How To Process LIVE Feeds For Aquarium Fishes

If you want to grow healthy and beautiful fish, this food should be basic in the diet of your aquarium pets.

The main advantage of live food is a sufficient amount of easily digestible proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The disadvantages of such food are the risk of introducing toxins, infection, and parasites into the aquarium.

Live food for aquarium fish is a mixture of small invertebrates.

Therefore, there are several rules on how to properly process such feeds.


The Bloodworms are mosquito larvae that have saturated red color and their size varies from 5 to 25 mm in length. Bloodworms are found in freshwater bodies with stagnant water, the diet is dead organics.

Do not confuse the lake and river (small) bloodworms, which are the larvae of different mosquitoes.

The nutritional value of this live food is high because it contains more than 50% protein. But before you catch or buy it, you need to consider several recommendations.

The glossy, saturated red color of the worms is a sign of their maturity and nutritional value. The light bloodworm is a young, or unhealthy worm.

Dark-colored bloodworms are old worms that cannot be stored for long and risk poisoning your fish.

All worms should visually look the same in color and size. If the difference is obvious, then the bloodworm was caught in the estuary, where alternately the water is brackish or fresh.

In such worms, the chitin cover is dense, their nutritional value is low due to the high content of harmful substances.

If you bought a bloodworm from a trusted seller, clean those worms in running water at home, draining all the dirt and removing dead worms from the group. Then put the larvae in a damp cloth and a shallow dish, refrigerate. Larvae should be washed twice a day.


Glassworm is a colorless mosquito larva. Finding it on store shelves is more difficult than bloodworms. It is characterized by their safety as unlike bloodworms since it floats on the surface of the water surface.

Suitable for feeding fish swimming in the upper layers. It is dangerous for fry, fish larvae; by its nature, the Glassworm is a predator.

The Glassworm contains 40% protein. Fresh Glassworm has its characteristic smell, it is mobile and shiny, transparent. Store in a damp cloth and refrigerator, periodically rinsing in water.

Tubifex Worms

The tubifex is a ringed small worm.

Natural habitat – the bottom of dirty reservoirs, sewage.
Diet – dead organics.

The tubifex worm is a nutritious feed, it has a lot of proteins and fats. Vitamin complexes can be added to the tubifex. A week after its collection, it can be soaked in vitamin concentrate (A, E, B1) in the proportions of 250 mg of vitamin per 100 grams of the weight of the worms.

A tubifex can introduce harmful microorganisms, viruses, parasites, protozoa, toxic substances that can affect your fish’s health into the water. Continuous feeding of these worms to your pets is not recommended due to a large amount of fat. This is a risk of digestive diseases.

You can secure this live feed with your own hands. To do this, take a shallow container, pour clean water into it so that it completely covers the worms.

Rinse the worms twice a day under running water, disassembling the lumps with a stream, gradually draining dirty water, eliminating dead worms.

Before the tubifex is fed, it must be kept for one week so that its intestines are cleansed of toxins.

Daphnia AKA Common Water Fleas

The Daphnia is a freshwater crustacean that can be found in all freshwater reservoirs, especially with flowing water and in warm weather.

Diet of Daphnia – algae, bacteria, other microorganisms.

Common water fleas are an excellent live food for fish and their fry. It contains 50% protein, vitamins, and other vital nutrition for your fish. You can also find these crustaceans in a clean pond.

But there is also a risk of introducing infection and parasites into the water. After collecting daphnia in nature, they should be stored in a jar of water in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Artemia AKA Brine Shrimps

Artemia is small crustaceans that are found in bodies of water with brackish water. To feed aquarium fish, they often use small larvae (nauplii) of brine shrimp.

The crustaceans are easy to grow at home. Choose a small container with salted water and a compressor.

Do-it-yourself brine shrimp are safe for fish health

Live feeds like Bloodworms, Glassworms, tubifex, are not characterized by safety. Before serving them to your fish, such food should be properly processed.

What are some ways to disinfect? An effective method is an ozonation, but not everyone can make an apparatus for the procedure.

Available processing technologies for the above feeds:

  • The use of the drug “Ichthyophore” in a proportion of 50 drops per 100 ml. Soak in the product for half an hour.
  • Methylene blue – 30-40 drops per 100 ml of water, moisten in the solution for 10-15 minutes.
  • A solution of potassium permanganate is light pink.
  • Metronidazole – 2 tablets per 10 liters of water.