From what I've read, this is the third generation of AquaSoil. They have been fixing the problems with the soil breaking down fast. It is recommended to replace the soil at some point, but it all depends on how much you mess with it. If you are the type of person that rescapes every couple months, then you'll need new soil faster.
You will never escape the ammonia discharge when you use AquaSoil. You can however, establish a bacteria base by doing a Dry Start Method for a month or so before filling the tank with water. This will eliminate the HUGE spikes.