Belin-air Protein Skimmer...need input


Reefing newb
Hello all,
New to hobby and forum! I have done my research and finally gotten started on my tank. I have a 20 gallon tank (I know it could be bigger) with the following: power filter, powerhead & Berlin-air Protein Skimmer.

My question is in regards to my skimmer. I originally had my tank set up with crushed coral substrate, tufa rock and synthetic corals, all mechanics were in place & the skimmer was not producing any waste...I assumed it was because there was really no waste to extract as I did not begin cycling yet.

I then made the decision to purchase live sand to replace crushed coral as well as live rock. The majority of the rock was already cured except for the largest piece. Now with both the rock and sand, I would assume that the skimmer should now be producing waste as it should, but still it is not.

Water perimeters are all correct & water is actually crystal clear, except when I loosen the dead material from rock with turkey baster.

Skimmer is air stone driven & at correct water produces plenty of bubbly foam...but no "sea like thick foam" if I turn the air flow up in order to send foam to top, it only fills collection cup with water. Is there something you can think of I am doing incorrectly, or is anyone familiar of if this is a quality skimmer, or suggest another one that would better with my set up?

Thank you so much for your help, any comments are appreciated!
I am not familiar with the Berlin-air skimmer, but I do know that it will take a few days to a week for the skimmer to get "primed" enough to start producing any poo poo. Do you have any fish in there? How much live rock did you cure? It may just be the simple fact that you do not have anything for it to pull out. One other thing. Are you checking parameters, such as ammonia, nitrites and nitrates?
I actually only put in around 8-9lbs, the piece which was not cured is about 4-5lbs maybe. I bought the test strips which test nitrate, ph, ammonia, hardness etc. all on the same strip, unfortunatly the box shows the shade of color each test should be in comparison to the strip placed in water, they don't match up, but I have no way of knowing what my colors mean, too low, too I am going to purchase new testing supplies to specify exactly where I am and where I should be....
The tank has been running about 2 weeks now...the live rock was placed in Friday night...Ill give it a few more days...thanks a bunch for your help!!!
With the information you gave I would think you will not see anything produced by the skimmer yet. Since you are still cycling I am guessing you don't have any fish in there yet. If you want my opinion I would put a piece of shrimp in there to help the cyling process or at least feed the tank some fish food. Turn off the skimmer until you add the clean up crew. Get you a good test kit. The test strips that test multiple parameters are not any good in my opinion. Keep feeding the tank occasionally and checking the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Once the nitrites go to zero and you start getting some nitrates add some hermits and/or snails to take care of the algae you will have. Turn the skimmer back on. You should see some produce come out of it.
Just an after thought, not too heavy on the feeding dosnt take much. when skimmer is turned back on give couple weeks for initial break in at correct adjustment. hope something here helps.
No thanks for the info!!

Silly question, but going to ask anyway. I must have put down the marine food and picked up the tropical food on accident while looking at the selection. For the time being, is it okay to use that food to begin the cycling process? Not like it is costly, so not a big deal if its not a good idea, but thought I would ask since I lost the receipt.....

But thanks again for all your help! Its awesome to be able to chat with knowledgable people in the hobby when you are first starting out! Thanks a bunch!
yea that food should be ok for the cycling process.

Just one more thought you can leave water going through your skimmer, but leave the air turned off for now.... this will help shorten the break in period of your skimmer later.