Marina- you mean you wouldn't pay $85, for a TOP of the Line 10 gallon set-up with common plecos and 15 goldfish?
Lol, +1 on being careful with craigslist. However, there are some folks that do list decent set-ups for realistic used prices. It takes a little time and some interesting replys to your inquiries, but you can find some deals on good equip!! I just picked up a 46 gallon bow front, stand, heater, 1 160gph cannister and 2 100gph Hob
filters for $150!
Things that I asked about when responding to the ads were:
Why are you getting rid of the tank?
Is anything wrong with the tank(scratches, cracks, etc.)?
What is included in "Lots of supplies"?
Where did you get the tank?
Is there any livestock that come with?
Is the tank running? What are your current water parameters?
This was seen as ridiculous, to a few of the sellers, and they let me know! I deleted the response and moved on. If they aren't willing to reply with info. It wasn't worth my time or the health of my fish to take a chance on that tank. The guy I ended up buying from, actually passed on another buyer because he liked that I asked those questions(In a friendly way). When I went to pick it up, he showed me his newly set-up 120g(WOW!) and took some time showing me the ins and outs of my newly acquired tank! In the end I got the tank I wanted for a good price, and found another hobbyist I could turn to for help, questions and feedback!
As far as canister filters, they are actually less noisy than HOB
's mainly because they dont have the surface agitation when the water is returned back to the tank, that the waterfall style filters do. No sound proofing needed(maybe for the air pump if that bugs you!).
Second Hand equipment- again caution. I wouldn't pay more than 1/2 price of new, based on amazon.com pricing not msrp. There are a lot of variables involved but it never hurts to check an item out. It could save you $, or you might buy a smelly water filled paperweight... Be sure and look it over really well, and don't be afraid to tell them your gonna pass, if its not what you were expecting.
I like that your taking your time, this gives you a good chance to watch the going prices, and gain some insight on what you do and do not want. Good luck!