The Valencia toothcarp occurs amongst dense vegetation, possibly in small loose groups, where it feeds upon small, aquatic invertebrates (2) (4). Feeding activity varies seasonally, with less feeding occurring in the winter. The main source of prey is gammarid amphipods, tiny, shrimp-like freshwater crustaceans which swim rapidly through the water column. Freshwater insects and larvae are also taken, along with terrestrial insects that fall into the water (4) (5).
The Valencia toothcarp breeds between April and July, during which time the males become more brightly coloured and defend small territories from rivals. When a female enters a male’s territory, the male conducts a courtship dance involving swimming in a semicircle and sideways head movements. Females may mate with different partners during a single breeding season, spawning several, small batches of eggs (typically 10 to 30) that adhere to vegetation by means of sticky filaments (4) (6). Hatching usually takes place after around one week (4). This species grows slowly, and has a relatively long lifespan, with females reaching over four years, and males over three years (6).