Sorry this is long, but:
Right now I have a 10g tank with one parrot fish that I've had for over a year. I will admit that I didn't know what I do now, so I have never changed the water or even cleaned the gravel properly. I now know why all of the other fish I tried to keep eventually died, but the parrot has been fine.
Now recently I decided to give the tank a good cleaning. I cleaned out the filter under tap water (I know) and started what I thought was a good way to clean the neglected gravel. I had a crude gravel cleaner which was just a small tube tied to something rigid. I would stir up the gravel and try to get as much gunk to go up the tube. I have since bought a real gravel cleaner which works amazingly better.
During the course of all of this the water was basically murky and FILLED with particles. Later that day the parrot started acting very stressed and I really expected him to not make it. He was on his side on the bottom and looked very bad. But he got better and in a few days he was back to normal. Was this just stress or did I dig up some harmful stuff that was stuck under the gravel and change the water levels?
So now I bought a proper gravel cleaner, have read all about water levels and cycling and have a much better idea of what to do. I bought an API liquid test set for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. The levels were:
After 2, 20% water changes, the levels were the same the next day, which I thought was strange. So I tested my tap water and found:
Is it common to have ammonia in tap water? I didn't think it was. How does this effect the tank? I am not sure where the cycle is, whether I started a mini cycle with the cleaning or what. I have started a chart and I guess I need to track the changes and see what happens. The whole point to this is that I want to add other fish, and even though I know the parrot is fine, I don't want others to die if the levels are not right.
Sorry this was so long and if I forgot any information and thanks in advance.