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constant nitrites in planted tank!

This is the first time I've posted..hope I did it right.... :)

I have a 30 g tank using an Aquaclear 200 that for the past few months
has been a stable 0 level of nitrites.  I made the conversion to planted
tank by adding 3 inches of gravel throughout the tank, and 3 weeks
later, all plants are thriving and doing well.

My problem:  Since the introduction of the plants, I have constantly had
nitrite levels in my tank.  I have yet to test showing 0 nitrites.  I
have upped my water changes from once every 2 weeks, to almost twice a
week! (15%-20%).  It reduces it slightly as one would expect, but then
it's back up again.  I thought plants were supposed to make the water
conditions better?  Mine are making it worse!