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AH Supply Lights for moderate light on 75 gallon

Hello List,

I just purchased a 75 gallon Oceanic Tank and stand. 
Iím now buying the lighting system.  I know I want to
keep some carpet plants in the front of the tank. 
Either Echinodorus tenellus or dwarf sag and
hairgrass. Maybe pearlgrass or sunset hygrophila.  I
havenít committed to other plants yet but I donít
think Iíll be keeping many really high light or red
plants.  I will be running CO2.  I have decided to go
with AH Supply lights.  Now Iím wondering what lights
to buy.

I know there are many on the list who go with high
light and lots of CO2 and recommend the 4 x 55 or even
the 3 x 55 kits.  Most of my tanks have low to
moderate light and I donít go through CO2 as much.  My
plants donít grow quite as fast but I also donít need
to get my hands in the tank as much or get the CO2
tank refilled as often and I get to enjoy looking at
the tank more.  These are my tastes and they fit my
busy lifestyle.

This leads to my question.   Would the 2x55 Bright Kit
be enough to meet my requirements?    I know these
lights are much more efficient than regular
fluorescents.  I thought a recent post said something
like 150% more efficient.  I am worried that in parts
of the tank there will be dark areas. Several
individuals wrote recently that for a tank this large
the 3 x 55 watt would be plenty and the 4 x 55 watt
too much. But for me I think using 3 x 55 watt Bright
Kits would still be too much light for what I want.  I
know this might not be enough light for some of you
but the more light I get the more CO2 I need to add
and work I need to do.  I donít want to get in the
tank as often.  I also donít want a big algae problem.

I hope those of you who have AH Supply lights can help
me make a decision. If the 2 x 55 watt kit would not
be enough how about the 2 x 96 watt kit?  Would it be
enough over a tank of this size?  And would the 5000K
or 6700K bulbs be appropriate.

My other question becomes how to mount the lights.  It
sounds like the light from these bulbs doesnít spread
out to cover much of the tank because the reflector
punches the light straight down.  Could I mount the
lights up a little from the tank glass on little
pegs/legs so the light diffuses to cover more of the
tank? Or would the reflector still send the light down
straight? Should I place the lights in the middle of
the tank or 1/3 from the front to appeal to my carpet
plants?  Iím just not sure how much these lights
diffuse in the water.  I will be using a cover glass.

 Or another idea I had so that my lighting was not so
intense was to run the 2 x 55 watt across the front of
the tank for the carpet plants and a 4-foot T-12 or
T-8 across the back.  That would give me around 150
watts of light but not be as intense as using 3 x 55
watt Bright Kits and should eliminate the dark corners
in the back.

Does anyone here use on 2 x 55 over a 75 gallon tank?
Could you share if the light would be enough for
someone looking for a moderately lit tank.

One other question for everyone using AH Supply
lights.  How close to the tank should you mount the
lights if you are using a cover glass?  I will be
building a wood box to hold the lights that will fit
under my larger tank hood.  I have always used a top
glass.  Can you put them directly on the glass or
should the box be an inch or more over the glass to
let out heat?  Is it necessary to have a fan?

I know these questions appears a bit jumbled but since
I have never purchased AH Supply lights I canít answer
these questions myself.  In summary could I light a 75
gallon tank with 2 x 55 kit or do I need more light. 
For me personally Iím looking for moderate light but I
do want to grow some carpet plants and the above
plants I mentioned.  Would the 2 x 96 watt be a better
alternative or will I still have shaded areas?  I
would love to know also how everyone mounts their
lights and how close to the cover glass they rest. 
This list has always been so amazing and I have
learned so much.  Feel free to email me privately if
you need to.

Thanks in advance,


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