I ran my skimmer during my cycle. I cured my rock for several weeks in my garage, wherein I ran my skimmer during that period as well. Does it prolong the cycle? perhaps, I can't speak for sure.
When you say you added an extra dose of bacteria, what exactly did you add? You need to provide an ammonia source to feed the cycle.
Diatoms are normal for a new tank as they eat at the excess silicates that are in brand new tanks. The reddish stuff I assume to be cyano
, which is another common phase in breaking in a new aquarium.
While you're cycling, don't run the lights. The bacteria don't need it, and the high/excess nutrients plus lots of lights can lead to crazy algae issues.