do not have as many nutrients, but they are still a great food supplement.

You just have to use the same method for preparing them that you would when feeding live mealworms to your fish. That is, crush them into smaller pieces and mix with a little bit of water to make them expand.

The most popular method to dry mealworms is freeze-drying. Dried and freeze-dried mealworms have a significant advantage. They last longer than live mealworms. This is because they have low moisture.

Can Betta Fish Eat Mealworm Larvae?

Yes, betta fish can eat mealworm larvae too. Mealworm larvae are even higher in protein and other minerals than mealworms, making them an excellent food for your betta fish.

Another advantage of mealworm larvae is that they have softer skin and are usually slightly smaller, so they will be easier for your betta fish to eat.

So don’t worry and if you have mealworm larvae available, feel free to give them to your betta.

How to Feed Betta Fish Mealworms?

You don’t have to do much to feed your betta fish with mealworms. You just have to crush or chop them into smaller pieces so your betta fish can eat them.

Also, keep the live mealworms in your fridge. Otherwise, they will evolve into mealworm beetle, which you don’t want. But even when you keep them in your fridge, they won’t last long. So make sure to buy only a few of them at once.

Regarding dried mealworms, you need to soak them into the water. First, they need to soak the water to expand to their original size. Then you can feed them to your betta (after you make sure the pieces aren’t too big!). If you don’t do so, your betta’s belly can bloat, and your betta might have serious health problems.

So, make sure the pieces are small enough for your betta! Not like the guy in the following video:

How Many Mealworms Can Betta Eat?

How much and how often should you feed your betta fish with mealworms? You should never overdo it. This is true for any food.

It’s hard to tell the exact number or portion size because every betta is different (age, size, gender, etc.), but the rule of thumb is not to give your betta fish more mealworms than it can eat in two minutes.

Any leftovers that your betta fish doesn’t eat in this two minutes window should be removed from the aquarium to avoid ammonia spikes (which can cause serious health troubles to your fish).

Regarding how often you should feed mealworms to your betta fish, you should only give your betta a small portion of mealworms once or twice per week.

Author Note: Mealworms are an excellent treat for your betta fish, but don’t overdo it. The most important thing is a varied, balanced diet.

What Other Insects Can Betta Fish Eat?

Wondering what other insects your betta might eat? You can take inspiration from the following list:

And more.

Where to Get Mealworms?

Where to get mealworms? Well, you can get them from any pet store. Ask your pet food store if they sell frozen, freeze-dried mealworms or live mealworms. Most of them do.

If not, then you can get mealworms online. But you should always choose the best quality ones.

You can also keep your own mealworms. It’s relatively easy and cheap to keep your own mealworm colony. If you want to raise your own, start with a local source of mealworms – from a pet shop, farm supply store, or mail-order supplier.

This way, you can have constant access to fresh mealworms for your betta fish.


Betta fish can eat mealworms, but they have to be chopped or crushed into smaller pieces.

You should never give your betta more mealworms than it can eat in two minutes. Also, don’t give mealworms to your betta more than once or twice per week.

The most important rule is that there should be a variety of different foods in betta’s diet.

I hope you enjoyed this article about how to feed mealworms to your betta fish!


Image credits – Canva

[1] Larvae of mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) as European novel food

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