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Innocent Gravel?

Hi all,
	I'm converting my 29 gallon to a planted tank.  I'm planning to
change the substrate out entirely (when I find some Tex-blast) but for now
I have regular LFS "Aquarium Gravel".  I can't seem to get my hardness
down below 280ppm.  Is this due to my gravel?  It looks natural enough,
different colored pebbles, not coated with anything.  Could it be the
scale that had built up on the upper walls of my aquarium?  If this is
possible, is there any safe way to eliminate it when I take my tank down?

Kenneth S. Bruno
Purdue University 
Department of Biological Sciences
West Lafayette, Indiana
kbruno at purdue_edu
(765) 743-9905