Occurs in lakes, ponds, pools and backwaters of large rivers (Ref. 5723), preferring large, slow-flowing or standing water bodies with vegetation. Tolerant of a wide range of temperatures from 0° to 38°C, and salinities to as much as 10 ppt and oxygen levels down to 0.5 ppm. Feeds on higher aquatic plants and submerged grasses; takes also detritus, insects and other invertebrates. One of the world's most important aquaculture species and also used for weed control in rivers, fish ponds and reservoirs (Ref. 9987). Spawns on riverbeds with very strong current (Ref. 30578). Utilized also fresh and eaten steamed, pan-fried, broiled and baked (Ref. 9987). Considered as a pest in most countries because of the damages made to submerged vegetation (Ref. 43281).