Skimmers and water changes during cycling are certainly controversial topics. Perhaps even more so for us newbs.
All the LFS
in my area (that I've interfaced) recommended not skimming
and not changing water during cycle
. Regarding skimming, it's been suggested to wait weeks to months. The forums are full of mixed opinions.
It would be nice to have something definitive (LOL)...
For me, I'd just as soon get all of the hardware build done and behind me. My cycle started 10-days ago, but now just adding an DIY ATO. Realized last night that this would have been lots easier BEFORE adding saltwater insofar as setup and testing - just a lot cleaner on the build side. And, easier on my living room.
Same rationale I was given by the LFS
on not skimming is what they say about not doing water changes: 1) nothing to skim at the early stages (before livestock, etc.); 2) better not to remove the protein needed for establishing the ecosystem.
Frankly, same was also advised for not adding the macro/microalgae to the refugium at this stage.