In Java Edition:
In Bedrock Edition:
In Java Edition, tropical fish spawn in groups of 8 at 24 to 64 blocks away from the player, with random patterns (see below) in lukewarm or warm oceans and lush caves, as well as their deep variants. In ocean biomes tropical fish will only spawn at Y levels between sea level, and 13 blocks below sea level.
In Bedrock Edition, tropical fish spawn underwater at 12-32 blocks away from the player. Tropical fish spawn only in warm, lukewarm, deep lukewarm ocean biomes and lush caves, in groups of 3-5 for the same preset pattern, and in groups of 1-3 for a random pattern. In addition, tropical fish in warm, lukewarm ocean and deep variants can only spawn at Y levels between 50 and 64 and must be on the surface (i.e., there must not be a spawnable block above the spawn location with a non-solid block on top). Tropical fish in lush caves can spawn on any Y levels but require underground.
- 1 tropical fish.
- 1 bone meal (5% chance) [Java Edition only]
- 1–2 bones (25% chance) [Bedrock Edition only]
- 1–3 when killed by a player or tamed wolf.
Tropical fish tend to swim in schools of fish (a maximum of nine tropical fish per school).
The player may collect a fish by using a water bucket on it, which gives the player a bucket of fish. Fish placed with buckets do not despawn naturally. When that fish bucket is used against a block, it empties the bucket, placing water with that fish swimming in it.
Tropical fish cannot survive out of water. Outside of water, they flop around for a while until eventually they suffocate and die. In Bedrock Edition, they rotate when flipping. Fish cannot swim or breathe in cauldron water.
When tropical fish spawn in the wild, 90% of the time they appear as one of the 22 varieties seen on the right, and the other 10% of the time their patterns, size, and colors are completely random, drawn from any of 2 shapes, 6 patterns, 15 base colors, and 15 pattern colors. The color black does not appear on any naturally-spawned tropical fish, since the eyes are usually hard to see. These result in 2,700 naturally-occurring combinations.
Tropical fish can be summoned with black as one or both of their colors, and/or without any visible pattern, though even without the pattern they can still have a pattern color, causing a further 884 possible combinations, 480 of which look the same due to the missing pattern.
Tropical fish do not have common varieties in Bedrock Edition. Instead, for naturally spawned tropical fish spawn in attempt as 22 preset and another attempt use randomly chosen patterns, sizes, and colors (except black). Tropical fish from spawn egg will use randomly chosen patterns, sizes, and colors (except black).
Tropical fish variants in buckets have names that are assigned based on their colors and type. In Bedrock Edition, the names are in the name of the bucket, giving names like "Bucket of Plum Blockfish", "Bucket of Sky-Orange Snooper", or "Bucket of Orange-Lime Dasher". In Java Edition, the type, and colors are displayed as item tooltips.
In Bedrock Edition, the following colors are renamed from their defaults when they refer to tropical fish. Parentheses indicate default name and color id - see § Entity data.
- Sky (Light Blue; 3)
- Rose (Pink; 6)
- Silver (Light Gray; 8)
- Teal (Cyan; 9)
- Plum (Purple; 10)
The base color is first, and the pattern color is next if it is different.
The fish type is determined according to the shape and pattern of the fish:
Some varieties of tropical fish don't follow the normal naming system; instead, they reference real-life fish species. In Java Edition, these unique fish are limited to the 22 common varieties. In Bedrock Edition, there are also 22 uniquely-named tropical fish, though they are not all the same as in Java Edition. These uniquely-named tropical fish aren't different from regular tropical fish in terms of design or behavior.
These varieties are:
|Black Tang||Gray Flopper|
|Blue Tang[JE only]||Gray-Blue Flopper|
|Blue Dory[BE only]||Gray-Sky SunStreak|
Butterfly Fish[BE only]
|Cichlid||Blue-Gray Sunstreak[n 1]|
|Cotton Candy Betta[JE only]
Candyfloss Betta[BE only]
|Pink-Light Blue Spotty[JE only]
Rose-Sky Spotty[BE only]
|Dottyback||Purple-Yellow Blockfish[JE only]
Plum-Yellow Blockfish[BE only]
|Emperor Red Snapper||White-Red Clayfish|
|Moorish Idol||White-Gray Glitter|
|Ornate Butterflyfish[JE only]
Ornate Butterfly[BE only]
|Parrotfish||Cyan-Pink Dasher[JE only]
Teal-Rose Dasher[BE only]
|Queen Angelfish[JE only]
Queen Angel Fish[BE only]
|Lime-Light Blue Brinely[JE only]
Lime-Sky Brinely[BE only]
|Red Cichlid||Red-White Betty|
|Red Lipped Blenny||Gray-Red Snooper|
|Red Snapper||Red-White Blockfish|
|Tomato Clownfish[JE only]||Red-White Kob|
|Tomato Clown[BE only]||Red-White SunStreak|
|Triggerfish||Gray-White Sunstreak[n 1]|
|Yellowtail Parrotfish[JE only]
Yellowtail Parrot[BE only]
|Cyan-Yellow Dasher[JE only]
Teal-Yellow Dasher[BE only]
|Yellow Tang||Yellow Flopper|
|Sound||Subtitles||Source||Description||Resource location||Translation key||Volume||Pitch||Attenuation|
|None||None[sound 1]||?||Randomly||None[sound 1]||?||?||?|
|Tropical Fish dies||?||Plays when it dies||?||0.8||16|
|Tropical Fish flops||?||Plays when on land||0.3||?||16|
|Tropical Fish hurts||?||Plays when damaged||?||?||16|
- Empty events do not have this parameter set.
|Name||Resource location||Entity tags (JE)||Translation key|
|Name||Resource location||Numeric ID||Translation key|
Tropical fish have entity data associated with them that contains various properties.
- Entity data
- Tags common to all entities
- Tags common to all mobs
- FromBucket: 1 or 0 (true/false) - Whether the fish had ever been released from a bucket.
- Variant: A 4-byte integer.
- The least significant byte has a value of either 0 for a small fish, or 1 for a large fish. Values above 1 result in an invisible fish.
- The next byte has a value from 0–5, representing the pattern on the fish. Values above 5 result in a fish with no pattern.
- The next byte has a value from 0–15, representing the color of the fish's body.
- The most significant byte has a value from 0–15, representing the color of the fish's pattern.
The fish sizes and patterns are depicted in the following table, with white body color and dark-gray pattern color.
The 22 varieties of tropical fish most commonly found throughout the world have
Variant tag values from the following table, which also lists what color/shape/patterns come from that value.
|Shape||Pattern||Base color||Pattern color||Variant||Type||Name|
|0||0||14||0||917504||Red-White Kob||Tomato Clownfish|
|1||3||14||0||918273||Red-White Blockfish||Red Snapper|
|1||4||14||0||918529||Red-White Betty||Red Cichlid|
|1||5||0||1||16778497||White-Orange Clayfish||Ornate Butterflyfish|
|0||4||5||3||50660352||Lime-Light Blue Brinely||Queen Angelfish|
|0||5||6||3||50726144||Pink-Light Blue Spotty||Cotton Candy Betta|
|1||0||4||4||67371009||Yellow Flopper||Yellow Tang|
|0||3||9||4||67699456||Cyan-Yellow Dasher||Yellowtail Parrotfish|
|1||2||0||7||117441025||White-Gray Glitter||Moorish Idol|
|1||0||7||7||117899265||Gray Flopper||Black Tang|
|1||0||7||11||185008129||Gray-Blue Flopper||Blue Tang|
|1||5||0||14||234882305||White-Red Clayfish||Emperor Red Snapper|
|0||2||7||14||235340288||Gray-Red Snooper||Red Lipped Blenny|
The variant number is the sum of the most significant byte × 224 + second most significant byte × 216 + second least significant byte × 28 + least significant byte.
|Icon||Achievement||In-game description||Actual requirements (if different)||Gamerscore earned||Trophy type (PS4)|
|I am a Marine Biologist||Collect a fish in a bucket||Use an empty bucket on any fish mob to collect it.||20G||Bronze|
|Icon||Advancement||In-game description||Parent||Actual requirements (if different)||Resource location|
|Tactical Fishing||Catch a fish... without a fishing rod!||Fishy Business||Use a water bucket on any fish mob.|
|Java Edition Alpha|
|June 28, 2010||Notch mentioned that fish might be a feature of coral, if he were able to add coral: "... I do know that the corals will have tiny fish particles around them."|
|October 4, 2010||Fish were a passive mob that Notch showed interest in adding. In the promotional graphic for the Halloween Update, Notch indicated he would add fish. However, they were only added as an item; there was no code for a fish mob.|
|October 5, 2012||Fish were jokingly teased in the fake snapshot 12marc40awesome, along with coral and "fish blocks".|
|April 13, 2013||When Jon Kågström was asked in his AMA on Reddit, "What mob would you like to implement into the game?" He responded, "I would like to add birds, fish and tree animals to make it more alive. However this will take some time before it can be done."|
|July 31, 2013||During Notch's AMA on Reddit, when asked about what happened to his plans of adding fish as a mob, he responded, "Oh yeah, the fish!"|
|1.13||November 18, 2017||Two fish mobs, presumably early tropical fish, were shown off in a clip presented at MineCon Earth.|
|18w10a||Added tropical fish.|
|18w10b||Tropical fish now make sounds and no longer use the player damage sound.|
|1.13.1||18w31a||Fish now have a 5% chance of dropping bone meal when killed.|
|1.17||20w51a||Tropical fish are now attacked by axolotls.|
|21w13a||Tropical fish spawned from buckets in the creative inventory now only spawn as white kobs.|
|1.17.1||Pre-release 2||Tropical fish spawned from buckets in the creative inventory no longer only spawn as white kobs.|
|1.18||21w40a||Tropical fish now only spawn between y=50 and y=64, with the exception of lush caves in which they can spawn at any height.|
|March 1, 2018||ThorsHand11 states on the official Minecraft Discord that "more than a handful" of tropical fish will be added.|
|1.4.0||beta 188.8.131.52||Added all 4 variants of fish mobs.|
|1.8.0||beta 184.108.40.206||Tropical fish are now slightly bigger.|
|1.13.0||beta 220.127.116.11||Tropical fish now drop experience when killed.|
|1.17.0||beta 18.104.22.168||Tropical fish are now attacked by axolotls.|
|1.18.0||beta 22.214.171.124||Tropical fish now only spawn between y=50 and y=64, with the exception of lush caves in which they can spawn at any height.|
|beta 126.96.36.199||Tropical fish can now spawn in lukewarm ocean biomes.|
|Legacy Console Edition|
|TU69||1.76||Patch 38||Added fish mobs.|
|1.4.0||Added all 4 variants of fish mobs.|
Tropical Fish in promotional artwork for the first Caves & Cliffs update.
- – "fish bouncing and suffocating on top of the cauldron which fills with water" resolved as "Won't Fix"
- Resolved as "Works as Intended"