Has been recorded in lower, middle, and upper river basins with habitats including sandbars, beaches, floodplain lakes, banks with overhanging vegetation, and fast-flowing rapids over bedrock, boulders, and stones. It is mostly collected from habitats with high oxygen levels, suggesting that it may be sensitive to low oxygen availability.
It is adaptable, penetrating into tributaries of the upper Amazon, but also occurring in the Amazon and Orinoco delta regions, although it does not tend to be found in highly acidic black-waters.
The maximum recorded length in wild specimens is 128 mm, but aquarium reports suggest 70 – 80 mm to be typical.
This species is intolerant of organic waste and require spotless water in order to thrive. Moderate levels of dissolved oxygen and water movement are also recommended, meaning additional powerheads, pumps, etc., should be employed as necessary. A linear flow pump may prove a useful addition, while weekly water changes of 30-50% should be considered mandatory.