Banded tilapia live in the Orange River, rivers on KwaZulu-Natal south coast, southern Congo tributaries, Lake Malawi and the Zambezi.
They prefer quiet or standing water with submerged vegetation.
Tilapia feed on algae, soft plants, invertebrates, e.g. insects and sometimes small fish.
Males will build saucer-like nests in which eggs are laid and guarded by both parents.