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I had a dangerous nitrite spike because I decided to move some plants in my planted aquarium. My nitrite levels went up to >1 ppm after I decided to move my echinodorus from one side of the tank to the other. And that was while using my jbl pro flora substrate.

In my new tank I am using ADA new amazonia, if I stir too much my ammonia levels can go up to 2-3 ppm!!! I am very careful when moving that substrate now that I have fish living in the tank.
 

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Is this sort of thing particular to enhanced substrates? I could see a deep sand bed disturbance affecting various potential biologicals, it would need to be deep, but causing spikes of that nature should almost be impossible in a less than 3" sand substrate.

A suggestion for any plant moving in those would be to run the siphon in the area that you are working while disturbing the substrate, perhaps that would help to mitigate any potential release of toxins.

Jeff.
Hey jeff

I misspelled that one. It was JBL AquaBasis Plus. It has a depth of around 3-4 inches.

I learned my lesson and you are right, next time I had to move plants around once I removed the plant I quickly hoovered the affected area and performed a water changed. Since then I never had a spike.

The tank is now gone though I have a new bigger tank with amazonia in it... cycling the amazonia substrate was some experience too... my ammonia went up to 7 ppm at the beginning, it took me 8 days to cycle the substrate
 
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