What would you suggest as minimum/maximum gallon size for a beginning SW hobbiest?
Minimum 30 gal
Maxium 180 gal
Serously it woudl be best to shoot for the largest tank you can fit/afford with out breaking the bank. While I aswell stareted with a 20 gal
tank and was somewhat sucessful with it the smaller the tank the more day to day work you need to put into the system. Topping off the tank with freshwater to replace evaproation, water changes, managing excess heat from lights, etc are all somewhat easier to do on a larger system than a smaller system.
Also the smaller the tank the more likly the tank will end up overstocked because who likes to have just one or two fish in a tank?
For a 20 gal
I would not avocate more than 3 small fish (less than 2" in lenght).
I love the 30 gal
cube tank I wanted one the minute I saw it in the LFS
last year. One thing thats on the negitive side of the cube is the surface area. There is less surface area per gal
in a cube tank than in a tank of the same capacity but of a longer/narrower configuration.
What did you want to keep in the tank? What yo uwant to keep can be a big factor in deciding on the tank size and shape.