Tanking is sooooo addictive, and fish stuff sure does add up quick!
I can send you some WS if you want, I have extra. Send me a PM if you need it still. It can be a fussy plant in shipping, but most sellers will ship in insulated packages through the summer, you just have to pay an extra dollar for them sometimes. . . s/he should have let you know before you had to ask about it, though!
I think switching out to sand is a great idea, but keep an eye on those parameters if/when you do! In more established tanks, I've seen people just bucket the fish and do it with no problems, but when my tank was new, I actually used nylon 'bags' (lol pantyhose!) and kept the top layer of the old substrate in the water for a week or so to be 100% POSITIVE I wasn't going to mess with the bacteria too much. I tend to be super nervous about my tanks, though ^.^
Very happy to see that everything has evened out with the Ph flux and toxins in the water there! The 55 is on its way!
. . . Bored brings up a really good point about the water softener. I know some types of water softeners essentially pull out the minerals calcium and magnesium using resin beads. The softened water goes out to the taps, and the beads are flushed with a brine solution to recharge them for the next round of softening. Unfortunately, a decent amount of sodium ends up in the softened water. I'm sure this varies from unit to unit, but it was enough that my aunt had to start drinking bottled water when she was put on a low-sodium diet because of the salt in her softened tap water! I'm not 100% clear on how this works, or how it affects tanks (so double check this info!), but have read a lot of conflicting information as to the safety of that particular type of softening when used with freshwater fish (for obvious reasons!). If your landlord uses a Ro unit, that's ideal, but I don't *think* its the standard? Not entirely positive, but definitely encourage you to look a bit farther into this matter!