A freshwater fish, it grows to a diminutive length of 30 cm, with characteristic longitudinal strips and sensitive "barbels" around the mouth. These barbels help the fish find its food. It hunts small animal prey, but also feeds on parts of plant. In the Czech Republic, it lives in stagnant waters or streams with a moderate current, e.g. in the Elbe lowlands and in pools along the Morava River.