I don't think about my aquarium's equipment very often. To me, it's the most boring part of aquarium keeping. After asking other reefer's opinions, I tend to just get the best equipment I can afford and hope that its quality was worth the price.
A few months ago, I got a Hydor Performer protein skimmer. I desperately needed a skimmer because seahorses are so messy and the algae in my main tank was about to take over the world. I was not looking forward to shopping for a skimmer. I've had other protein skimmers before that I ended up removing from the tank because they were such a pain. I heard good things about these Hydor Performers, so I decided to give it a try.
From previous aquarium equipment assembly experiences, I decided to set aside an entire evening so that I could put the skimmer together. To my surprise, it took me about five minutes. I hooked it up and turned it on, spent a couple minutes adjusting the air intake, and it almost immediately started working. I had dark, rich skimmate the very next morning. I was baffled. I love this skimmer.
The only problem I did have with it was that some bubbles escaped into the tank for the first few days. But that's not really a problem, just annoying when you want to see in your tank. I also want to mention that it is a myth that seahorses get Gas Bubble Disease from skimmer bubbles in the aquarium. Having a skimmer on a seahorse aquarium can actually prevent GBD by providing cleaner water conditions and increasing oxygen.
However, sometimes a silly male will get some of these tiny air bubbles in his pouch if he is displaying too vigorously. This is not GBD, and the air usually comes out of the pouch the next time he flushes it. If he needs some help, you can gently use a bobby pin to open his pouch and very gently push on his pouch to get the air out. Of course, first decide if he is strong enough withstand the stress of being handled like that. Most of the time, it's best to let him take care of it on his own as long as he is eating well and able to get around. If anything besides air comes out of his pouch (like mucous, opaque liquid, or pus), get him into a quarantine aquarium immediately and slowly lower the temperature to 68 degrees F. Then go to the seahorse.org emergency forum and ask for help!