Timers are only like 5 bucks and 12 hours is a long photo period. I would recommend getting
how ever many you need and cutting back light to 5-6hrs for starters then bring it back up to 7-8 once you have the algae under control. Also CAE's are known to stop eating algae once they get bigger and get pretty aggressive. I have SAE's and they do great in my community tanks and much algae like its going out of style.