The timer should help. Also, there is a product called excel which kills algae, though it does not say so on the label due to some legal stuff. You can dose your whole tank as per the instructions or just squirt a little right on the algae one time. Don't overdose it or it will kill everything in there and don't let the kids play with it, its a rather nasty general biocide. The Excell has other properties too. It speeds up how fast your plants grow by giving them carbon which they usually get from the CO2 in the water. That they do say on the label. Generally speaking, In a tank with some light and fish/fish food providing some nutrients (NPK and traces) to the plants the carbon is what plants need more than anything else. You know, the right level of light is the key to plants growing well and algae being almost non existant (there will alway be some). I dont know if your ligh is too high or too low, but if your ligh is just a bit too high the excel would probably help a lot with the algae. The more healthy and populous your plants the less algae there will be, but not because the plants eat all the nutrients and leave none for the algae, rather because healthy plants excrete chemicals which prevent algal growth while unhealthy one release ammonia which triggers algal growth, other conditions which favor algae are unbalanced factors such as light to CO2 ratios. This is very common with a persons first planted tank. Too much light and not enough CO2allows the algae to thrive. Algae does much better than plants in unbalanced conditions. There are other things, like poor circulation or low oxygen, that cause algae and I don't really know the cause in your tank. A little algae is not a bad thing, by the way. It is actually good for your fish since it is removing toxins just like the plants do, except for "blue green algae" which is properly called cyanobacteria. That stuff is not really algae despite the name and is poisonous. If you get that get rid of it fast. As for the good algae, it took me about a year to get a good handle on mine so Don't be bothered if it is kinda tough to get rid of. Now I try to grow some because I have some algae eating otto cats in my tank. Keep in mind that If you decide to use the Excel regularly your plants may grow so fast that you may need to fertilize a little bit in the future.