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depends on your light's intensity and if you have co2 or not, without co2 my 25g cube which is 18 inches tall gets a 9 hour lights on cycle, I get a little algae once in a while but only if i don't do water changes, my lights are 2x 24 watt t5ho with nice reflectors, it is also raised, so really depends on your setup, and imo algae should be kept at a minimum for best growth
 

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The advantage of timers is having a precise time schedule so you can perfect the quantity of light before algae appears. Quite often without timers the light is 'forgotten' for an extra hour etc allowing algae critical growth time when the plants have stopped out competing for the day.
Plant growth will not increase assuming the plant photo period was accommodated without a timer. A lot of plants will 'close up' after the photo period which is a pretty good gauge for how long your lights need to be on, although this varies from plant to plant its a good starting point.
 

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Excellent! That's a great explanation. Thanks a bunch eser21!

2in10-working on ferts now, too. what are you using?

Thanks everybody for your input. Much appreciated :)
I will be using Plantex ferts when they arrive using a modified PPS and EI dosing regimen. I intend to use 1/2 the recommended EI dosing for a week in liquid form and dose daily like PPS. The macros and micros will be in their own bottles.

I am currently using substrate pellets from Aquarium Plants and Seachem products. I had not been using N and P so I ended up with lots of algae due to nutrient imbalance in conjunction with my T5HO lighting.
 

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I have a 48 watt T5HO over my 29, it's in for 3 hrs in the AM and 4hrs in the PM, then off all night, then the cycle repeats. So far it's working great. Oh and no pressurized CO2, just API CO2 Booster 5mL daily.
 
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