Where’s My Fish? Revisited Finally
While I would absolutely love to keep this series going, most good things need to come to an end. This series is no exception. This misadventure stared out in 2019 with a couple articles made to help with a common and frustrating problem. People, including myself, would see a constant issue with keeping fish from despawning in their tanks. This sort of thing was especially true for anything on a flat world.
It was almost as if the fish would wait for you to leave before shouting out.
“Beam me up, Scotty!” and poof, off they went.
Now, bedrock doesn't seem to have this issue anymore. As we’ve seen in the several articles revisiting this topic. My current running theory is that it may be an unintentional consequence to patch notes regarding other aquatic life. There's probably a much better explanation to what fixed the problem. However, I’ll leave that kind of deep dive to other game theorists.
The test in and of itself was pretty easy to follow. A row of small tanks would be built to hold our test subject's salmon, cod, and tropical fish. Four tanks were built per type of fish to represent the different ways of keeping a fish inside. One was our control, a spawn egg, this was something I thought was going to show disappearances regardless of the distance. (And oh boy was I wrong with bedrock). The next was a named fish after it was placed in via spawn egg. The one after that was for the bucket of fish from the creative inventory alone. leaving the last one to wild caught fish.
Once the tanks were set up, I marked down a few different distances away from these tanks. I started at 40 blocks based off of bits and pieces I gathered looking through the Minecraft wiki. From there, I marked off a 50-block mark, a 60-block mark, and a final 70-block mark. Darting so far back that I couldn't see the tanks didn’t make much of a difference other that adding on another layer of timing, so I cut it out at the start of this revisit series.
My timer was intentionally set for 25 minutes in order to give the fish to do whatever for longer than one daylight cycle at a time. When my timer would go off, I’d do a head count, jot down my results, and move on to the next distance until I finished the 70-block mark.
This test would be repeated tons of times. Testing out different variables along the way. From daylight cycle settings and chunk simulation to and entirely different flat world. Repeating all of that madness until I came to the simple conclusion.
They fixed it.
It’s not a problem for bedrock players anymore. Fish tanks, tranquil ponds, all of it. If someone puts a fish down, that sucker is there for the long run.
However, the same can’t be said for java. I don’t typically play java edition the same way my roommate does. Frankley, I’m not a fan of it and that’s my opinion. Regardless, it didn't take me long to see that placed fish will still despawn. That’s where the testing comes in.
To be completely honest, I was not nearly as thorough this time. So, if you want to run this sort of test on your java edition world, do it. Have some fun with it, write it out and share it with your community.
I skimmed through the patch notes despite knowing good and well that java will typically get everything before bedrock every time. Likely having all of the same patch notes as bedrock paired with a whole boat load more. I did appreciate the organization though. That part was pretty cool. However, that didn’t tell me much about why fish still despawn in java.
On the bright side of things, it’s a pretty easy problem to click around. The only ones that consistently despawned were the control spawning fish. Literally every other method works in keeping the fish around. You could go through the process of naming your fish, or just grab a backet of fish from the crafting inventory instead of a spawn egg. Maybe go and catch them yourself if you want to go the extra mile.
Knowing full well that this is going to be my last article on the topic, I want to take a second to write a quick thank you to the thousands of you who read the very first edition from 2019. If you’re not here for sappiness, it’s cool, just stop right here.
I had no idea what I was doing then other than mixing in the two things I love doing, writing and playing video games. I was at the start of dealing with a worsening chronic illness that cost me my job at the time. Followed by family fallout and other negative facts of life. If someone told me then that close to nine thousand people would see something I wrote, with a majority of them reading it, I would've probably laughed in their face.
Even though these articles don't have that kind of popularity or relevance anymore, I still find it insane just how far one fun little article managed to go without me even knowing. Somebody can go google “despawning fish in Minecraft” or something along those lines, and that first article is hardly a scroll away. Not to mention the stats on that article alone. It still feels so surreal to see all of that now.
I might strike a chord like that again in a different area, or I might not. I definitely want to move on to incorporate other games into my writing and broaden my content at some point. But I’m not sure what that’ll look like just yet. Until then, I have a bunch more Minecraft content in the works. So, stay tuned if you want and just to wrap it up, until next time, thank you…for reading. It seriously means a lot.