Can your aquatic fish eat flies? | Nico’s Aquatics2 minute read

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Do you – like myself – leave the door open for just a little too long? Which let’s annoying little flies into your home? Well, your freshwater fish are probably eyeballing those little pests while licking their non-existent lips. But the question that is often asked, my fish ate a fly, what do I do? I will be making a quick video on this topic (NA YouTube) later, but for now, here is your answer…

Can freshwater fish eat flies?

The short answer is yes. Of course they can. In fact, it’s actually pretty good for them compared to some of the junk that is sold at pet store chains.

In the wild, freshwater fish have to live off of algae and yup, you guessed it, FLIES! However, it really depends on the size of the fly and the size of the fish, of course. The only danger in your fish eating a fly is:

  • If you have sprayed your home with bug killer.
  • If the fly is too big for the fish trying to eat it.

Those are the only two issues with fish eating flies. I recently saw my White Skirt Tetra with something in her mouth. After getting a closer look, it was a cheese fly. That particular species of fly is very small. Small enough for my Tetra to eat it after a few tries. It was one of the most satisfying and coolest/funniest things I’ve ever seen.

My fish ate a fly, what do I do?

As I mentioned above, basically all species of fish eat flies while in the wild. Now, obviously I know the fish in your tank aren’t from the wild most likely, but rather from a local farm. However, their digestive system is the same. Also, think about it this way; when fly fishing, most use tackle that look just like a fly. Why do they do that? Because fish eat flies…


I hope this article was helpful. If you have any freshwater fish tank questions drop them in the comments below, or on YouTube.

Also please be sure to subscribe to Nico’s Aquatics on YouTube and follow NA on Instagram for cool aquatic pictures and clips. Oh yeah, and STAY WET!

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