C. carassius is a cryptic, mainly benthic, freshwater fish.
It is native to northern Europe and ranges from southeast England to Asia.
It has been introduced to over ten countries, including Turkey, Ethiopia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Carassius carassius lives in both still waters and watercourses.
It is characteristic of shallow water bodies with submerged vegetation as well as river floodplain pools and backwaters.