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Shouldn't low lights cause better growth?

I spent a few hours today reading up on what lights grow what plants and trying to figure out how best to set mine up, and all I got was equal portions of differing theories. I think from what I have been observing in my tank though that if your lights are relatively bright, the plants have no need to grow upward, as they get sufficient light where they are, so they are healthy as mine are, but stay static in size. If your lights are dim, or there is a great amount of floating particulates, then the plants have a need to grow upward in order that the light may be better utilized. It just seems that the evolutionarily-affected design of most living things leans toward a miserly approach to functioning, so that if there was no need for a plant to grow upward, it wouldn't do it "for the helluva it." Having just started out, I wanted to grow the stem plants a lot, and keep trimming them as they hit the top of the water and plant the cuttings etc. so that I could save money on plants and keep the growth thick. The problem was that all but the h.difforms were looking great, but not doing anything, and I think the 4 GE Daylight Ultras are to blame, as they were satisfying the light requirements all too well.
What do you think?

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