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Rooibos tea is a great alternative for Indian almond leaves. As long as it's 100% pure rooibos, it's safe. I just plop the teabag in the tank and take it out when I like the color of the water- I like my tannins pretty dark.

The tannins can lower pH, but it depends upon your KH (carbonate hardness). A low KH is more prone to pH changes. A high KH is more resistant. I have a high KH, and with Indian almond leaves, mopani wood and peat moss in my soil (all of which can lower pH), my pH hasn't changed one iota.

The pH change is pretty slow with tannins and not a cause for worry, so I would just check pH on a regular basis to make sure you're not experiencing any swings.
 

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The cool thing about just putting in the teabag is that it is released very slowly into the tank. It might be a good way to go if your worried about acclimating him to it.

A good LFS should have a GH/KH test. I don't think chains like Petsmart carry them. I had to order mine online. A good way to get a general idea is if you have hard water, then you probably have a higher KH, soft water is the opposite.

KH is the buffering capacity of your water, how much it is buffered against changing its pH and GH (general hardness). GH is how many minerals (magnesium and/or calcium) there are present.
 
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