In the wild, you’ll find C. formosae in the swift headwater streams of the Orinoco River in Eastern Colombia. It’s sleek, hydrodynamic shape—described by one aquarium writer as like a “motorcycle rider clinging for dear life on their beloved bike as the world hurtles past on all sides”—is an adaptation for living in this turbulent habitat, and, as much as possible, this species will benefit from good water flow and well-oxygenated conditions in an aquarium. There is usually minimal plantlife growing in these streams, so this might not be the best fish to add to a lush and stagnant planted aquarium. Large, smooth stones placed directly in front of heavy water current will quickly become the favorite hangout of your Rubbernose Pleco. Also, room temperature water is preferable to a high-temperature tropical environment, as this will more closely replicate the natural water parameters.
In smaller tanks or those which grow little algae, there is a real risk of this fish not getting enough to eat, so be sure to always check for a fat, full belly on this fish. Aside from grazing on the aquarium décor, it is recommended to supplement the diet with sinking algae wafers and some occasional fresh greens (shelled peas, blanched spinach, cucumber, zucchini). Part of their diet in the wild is also made up of small invertebrates, so be sure to include some frozen bloodworms or other types of meaty foods on the menu.