Are there any effective AFK squid farming techniques? I'm running out of squid ink trading with villagers.

From what I can tell in reading the forums, is that one needs to either:

eliminate all water in a region, and build an aquarium and harvest squid that way.

Or go to the bottom of the ocean, and drop holes in the ocean, and collect the squid there (because squid swim down, but not up, and thus always end at the bottom of the ocean.)

I'm looking for a minimal amount of effort (I get about 2 hours of minecraft time a week! :( ) approach to getting a reasonable farm for acquiring ink sacs.

I very much prefer AFK farms (due to the small at keyboard time I have). I have yet to find a decent AFK farm for squid.

  • From what I can tell, you are on a Multiplayer server, because you talk about being AFK, which only works on multiplayer. Retagging.
    – user28379
    Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 23:14
  • 3
    @JeffreyLin Since when does AFK-ing only work on multiplayer? I can grab a snack while waiting for reeds to grow just as easily in singleplayer... Commented Oct 30, 2012 at 23:55
  • 3
    This is single player. I'm completely mystified why AFK only applies to multiplayer.
    – John
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 2:23
  • 2
    @JeffreyLin Ah, I see where you're coming from, now. Thanks for that. There were, however, ways around that limitation ;) Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 16:28
  • 1
    I know, such as opening inventories, chests, furnaces, crafting tables, etc.
    – user28379
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 23:21

3 Answers 3


To my knowledge (and experience), you can farm squid by having an aquarium. I had a 4*4*4 farm, which basically:

  1. Spawned squid occasionally
  2. Forced squid into small 1*2*1 hole
  3. Killed with pistons and a redstone clock or by punching (no need to waste sword durability on this).
  • 1
    Cool! Did you have to fill in all near by oceans? Did you have to be far away from the farm for squid to spawn, or did this work while you were stationary near it?
    – John
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 21:58
  • Well, the seed I was using (minecraft) spawned it regardless since the place under my house was a huge ravine, and therefore, there is no place for the squid to spawn (except in a swamp ~25-50 blocks away, which they don't).
    – user28379
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 23:01

The key to making squid spawn is elevation. From the Minecraft Wiki:

Squids spawn in water between layers 46 and sea level (64), in groups of up to 4. After the world generation, they may still spawn in individuals and will only spawn in rivers, beach variants and ocean biomes.

So your aquarium must be below sea level and in one of the mentioned biomes. It can be made entirely of falling water, so a convenient design is to make a chamber of falling water that stops above a sign platform, leave an airspace to suffocate the squid, then have a sheet of flowing water under that pushes the dying squid and ink to a hopper (or your AFK self).

  • 1
    Can you explain why below sea level is a requirement?
    – John
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 11:26
  • Squid only spawn between layers 45 and 62.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 19:06

Well, you could try to suffocate them with pistons; I think that might work. I don't have any time to test this myself, so please comment to let me know if it does!

  • The issue (at least for me) isn't how to kill them, the issue is how to get them to spawn.
    – John
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 22:52

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