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Saltwater Aquarium/Porcupine Puffer


hi, i have a porcupine puffer and he seems to be developing ich. he only has a few dots on his tail and a couple on his top fin. other then that he is swimming around and eating normally. Should i let him try to fight it off on his own? or step in now?

Hi Sabrina:

Sorry to hear of this. Puffers are typically hardy, he may fight it off on his own.

Below I will describe one method of treatment, its called the Hyposalinity Treatment. It's a 3 to 4 week treatment, because this is typically the life cycle span of marine ich.

You would set up a large quarantine tank to put your puffer in; you would want to lower the salinity to approximately 1.009; this will help kill the ich. To cut expenses you can use a new rubber maid tub container, with an adequately sized hang-on style filter; include a few pieces of the larger sized PVC pipe or ABC pipe for him to hide in.

In order for the hyposalinity treatment to be effective, it has to be at 1.009. Anything higher and the ich can survive the treatment. Lowering the salinity fast is generally ok for the puffer fish, you can drip acclimate your puffer fish into the quarantine tank water to get it fully adjusted and accustomed to this new lower salinity level.

However, when the treatment is over in a few weeks, you cannot raise the salinity more than .001 per day, before returning it to the normal level of approximately 1.022

I wish you much success with your puffer fish.

Let me know if he makes a full recovery.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

David - All Experts - Director  

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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

Publications,, and many others.

After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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