I would not try without the lift. Color neg gets marks very easily where the developer first hits it. You need to run at high speed when the developer first enters to wet the film evenly and fast as this is a short process. You may reduce speed ater 30 sec.
Pouring the developer into the tank will wet the bottom of the film and that is all that will be wet until you make it horizontal and rotating. I would predict severe development marks.
The 2500 series tanks and reels are best. The smaller 4/5 " diameter reels seemed to mark more easily with c41, although they work ok with black and white and E6 perhaps because the process time is longer . The black reels that fit the 2500 series are improved over the previous design.