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I've been thinking about how I run my lights lately!  They used to be set at 8hrs but my plants were struggling so I thought I'd up it to 12. And I've got a low tech tank with two lights I bought on Amazon ones a hygger and the others a aquabasik. Both had great reviews. I was dosing easy green like it says on the box and yes I WAS using sand but have switched to Stratum with a white gravel cap. Anyhow I switched it to 12hrs And I'm still not getting ANY Algae.  So my question is I run my lights from 5pm to 5am but as soon as the lights go out all the lights in my house come on time to get up for work. Is my indoor lighting putting off enough light to keep the plants from the 12hrs of resting time?  Only time I've ever gotten algae is when I decided to dose with Flourish and it literally happed overnight. I've since than stopped using.  Should I try upping my easy green fert until I start seeing some algae?  Now I'm curious if my plants are consuming more than 1 pump/50G and i should up it and alter my lighting.  Sorry for the long post!  I'm just trying to dial this in and you all know I'm a beginner but am giving it my all

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An easy way to know if you have enough fertilizer is to test for nitrates. If you're hovering around 10-20ppm nitrates, while using easy green, then your plants are getting enough. I would just get the tetra test strip and use that to test. You don't need it to be 100% accurate, just a close enough of where you're nitrate is at.

If you're not getting algae, and plants are growing, I wouldn't stress too much about making any adjustments. Sounds like you got the balance down pretty well. 

Covering your front glass during light off is really good, I would definitely keep that up. 

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