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Sounds like with just a little buffer you'll be fine anyway based on the PH out of your tap.

The amount of buffering you'd get from a small amount of substrate placed in your canister most likely borders on insignificant.

I used the eco-complete as my substrate in my 450g but still used Seachem Malawi Buffer and Salt for the initial setup. Cheap enough...a full jar of each was only about $5/$6.
 
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