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Next on my list of Minecraft todo's is building a slime farm. I looked up the spawning locations online and chose my location.

I dug out the spawning plateau (16x32x5 blocks) and dug out an extra surrounding 3x3 blocks for tunnelling. All went well, 2-3 diamond pickaxes did the trick. After that I lit up the place with glowstone so no angry mobs would spawn.

I think it will be a successful project, because slimes spawn in constantly already.

Now I started to work at the collection area. Basically I want to build a large room there that looks out over the spawning plateaus. Problem I have is that exact area I want to work with is filled with lava pools.

When I visited that place earlier I pored water over the lava, which turns it into obsidion. That was stupid, now it takes me ages to harvest, and I can not blast it away.

Now I use the gravel method. Just filling the lava block by block. When I am out of gravel I dig up the back parts and go on. This really takes a while though.

I wonder if there are any better ways to clear a large lava filled chunk.

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4  
Have you considered just building a layer over the lava pool? My gf did that with glass and it looks spiffy. –  David B Jun 5 '12 at 16:58
    
lol, pro-tip. Sounds pretty nice and some places I may it. Other places the lava just needs to be removed tho, no other choice. –  Saif Bechan Jun 5 '12 at 22:35
    
For clearing the obsidian you've already created, a diamond pick with efficiency 4 or 5 drastically increases the speed you can mine it. –  Fambida Jul 12 '12 at 10:18
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Personal advice: If you spent one hour clearing out a lava pool with a bucket of water and a diamond pickaxe and you end up with over 54 pieces of obsidian, WHATEVER MYSTICAL BEING YOU BELIEVE IN, CARRY IT TO SAFETY! ... Don't wander off to "just dig a little bit around while down there"... ... ...believe me... ...just believe me... –  Bobby Jul 12 '12 at 18:35

6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Unfortunately if you want to remove the lava completely and then be where that pool is gravel/sand really is the best way to go about clearing that out.

The only alternate that I can think of would be to bucket every block of lava out and then put it into a single block area. This would then just require a single piece of gravel to get rid of. If you are good at bucketing then this might be a bit faster and save you on some shovels.

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In my experience dropping gravel in from above is the best method, however if you want an alternative you could try convering the laval into cobblestone using water and then mining out the cobblestone.

As with the gravel method you first need to dig so that you are above the lava, and then Place a water source somewhere above the lava so that it will flow over the lava creating a floor of cobblestone. Then carefully mine away the cobblestone (most of it will drop into the lava below) and start again on the next layer.

Honestly though, using gravel is probably easier.

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Build a layer of dirt through the uppermost lava layer, which is therefore replaced by dirt. Remove the dirt and go on with the next, now uppermost lava layer. If you crouch, most removed dirt (and you) won't fall into the lava.

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This seems like it would be even slower than gravel. –  mikeTheLiar Feb 3 '13 at 14:13
    
@mikeTheLiar True, but as mentioned, by crouching you may be able to get along with less material, especially if you only partially cover the pool before removing the dirt again. But yes, gravel/sand is probably easier... –  Zommuter Feb 5 '13 at 5:59
    
Eh. You can also re-use the gravel. You're just filling from the side instead from the top. –  mikeTheLiar Feb 5 '13 at 14:26
    
@mikeTheLiar From the side has the risk of self-flooding though... But ultimately I agree with the accepted answer and just wanted to provide an alternative –  Zommuter Feb 5 '13 at 16:06

Bucketing the lava out, althought probable, is almost more time consuming than using gravel, and is very dangerous. I would suggest just using water. The resulting obsidian is very valuable and althought it takes awhile to mine (12 seconds with a diamond pick) it is well worth the effort, as it can be used to create bomb shelters when blasting with TNT, creeper proof rooms/buildings, and portals into the ever fun and fantastic Nether.

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just use sand and drop it from above. and have it fall into the lava to get rid of it.

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2  
This is no different from what the original poster said he was doing. –  John Jan 13 at 16:40

Just as additional information: the easiest way (by far) is to pump it off using redpower. Preferably into either iron tanks (from railcraft) or into a 1 block field where a IC2 pump sits. This way you can create lava cells.

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I think the OP is talking about vanilla minecraft. –  Jeffrey Lin Apr 1 '13 at 15:32
    
pretty much an off-topic answer –  Marco Geertsma Jun 6 '13 at 7:53
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If mods are involved, the easiest way by far is actually to use WorldEdit and just replace all lava blocks with air in a select region. –  SevenSidedDie Jun 16 '13 at 1:51

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