An efficient, largely piscivorous, predator with highly protrusible mouthparts. In the aquarium, juveniles can be offered chironomid larvae (bloodworm), small earthworms, chopped prawn, and suchlike, while adults will accept strips of fish flesh, whole prawns, mussels, live river shrimp, larger earthworms, etc. Older individuals do not require feeding on a daily basis, with 2-3 times per week sufficient.
This species should not be fed mammalian or avian meat such as beef heart or chicken since some of the lipids contained in these cannot be properly metabolised by the fish and may cause excess fat deposits and even organ degeneration. Similarly, there is no benefit in the use of ‘feeder’ fish such as livebearers or small goldfish, which carry with them the risk of parasite or disease introduction and tend not have a high nutritional value unless properly conditioned beforehand.
Can be maintained alongside similarly-sized fishes if sufficient space is available, but might be intimidated by territorial or otherwise competitive species.
Although juveniles may form groups, adults are not gregarious and tend to respond aggressively to conspecifics and similarly-shaped fishes. They are best maintained singly or in a group of 5 or more individuals.