How to Culture Bloodworms

Updated February 21, 2017

Bloodworms are the larval form of midges, part of the Chironomus species. When full grown, the midge looks like the mosquito, but does not bite. Bloodworms live in swamps, lakes and pools in the wild. If you keep fish as pets, growing bloodworms is a cheap way to provide the fish in your aquarium with a snack loaded with protein. Bloodworms get their name from their red colouration.

Fill the aquarium with de-chlorinated tap water. Install a pump to aerate the water, as bloodworms need aerated water to grow. Change out the water after four to six weeks.

Search nearby ponds or lakes for bloodworm eggs to harvest. They float just below the surface on sticks or grass and look like globs of mucus with spots on it. Bring these home and add to your tank as soon as possible.

Pick up some leaves or vegetation floating in the pond. Add that to the aquarium along with the eggs. Allow the eggs a few days to hatch. The bloodworms will then form tubes that they hide in.

Feed your bloodworm larvae chicken manure, once the eggs hatch. Sprinkle a small amount of manure in the water every two to six days. Feed any small amounts as overfeeding kills the bloodworms.

Harvest your bloodworms at night. They do not like daylight and hide out in their tubes when the sun is out. At night, they come out and feed. Once mature, bloodworms are often about 1 inch long.


To catch the bloodworms, turn off the pump. They will come out of their tubes once the aeration is cut off.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium
  • Water
  • Pump
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.