How did you set up the lights? How many plugs do you have coming from the ballasts? If you have it set up with 3 plugs, assuming 2 bulbs per ballast you can stagger the lights you just need 3 timers.
- Have one set turn on.
- Two hours later turn on the second set.
- Two hours later turn on the third set.
- Two hours later turn off the first set.
- Two hours later turn off the second set.
- Two hours later turn off the last set.
This gives you a 10 hour photoperiod with a dawn to dusk effect. All the bulbs get the same amount of wear, six hours a day. You use less electricity. Your lights produce less heat which helps with cooling costs in the summer. Your plants get a noon time effect. You'll have less algae as you aren't pouring light into the tank after the plants have shut down for the day leaving all the energy and nutrients to the algae.