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There have been many threads / posts addressing the problem of cloudiness when filling a tank with water when various substrates are used. The degree of cleaning and rinsing is often raised as a cure for cloudiness and that is certainly important; however, the way in which you add the water is just as important. Always put a shallow bowl on the substrate surface and gently pour the water into it letting the water over flow the bowl. This reduces turbulence and decreases currents that will kick up fine particles. As an example, this past weekend I set up an experimental plant nursery tank with soil and play sand. I saturated the soil and squeezed out the water and placed it evenly in the tank. I cleaned the sand well and placed that over the soil evenly. Next I put in the plants by poking a hole in the substrate, putting in the roots and covering them up with the sand. Then I used the bowl technique to fill the tank with water. The tank was clear immediately and still is. Just my thoughts and experience on this issue that I hope will help.
 

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Thank you. I'm teaching a fish keeping class, I think I may share this information with the students! :-D
 
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I pour the water over my rocks, but I always end up pouring it too fast, and it creates huge holes around my rocks, and makes it really cloudy. In my class we're going to be filling the tanks before adding decorations, so rocks won't work then.
 

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This avoids the cloud however it does not address the issue of small particles. Fish may stir up the sand at a future date causing cloudiness. This often makes fishkeepers panic introducing chemicals when not needed. Alternatively they may assume cloudiness is just sand and small particles when there is another issue at hand. I prefer to just filter out the small stuff when putting the sand in so I dont have to worry about it later.
 

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i rarely use any substrate in any of my tanks, so i just use a hose/python from the tap and fill as slowly as possible
 
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