I want to make a kelp elevator (with soulsand at the bottom and bubbles that lift me up) but to build it in survival I need to plant kelp from the very bottom (y -54) to the top (y 120) while being under water. I have no diamond armor with enchanting so I can't breathe under water and no potions either.

What can I do so I do not drown while planting the kelps to the top? I thought about placing a door but that would destroy the water from flowing down and I wonder if this might cause a problem with the planted kelps.

Any ideas? Also I have no time to build 2 blocks into the "wall" so I have a place to breath.

I'm on Java 1.19.

  • Why do you not have time to break blocks? Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 16:24
  • You can't place a door on a non-solid block. (like kelp) and would likely be required to break blocks in your elevator wall to place it.
    – vinzzz001
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 11:28
  • Why are potions not an option? You only need Pufferfish plus standard potion ingredients.
    – TechnoSam
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 14:21

3 Answers 3


You don't need to plant kelp from the very bottom to top.
Bone meal can be used to grow kelp by 1 block on each use.

  • You can also just wait.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 16:55
  • 1
    @OrangeDog Waiting won't work, as kelp won't grow more than 26 blocks (at max) without interference.
    – vinzzz001
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 10:02

I am guessing you are within a single-block-width water elevator -with a water source block at the top- and want to put kelp in, turning flowing water into source blocks.

If you are within the elevator and don't want to break any build blocks/waterlogged kelp you could take an easily breakable block (slime block, honey block, wool, haybale, dirt, wooden trapdoor, sign) and place it a few blocks above you while you remain within the just planted kelp. This will stop the flowing water above you from reaching you, leaving an air gap, while the kelp-contained source block prevents you from falling down. Break the block above once you are full breathe again and continue planting.

Just be careful not to place the blocks out of reach.

  • 2
    Technically, you could also use TNT as an easily breakable block, but using TNT in a building project always makes me uncomfortable...
    – vinzzz001
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 11:26
  • 1
    Haybale is your friend
    – pinckerman
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 16:27
  • @vinzzz001 In this case it's very temporary, would fall directly into water even if it did get ignited somehow, and should be nowhere near fire or redstone, so it seems like an extremely safe time to use it as a building block Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 17:00
  • 1
    Could also use a sign. It won't break, it will block the water indefinitely without blocking movement
    – Ben
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 0:36

If you take about 7-9 torches with you you can spam place them on the wall to get more air. Placing one will create an air block, then the water will flow down and break it placing it back into your inventory. You can spam click the same area until you have full air and then continue placing kelp.

You can see this method utilized in this video:


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