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Sudden NO2 Spike? Need advice

Yesterday when I was checking out my 29G tank after work I noticed the fish gasping
at the surface, and looking pretty stressed.  One of my ghost shrimp was dead at 
the bottom, so I removed it.  I also noticed the solonoid on my CO2 system was 
stuck closed -- this has happened before, and I just switched the light/CO2 timer 
off and on to get it going.  I wondered what could be wrong with the tank, and 
checked the NO2 level and it was reading about .5-1 ppm on my Seachem test kit... 
So, I quickly changed 50% of the water 2 times.  The fish went back to normal, and 
my Rams spawned.    I figured that maybe my filter was clogged, as I hadn't changed 
the floss in 2 months.  I quickly changed the floss and flushed the canister.  Fish 
looked normal, and I watched the Rams chase the other fish from their eggs...

All was good, so I thought.  I went to check on the tank this morning to see if the 
eggs made it through the night... They did (miraculously) but all the fish were at 
the surface again, and most of the shrimp had commited hari-kiri by jumping out of 
the tank.  I changed 50% of the water again, and the fish went back to normal...  I 
had to come to work, so I am not sure what I will find in 8 hours when I return 

This tank has been perfectly stable for the past 2 months, and I have had NO algae 
problems and _wonderful_ plant growth... The only thing that has changed in this 
tank was that on Monday I planted 2 small Blyxa japonica, 2 little pieces of Rotala 
spec nanjenshan and 2 stems of Tonina spec... (all received from a fellow APDer) 
The plants came packed in newspaper, and I didn't rinse or soak them prior to 
planting...  The majority of the plants went into my 60G tank, and I haven't had 
any problems in there.  The only other thing I can think of was that I added a tiny 
pinch of KH2PO4 on Monday after planting. (this tank usually gets a small pinch 
once or twice a week).

So, anyone have any ideas as to the cause of the NO2 spike or suggestions for my 
course of action?  Could the lack of CO2 kill off all of the bacteria?  Could the 
plants be leaching NO2 into the water? Is someone out there sending me bad vibes?