What Do Bluegill Eat: Best Diet to Follow & Facts

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Last Updated on March 15, 2023

Do you have bluegill in your aquarium and you’re wondering what do bluegill eat? We will let you know in this post.

Generally, various fish needs special care no matter the type of fish you choose to raise. It is pretty easy to care for various fish, especially the bluegill, as they require you to provide them basic care such as clean water, good space, as well as fish feed.

Bluegill fish will feed on a whole lot of things, so read on to discover what do bluegill eat. 

Facts About Bluegill Fish

Bluegill fish are long-bodied freshwater sunfish. They are native to North America and they dwell mostly in lakes, rivers, and ponds. Bluegill fish are one common loving fish raised among aquarium hobbyists.

They are quite friendly fish to have in your home aquarium and they possess some fascinating habits you would love to witness. Habits like doing hide and seek from predators by taking cover at the back of any covering or shield in your aquarium.

Info About Bluegill Fish: What To Feed Bluegill In An Aquarium

They can grow up to 2kg to 2.5 kg in weight. Bluegill can also grow as long as 12 inches or more. They can live up to 4 or 6 years.

Read more about How to Raise Catfish in A Tank

What Do Bluegill Eat?

Bluegill fish are carnivores. This implies they are capable of feeding on other little types of fish or small animals. So, here is what you can feed your bluegill fish in your aquarium:

1.    Minnows

One common little fish to feed your bluefish is a minnow. Minnows are normally dropped around feeding time in the aquarium and the bluegill fish goes hunting them. You can trim the minnow’s tail and not worry about shedding blood in your aquarium. Trimming is done so they won’t be able to swim and it will be easier for your bluegill fish to catch and feed on them.

2.    Shiner fish

Shiner fishes are little fish you can feed your bluegill with. Their size is about 2 to 3 inches which makes them perfect for feeding matured bluegill fish. You can purchase them from bait shops and they are also used as bait for capturing bluegill fish in the wild.

3.    Shad fish

Shad fish are tiny and they can be fed to bluegill fish. Although they might be scarce to find, they can be added to the list of food to feed bluegill.

4.    Baitfish

The baitfish are primarily used in the wild for catching bluegill fish from their natural habitat. Bluegill enjoys feeding on baitfish; especially the bigger-sized bluegill fish. Most bluegill keepers prefer feeding them with baitfish because they are readily available in pet shops. They are also not so pricey.

5.    Suckerfish

Little fish like the sucker is also included in the food for your bluegill fish. This slender cylindrical-bodied fish is one of the bluegill favorites and they will enjoy feeding on these little fishes.

6.    Larvae & insects

Larvae and insects are not left out of the various kinds of food you can feed your bluegill. As we mentioned earlier, bluegill fish feast on little animals such as larvae and insects. Examples are crickets, grasshoppers, and mealworms. If you wish to lure bluegill to the surface in their wild natural habitat, insects are best used as bait.

Aqua Max Sport Fish 500, 3/16 Inch(4.8mm) Extruded Floating Fish Food For Trout, Bluegill (18 ounces)

7.    Water insects

Another food you can feed your bluegill is water insects they are rich in nutrients for your fish. They will feed on insect larvae, mosquito larvae, any eggs laid in water, and even water bugs.

8.    Crustacean

Crustaceans such as small freshwater shrimps and small crayfish are not left out of food to feed your bluegill fish. They can be purchased easily from fish or feed shops.

9.    Zooplankton

It is the young bluegill fish that mostly feed on zooplankton and this also supplies them with adequate nutrients to grow.

10. Fish pellets & dried worms

Bluegill fish will also feed on dried worms and fish pellets. They are cheap and available in fish or feed shops.

Other bluegill foods you can also add to your fish feed are terrestrial insects and water insects.

Stocking Density for Bluegill in an Aquarium

Bluegill fish requires adequate spacing. Therefore, they can take up to 50 to 70 gallons of water. The required pH should fall around 6.8 to 7.2. Bluegill fish can also live along with tank mates of other species of fish. 

Stocking Density For Bluegill In An Aquarium

Additional Note: What to Feed Bluegill in an Aquarium

When feeding your aquarium bluegill, you will need to monitor them. You should feed them during the day and the feeding session should be short (about 15 seconds). Also. try not to overfeed them as this could lead to your tank being polluted. Remove any leftover food and readjust the feeding portion the next time.

What to Feed Baby Bluegill?

You may be wondering what the best food is to feed your baby bluegills. Let’s take a closer look at what you should include in their diet. Bluegills eat both other animals and plants. You can expect them to enjoy foods such as plants, insects, and other small fish or insects.

You may want to consider adding the following to your tank for your bluegills: bloodworms and baby brine shrimp. They’ll also enjoy fish flakes, pellets, or even frozen food such as krill. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, fish flakes are a great starting point. However, you must offer other foods to ensure they’re getting a balanced diet.

When Do Bluegill Spawn?

You may be curious as to when bluegill spawns. This usually takes place in June, but it can happen anytime from May to August. You should ensure that have you your gravel in the tank so that the bluegills can make a nest. It’s also important to keep the temperature of the aquarium between 68-80F.

How Fast Does Bluegill Grow?

How quickly bluegills grow depends on a variety of aspects. Such as the type of bluegill, how healthy and active they are, and also the size of the area they’re kept in. However, some estimations can be made. Bluegills can take up to five years before they’ve fully matured. However, if they’re in a large area of water, they may not stop growing!

After around a year, it should be around 4-6 inches in length. After two years of age, it should be around 6-8 inches in length. After three years of age, it should be around 8-8.8 inches in length. After four years of age, it should be around 8.8-9.4 inches in length. After five years of age, it should be around 10 inches in length.

Typically, in the wild, bluegill lives for around 5-6 years. However, their lifespan can double if they’re kept in captivity. It’s also worth noting that where the growing season is longer, due to warmer weather, bluegill will grow more quickly.

Bluegill Temperature Range

Bluegill fish are tolerant to many temperatures, which is why they’re a great fish to have. They can tolerate temperatures as high as 95F! However, for your bluegills to thrive and grow to a good, healthy size, the tank should be kept between 68-80F, for best results.

blugill fish

Do Hybrid Bluegill Reproduce?

You may have heard that the hybrid bluegill can not reproduce. However, this is not the case! While it’s more often for them to be sterile than not, they can sometimes still reproduce. What’s most interesting about when hybrid bluegills reproduce is that the offspring will be one of two species: the bluegill, or green sunfish.

Conclusion: What Do Bluegill Eat?

I hope this post has helped to answer the question “what do bluegill eat?” and given you an idea of what diet is best to ensure your bluegill fish are thriving. Do you have any tips and tricks when it comes to supplying your bluegill with the best diet? If so, please feel free to let us know in the comments below. And remember, sharing is caring!


What do Bluegill fish eat?

The diet of a fish can be a very important part of its life. Some fish are carnivores; others are omnivores; and some are herbivores. In addition to the food they eat, the diet of each fish species is affected by the type of water it lives in and its size. The food in a fish's diet may change throughout its life. For example, when a fish reaches sexual maturity, it may begin eating a different diet than it did before that time.

A bluegill's diet is based on the foods that are found in a natural environment.

The food of choice for bluegills in an aquarium is a mix of pellets and live foods, according to the University of Michigan. Pellets are made up of ground fish meal, fish oil, corn and other ingredients that help grow the fish, while live foods include small invertebrates like shrimp, mosquito larvae and daphnia. Live foods may also be available as frozen or canned items.

They will eat any pellet food available, and they are not picky about what kind of food they eat. Pellets are also easier to handle for the fish than flakes. Flake food is more expensive than pellets and has a longer shelf life. You can get the same nutrients in a smaller amount from pellets.

Do they eat a lot?

Yes they do, and you should definitely consider feeding them a pretty broad diet so the they may get all the nutrients that they need.

They are a bit like a catfish in that they have a very strong, aggressive bite.

If you don't want them to die, try feeding them meat chunks (cat, dog, rabbit, etc). A popular food for them in tanks are frozen bloodworms.

What are the best kind of pellets for them?

The most commonly recommended food for bluegills in an aquarium is the algae-based "semi-pellet" diet, which contains protein, vitamins and minerals. Other foods include small pieces of shrimp or other crustaceans and live plants. Bluegills are bottom-feeding fish that eat primarily algae, insects and other plant material.

Can they feed alongside other fish?

They can be kept with other types of fish such as catfish and sunfish. Diet Bluegills feed on microalgae (sometimes called "semi-pellets") and small organisms such as worms, insect larvae, mollusks, and detritus. These organisms are found in the water column. Bluegills also eat zooplankton, the microscopic animals that drift through the water. Bluegills are omnivorous. They will eat both plant and animal matter. The preferred food is a diet of live algae and detritus (decaying plant and animal matter) found in the bottom of an aquarium.

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