Reducing PH WITHOUT using peat

Joshaeus

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Hi everyone! I am strongly considering setting up a 5 or 10 gallon blackwater tank, with very low PH (about 4-5 ideally), virtually no hardness, and TDS no higher than 30 ppm (ideally lower). I was considering using peat moss as a reasonably authentic substrate and PH-lowering device for this setup...HOWEVER, some quick research revealed that there is a major debate on whether peat moss is sustainable, as while the peat moss itself accumulates more than fast enough to match harvesting rates, removing any significant amount of peat moss severely disrupts the ecology and hydrology of the bogs that had contained it, and it takes years or perhaps decades to heal.

My point is...what are some products I can use to reduce the PH of this tank without sending the TDS skyrocketing? I am already going to have a thick leaf layer on the tank bottom and an even thicker one in the refugium to encourage microbial and live food development, as well as provide cover and tannins for the fish, but in my experience this doesn't usually send the PH much below 5.8. Thanks :)
 
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