I'm cycling a new 5 gallon tank and got squeezings from one of the filters at petco (yeah, I know...i was a little skeptical about getting anything from them, but their tanks and fish looked healthy enough). However, it took so long to get done there that the hardware store where I was going to get ammonia was closed. So, my question is, how to I keep the bacteria alive for the next couple of days until I can get back over to the hardware store? if I just put it in the tank, will they be fine without ammonia for a while or will the colony die off? Could I put old water from the unfiltered 1 gallon that my betta is in now, or would fish food work? I saw the shrimp thing on the sticky thread, but it will also be a while before I can get to a grocery store.
Also, do I just dump the water with the bacteria in it into the tank and the bacteria will get to where they need to go or should I swish my filter cartridge around in it?