I can get some "dirty" gravel from the fish store that I can put into our tank. It's $5/lb so I can get as much of that as needed OR I can get some Tetra SafeStart to get it started. What do you think? Pros/Cons or any experience doing either of those? Thank you! :)
While the substrate will have some BB it won't be much but every little bit helps. If you can get seeded filter media that would be the best. The bacteria boosters are hit & miss, I would actually do both not one or the other.
Sometimes the LFS will sell or give some away or theres a website called angelsplus.com http://www.angelsplus.com/FiltersSponge.htm sells active sponges. I don't know how much of a hurry you are in or how much trouble you want to go to.