What Do Bumblebee Catfish Eat? (4 of The Best Foods)

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If you’re looking for a low-maintenance fish to add to your freshwater tank, consider a bumblebee catfish! Bumblebee catfish are hardy fish that make a great choice for both experienced and first-time fish owners.

Before bringing home a bumblebee catfish, you’ll need to do some research on their care. Specifically, you should know the types of foods bumblebee catfish eat and how to feed them.

Generally, bumblebee catfish enjoy a variety of foods including:

  • Plant matter
  • Worms
  • Insects
  • Larvae
  • Fish pellets

To learn more about feeding your bumblebee catfish, read on!

Bumblebee Catfish Care:

Bumblebee catfish are simple freshwater fish that spend their days snacking along the bottom of your fish tank. They grow between three and six inches in length and can live for around five years with good care.

This species of catfish is great because it is hardy and doesn’t need picture-perfect conditions to thrive. They’re also attractive to look at and fun to watch as they swim along the bottom looking for food.

In the wild, bumblebee catfish are omnivores and can be found swimming in the waters of South America. You should expect to have some hiding places such as rocks, driftwood, and aquatic plants for them to relax behind. 

This species is known for its laid-back personality and isn’t known to engage in fights of any kind. They like to hide away in safety and will come out in the evenings to scavenge for food along your substrate.

Since bumblebee catfish are omnivores, they’ll need a combination of plant matter and animal protein to stay healthy. Remember that many of these foods come in live, frozen, and freeze-dried varieties, so pick the type that’s best for you and your catfish.

Bumblebee Catfish Favorite Foods

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There are a few foods that bumblebee catfish like best. Take a look below at some of their favorite meals. 

1. Plant Matter

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Bumblebee catfish love plant matter of any kind. However, the majority of the plant matter they eat consists of algae.

Algae often grows naturally in your tank, especially if you have aquatic plants. You may find that your bottomfeeding bumblebee catfish helps to keep your tank clean between water changes!

They can also eat the leaves of some plants, so make sure you don’t get anything that will be toxic to your catfish. If your plant has any dying leaves, your bumblebee catfish will be quick to clean it up. 

2. Worms

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One of the bumblebee catfish’s favorite foods is worms! Specifically, they enjoy:

  • Bloodworms
  • Earthworms
  • Microworms

Bloodworms are usually their favorite and are some of the easiest to find. Bloodworms often come in live, frozen, and freeze-dried varieties.

Keep in mind that live food could introduce parasites or other diseases into your tank. Because of this, it is recommended that you only use frozen or freeze-dried varieties. 

After all, you don’t want your catfish to get sick!

3. Insects and Larvae

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Bumblebee catfish also like insects and larvae outside of different worms. Daphnia, also known as water fleas, are one of their favorite foods. 

Bumblebee catfish can eat different types of larvae, though one of the most common is black soldier fly frass. However, too many of these larvae can lead to weight gain in some catfish over time. 

Because of this, it is best to keep additional insects and larvae to a minimum, as they do best as snacks outside of meals. 

4. Fish Food Pellets

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Finally, bumblebee catfish also enjoy eating ordinary fish food pellets. It’s important to keep in mind that you’ll have to get pellets instead of flakes, as pellets will sink to the bottom where your catfish are. 

Fish food pellets often have a combination of plant matter and animal matter in them for a well-rounded omnivore diet. They may also have added vitamins and nutrients that can help your catfish to grow and stay healthy in the long run.

For a well-rounded diet, we recommend feeding your bumblebee catfish a combination of fish food pellets and some alternative foods, such as bloodworms and algae. A varied diet also helps to keep your fish interested at meal time.

It’s hard to get bored when your meals are always so exciting!


Now, you know just what to feed your bumblebee catfish! Remember that we recommend giving them a combination diet, so they get a variety of nutrients in every meal.

In addition to this, we recommend that you feed any worms in either frozen or freeze-dried varieties, as live feeding can introduce disease into your tank, which isn’t worth it in the end. 

If you have bumblebee catfish at home, tell us about your experience in the comments. If you have additional questions about your aquarium, ask us down below and we may pick your question to write about next!

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