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Hello,

I'm just getting into this whole thing, so I'm learning as I go along. My question is, do I have enough lighting on my tank at the moment? My tank is a 90 gallon 48 x 18 x 24, I currently have 1 6500K T8 32 watt and 2 10,000K 32 watt T8's. I have a mixture of swords onion plants, some other stuff I haven't figured out yet, all of those are doing well at the moment... and some baby tears that look like they are dying... The reason I'm asking is I'm just now starting to read up on aquarium lighting ( I know smart ) and I saw the generic guide of 2-5 watts per gallon. Mine would come out to roughly 1 watt per gallon, which I'm guessing isn't going to sustain those babytears? I'm learning as I go so any advice would be most welcomed.
 

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There is a thread here that is the last word in lighting so far.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/105774-par-vs-distance-t5-t12-pc.html
Its a sticky in this lighting forum. I am sure that Hoppy (its author) will chime in here and help you out but this thread has helped me a ton. I am by no means an expert but according to this chart it looks like that is very low light? at least the baby tears require substantially more light than that. I believe the WPG rule is completely dead and now these guys are getting PAR ratings on different fixtures at different heights. Par is a way more reliable way to measure light.
 

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I think you have around 25 micromols of PAR with those three T8 bulbs. That is good enough for low light plants, and if you also use CO2, you can grow some of the higher light plants well enough. Of course once you add CO2, the plant growth rate goes up enough that you also need to be dosing fertilizers per the sticky on dosing schemes in the fertilizing forum. I think that will not be enough, even with CO2, for HC (baby tears), but I could be wrong on that.

My guess on the light you will get is based on having just a white painted background as a reflector. If you can make and add reflectors made of thin polished aluminum, shaped like \_/ under each bulb, so you can see a reflection of the bulb on each side of the bulb, you can double the light you get.
 
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