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I sometimes wash substrate, but usually don't have the patience/effort to do it properly (or sometimes, just do it at all...).

I've had good luck setting up tanks by putting in the substrate damp/wet (empty tank), heavily misting it with a spray bottle full of treated water, planting (spraying/misting while planting to keep plants wet), and then gently filling.

I think the misting/spraying helps to wash the fines down into the lower reaches of the substrate, so they are less likely to be stirred up into the water column once you add water.
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