Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Forget the 'beneficial bacteria' aspect of this material.
I would dry it out better for shipping so it will not go foul.
Rinse well when you are ready to use it and it should be fine.
To get the 'beneficial bacteria' you can simply grow them by:
a) Doing the fishless cycle to grow the nitrifying bacteria
b) Adding plants (lots of bacteria come in on the leaves, roots and so on)
c) Running the tank for a while. There are all sorts of microorganisms all over, in the air, on your hands and other places. These get established just fine. These will be heterotrophic bacteria, decomposing bacteria and fungi and many others, mostly beneficial.
d) Add some mulm from an established tank.
Of course algae will also find the tank from the same sources!
You will need to add fertilizer to the new set up. You could use slow release tablets or DIY capsules like Osmocote.