Introduced in Minecraft version 1.13, coral is a solid block that comes in various color variants. However, the coral will bleach and die under certain conditions, much like in the real world, since coral is particularly sensitive to environmental stimuli.
Fortunately, coral blocks in Minecraft aren't as fragile as their real-world counterparts. As long as a player follows a particular rule, their coral will stay alive and vibrant indefinitely.
Depending on your plans for your coral blocks, it may be a little tricky, but the rules are easy to follow. That is unless players want dead coral blocks as decoration. In this case, the rule doesn't need to be followed at all.
Keeping Coral Blocks alive in Minecraft
The survival of coral in Minecraft follows a particularly simple rule: without water, coral is resigned to death and becomes gray in coloration. However, you don't necessarily need to drench coral in water to keep it alive.
As long as one of the six blocks directly adjacent to a coral block is water, the coral will survive as if submerged in the sea. There is no requirement to place a flood around it; you just need to ensure that one block of water is adjacent.
How to ensure your Coral lives in Minecraft
- Before placing your coral block, be sure to scope out the proximity of water. You can either pick a location with naturally-generating water, like a river, lake, or ocean, or place water down through a bucket.
- Place your coral block with at least one block of water adjacent to it. Keep in mind this doesn't need to be a water source block; any water will do. If you plan to stack coral blocks, you'll need to ensure that water is touching the higher-elevation coral blocks, as the base coral block won't keep those stacked on top of it hydrated.
- If you plan to remove coral blocks, be sure to remove them before the water. Otherwise, they'll die before being collected. It's also important to use a Silk Touch pickaxe since coral blocks that are broken through other methods will drop as dead coral blocks.
Do remember that changing the random tick speed through the use of commands must be done very carefully. If the speed is at any point set to zero, coral blocks will die even if they're adjacent to water blocks. This is due to the nature of ticks, which are considered one complete cycle of Minecraft's core program loop.
With random tick speeds set to zero, many in-game functions won't simulate as they normally do, including coral blocks "checking" if they're still alive by sensing nearby water blocks.
It's also important to note that, much like in the real world, there's no reviving dead coral blocks through typical vanilla gameplay methods. Once a coral block is bleached and dead, it's dead for good, no matter where you place it or how much water is involved.
For players who don't utilize commands or the Creative Mode inventory, this means you can't exactly replace your coral blocks without dropping into the ocean and mining fresh blocks.
Since coral can't be grown, it can't be renewed. Minecraft's coral is precious, much like it is in real life, so if players plan to use it in Survival Mode without the aid of commands or Creative Mode, it's best to do so wisely to avoid bleaching your entire coral supply.
This is part of the reason why coral must be carefully harvested through the use of a Silk Touch-enchanted pickaxe. Otherwise, players won't be able to receive the block in its normal, colorful state.
At any rate, as long as players have an abundance of water available, coral is relatively easy to keep alive. Just be careful with water and coral placement, and no problems should arise during your decorative or building pursuits.