I agree with Hara, use the shrimp. One my first tank, I just added LR
and live sand. I had the LFS
test my water so I missed out on how the cycle really works. I have a 125 and a 20 cycling now, with my nice rotting shrimp.
Congrats on the purchase!
There are a few folks that have the Excaliber skimmer and really love it. One work of caution, get a list of meds the previous owner used in the tank.
I premix my water (for at least 24 hours), that way I can get as many parameter as close to my main as possible, mainly salinity, pH, and temp.