AS II doesnt give you as large and prolonged an ammonia spike as the original, and it also bypasses for the most part the tea colored side effect as well. BUT you will still get the spike and its not as packed full of plant nutrient goodness either, nothing is free (not an issue if you dose ferts regularly). daily water changes are reccomended by most, but i found patience to be the best solution (yeah its hard looking at a fishless tank). i do water changes every other day if i remember, and pack the tank full of nutrient sponges like foxtail etc. this provides a source for the bacteria and also helps keep algae at bay. no fish/shrimp of course, but i found common pond snails to be pretty indestructable and they tollerated even my worst ammonia spikes without any problems. in about a month, the tank is usually ready to go. if you still get the tea color problem, purigen does wonders for it. good luck.