The PH usually hovered around 7.3, which I believe is a healthy level. No, I don't have a python, but I need one. My water-changing system consists of a too-short siphon with one end held in the tank and the other end sticking out a nearby window. The window is the only part of the thing that really works!
I think I'm just going with sand this time... The aquarium kind. I know that stuff won't do anything, it's inert.

Hey... If 'inert' means it won't react with anything, does 'ert' mean that it would react with everything?