The nitrate test on the aquarium pharm. kit is a PITA. You have to add 10 drops... turn the vial a few times to mix it up. Then shake the #2 bottle for atleast 30 seconds... then add 10 drops. Now shake up the vial for 1 minute atleast then let it sit for 5 minutes. Kinda rough for one test. Much more accurate than those test strips tho.
A skimmer does make perfect sense tho. Personally I wonder why you need to do water changes hardly at all if you have a skimmer and good water circulation. Using just aragonite sand and live rock with a skimmer and a few power heads. LR
for biological filtration to make nitrates, HOB
filter for mechanical, and a skimmer to remove nitrates. Just top off the tank. :P You could use a python just to do that.
As for adding the clown I've heard they are pretty hardy fish. If it looks like the tank has cycled. 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites. I would think you could add him. I've just heard you should go slow. Let the tank adjust to the waste production to keep ammonia spikes to a minimum.
I'm actually working on my first SW
tank and I have some shrimp rotting in my tank along with some LR
. Should prove to be an interesting smell.