It inhabits open areas with sandy bottoms (usually close to rocks, which the fish use for cover) in the southern part of the lake, south of Nyanza and Cape Caramba. Apparently it prefers habitats that are quite shallow and rich in suspended sediment. These tend to be murkier than most other parts of the lake. Beds of aquatic plants such as Vallisneria spiralis and Ceratophyllum demersum are common here too.
A predominantly open, sandy environment is the most essential feature, as it’s a sand-sifting, substrate-dwelling species. Males will also construct their bowers in the sand. Add a fairly deep layer (2-3″) to the tank, as they can use a surprising amount in building these. Try not to clutter up the tank too much with rocky formations, leaving as much open floor space as possible. The females do require some refuges though, so add a couple of rock piles in the back corners or at one end of the tank. You could also add some clumps of plants to provide additional cover. Both Vallisneria and Ceratophyllum are readily available, easily grown and true to the natural habitat of the species.