Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA.
I always run a new filter on an old tank first. If I can't do that, I'll grab some rocks, mulm or filter media from an old tank. Use water from an old tank.
Basically, you want to set-up a new tank with some bacteria seeds from an old tank. That's the idea behind the "cycle" products - but it's a lot cheaper just to pull some live bacteria from a currently running tank.
While the plants aren't ideal that you have, they'll still suck up some Ammonia. Toss in a few fish (2-3) a little while after a water change (using old tank water if possible, especially from the previous fish abode) and you'll be fine.
I'm not as particular as others, but Endlers live through ANYTHING. I had a friend who shipped 10 in a couple of bags, USPS (1-2 day delivery distance). They got sent to the wrong address and were shipped back. They sat in the mail room of her business for another couple of days. Total time was basically a full week. You know what happened to them? They spawned, in the package, in the box, in the mail room (or on the way). That's it. No deaths.
I've completely torn down, moved and re-set tanks doing this with no problems. The bacteria is on everything in the tank - plants, gravel, wood, filter media, glass, etc.
The cycle products are un-needed IMHO.