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I'm living in a snow biome right now and I found rather difficult farming there. For example sugar cane needs of a block of water. I tried with this approach:

S W S W S
S W S W S
S W S W S
S W S W S

(S = sugar cane, W = water)

But the water keep freezing Even if I put torches all around it. Is there any compact way to force a water block not to freeze?

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3  
Get the water flowing by dropping it a block. –  Adanion Jun 13 '12 at 15:12
    
Alternatively, put the water block underground. –  Lawton Jun 13 '12 at 15:13
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6 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Cover the water with wooden slabs. This looks nice, and lets you walk around without stepping on the dirt, e.g. when growing wheat.

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Does this prevent the water from freezing? –  GnomeSlice Jun 13 '12 at 16:28
4  
@GnomeSlice: Yes, only uncovered water can freeze. –  blubb Jun 13 '12 at 17:05
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Note that the melting effect of a torch has a limited range:

Torches also melt nearby snow and ice, making them useful to keep skylights from being snowed over and lakes from freezing in snow biomes. The torches will however only melt snow and ice from a radius of 2 blocks from the torch.

enter image description here

It's likely that you are placing your torches around your sugar cane farm, and thus the ice blocks in the middle are too far from the torches to be melted.

As an alternative, glowstone blocks have a slightly wider radius of 3 and could be placed in the air space above the water:

enter image description here

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3  
Note that torches don't prevent water from freezing, just frozen blocks to melt. What this means is that you have a chance of ice periodically forming and then melting, even with torches. –  Justin Aug 13 '12 at 14:13
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Based on gnovice's information, you can keep your Sugercane farm layout with a minor change. Replace every 3rd sugarcane block in the center row with a torch. This way, no block of water is more than two squares (three cubes) from the torch.

S W S W S
S W T W S
S W S W S
S W S W S
S W T W S
S W S W S
S W S W S
S W T W S
S W S W S
S W S W S
S W T W S
S W S W S
S W S W S
S W T W S
S W S W S
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There might be a solution with a floating block and side mounted torches, but I'm unsure if a floating block with water directly under it will cut water access from neighboring sugarcane. I'll have to try this later. –  David B Jun 13 '12 at 16:11
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Try putting glowstone under the water. I used this to keep a Venice like water road melted through a snow biome. It seemed like ice no longer even formed.

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You can put fire around it, torches or glow blocks as the above posts mention.

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3  
Hi alicia, the question states he puts torches all around it already. It would be helpful if you could clarify what he needs to do that he hasn't, if you think the other answers to this question are insufficient. –  PeterL Oct 25 '12 at 13:40
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Use wood and place torches on them next to sugar canes.

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Hi Jose, this doesn't add anything not already covered in greater detail in earlier answers - we try to avoid duplicating information where possible :) –  Rory Jan 21 at 21:05
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