Lighting ... Ineffective !?

Hi all

I 've recently noticed that my tank looks darker and darker inside...
Sometimes it seems that my ceiling light does more good than the hood.

I have a 45G tank ( 36x24X12 ) with a twin bulb shoplite ( yes, it's 48
inches )  The bulbs are GE wide spectrum, 5 months old. At first the
tank was mighty bright, but now it's not.  I have no glass in the hood
to get in the way of the light, and the bulbs are 2 inches from the
water surface.  The water is clean, so are the bulbs and they look
bright aside from the tank.  Plant life is not too dense.

Is there anything obvious I am forgetting to do ? 

Should I do periodic gas changes in the bulbs?  :)

ANy suggestions anybody?


Akom The Benevolent
DarkHorse Of the Round Table

Work History:

At Your service