It rarely swims to the surface as it likes to be on the bottom of the tank. It is very hardy and can survive in semi-dirty water, plus a wide range of temperatures, 60 - 90F (16° - 32°C), allowing it to be sometimes kept in unheated aquariums indoors. Similar to the pleco, CAEs tend to hide in caves when they are not feeding. If a cave is not available for them to hide in, they will attempt to make one themselves by digging under large rocks or against the walls of the aquarium.
Though in the wild they feed exclusively on algae, in the aquarium there is some controversy on the effectiveness of the algae eater. While they are young, they may be effective.