How Often to Give Maggots to Fishes

You can give maggots to your fish as often as you have access to it. However, make sure it does not substitute compound feed for them. Also, it should not be given them in a quantity that will prevent them from eating the normal compounded feed.

It should also be given as a supportive feed. Before putting maggots in your fish pond, make sure they are thoroughly washed so that no dirt that can contaminate the fish pond is introduced.

Feeding your fish only on maggots will not give them all the necessary classes of feed, especially energy needed to gain weight will be lacking. Most of the time, fish fed on maggots only will look big but will not have corresponding weight.

Fishing enthusiasts may wonder if the maggots they use as bait would be suitable to feed their aquarium fish. The answer is yes! Maggots should not be the primary food for your aquarium fish, but they make an excellent supplement.

Remember fish are sold on the basis on weight gain and not on how big they look in some areas. So, I like to discourage you feeding your fish with only maggots.

Maggot has come to be known not only as safe food for fishes, but also as rich protein source for them. Maggots are produced from the semitransparent larval stage of the housefly, Musca domestica and are used to process magmeal.

Maggot Types

Fishermen will purchase different types of maggots based on the time of year, water conditions, and type of fish for which they are fishing. When using maggots to feed aquarium fish, the primary consideration is the size of the maggot.

White maggots (spikes): Ordinary white maggots, also called spikes, are the largest maggot sold, reaching 3/4-inch in size. They are the larvae of the blue bottle fly.

Dyed maggots: White maggots are often dyed to enhance their attractiveness to the fish. However, not all dyes are safe for fish to eat. To be on the safe side, avoid using dyed maggots as aquarium fish food.

Pinkies: Not to be confused with dyed white maggots, pinkies are naturally pink in color. They are the larvae of the green bottle fly and generally about half the size of their white counterparts.

Squats: Squats are the white-colored larvae of the common housefly and are the smallest maggot offered for sale. They are a great size for aquarium fish, but not as often found for sale as the large maggots.

Read Also: Home-made Catfish Feed Vs Bagged Feed, Find out the Best

How often is recommended to give maggots to the fishes

Obtaining Maggots

Maggots are readily found at bait shops. Many areas of the country have bait shops open year-round. If you aren’t blessed with a year-round bait shop, or perhaps don’t have a bait shop nearby at all, maggots are also available online. Often online sites will offer other products, such as wax worms and nightcrawlers, which can be safely fed to your aquarium fish as supplemental food.

It is also possible to culture your maggots. However, given the availability of maggots for sale, and the fact that they should only be used as supplemental food, it’s best to not culture them. When purchasing maggots, they should be soft to the touch, as they age they get firmer. White maggots will have a dark spot – the larger this spot is, the younger the maggot is.

Storing Maggots

Maggots are larvae and will either die or, if fed, mature into flies in a relatively short time. This could be within just a few days or as long as two weeks, depending on the age of the maggot and the temperature they are kept at. Storing maggots in the refrigerator will extend the length of time before they mature.

Most maggots are sold in a container of sawdust or maize flour to keep them dry. Their bedding should be changed every day or two to keep them healthy until used. Very small maggots are usually sold in damp sand. They will only keep for a few days and should be used as quickly as possible. If you find you have too many maggots to feed your fish before going bad, they may be fed to wild birds.

Maggot Feeding Frequency

Maggots are an excellent high protein supplemental food. However, they do have higher fat levels than other foods, and should not be used as the primary food source for aquarium fish.

A couple of supplemental feedings every week or two is not a problem. Maggots may also be used when conditioning breeder pairs. Keep in mind that even though many fish enjoy maggots, not all fish will eat them.

Read Also: Methods of Livestock Breeding in the Tropical Environment

How to Produce Maggots for Your Fish Feeds

Maggot farming has become a rising aspect of farming because of its immerse benefit to livestock farmers all over the world. Maggots are produced from wastes and this calls for integration so as to boost sustainable Agriculture. In other words, without wastes, there are no maggots.

The objective of every farmer is to maximize profit and you will agree with me that feeding alone accounts for about 70% of the total cost of animal production and if you can be able to reduce this feeding cost, then, you can make more profit. 

Collect your Raw materials:

Poultry dropping is the most popular raw material for maggot production. You can get poultry dropping from poultry farmers within your location for a small fee.

Introduce the dropping and fly attractant into the substract tank after collection. Rotten fruits and food is also a good alternative to poultry dropping and they are excellent attractant.

Production Process: Here is how the magic happens!

– Adult female flies lay up to 2500 eggs under controlled condition.

– They lay their eggs on the substrate (Poultry Dropping).

– The eggs hatch after 8 to 12 hours.

– The larval stage lasts about 5 days while the pupal stage for 4 to 5 days.

– The housefly has 6 days cycle under controlled conditions.

– Water the substrate daily to increase production.

– Maggot is ready to harvest within 4 – 5 days.

Read Also: Maggot Feeding: Can You Feed Fishes with Maggots?


– The adult fly feeds mainly on decaying organic matter.

– Maggots feed for 4 – 5 days and then migrate to pupate in a dry place.

– The flies mate and lay eggs between feeding periods.

– 450 grams of fresh manure can feed 1500 maggots.


You will see your maggots clustered as ant hill, so, you use a ‘parker’ or a tray, sweep the clustered maggots into a bowl containing water and a sieve.

Place your maggots into the bowl and then sieve out the little substrate which will be floating. Decant the water and then you have your maggots left in the bowl.

Now, after harvesting your maggots, you must feed them immediately to your fish or birds except you are preserving or processing. If you leave them fresh, they will turn to pupa which will later turn to housefly.

Remember that the maggot is gotten in the life cycle of a housefly and if there is delay in feeding your animals with it, the lifecycle continues and then you end up having much housefly or you end up multiplying the houseflies in your maggotery.

You can harvest maggot with three different methods; 

1. The flotation method where the manure is mixed with water and the larvae and pupae float out to be collected with a sieve.

2. The screening method where the manure is spread in a thin layer on a sieve (3 mm) placed over a basin under sunlight: the larvae try to escape the light by passing through the screen and fall into the basin.

3. The self-collect method is where the larva is trapped by collecting tanks when the larva is trying to escape. 

Read Also: Zea Mays (Maize, Corn) Production: A Comprehensive Growing Guide

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Benadine Nonye

An Agric. Consultant & a Writer (With over 12 years of professional experience in the agricultural industry) - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education... Visit My Websites On: - It's All About Agriculture, The Way Forward! - The Most Reliable Global Agricultural Forum! - The Most Reliable Nigeria's Agricultural Job Board! - For Everything Premium Agriculture! - For Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices. Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4ProfitsTV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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