You don't need to run the lights at all during the cycle. The only thing that needs it is adverse algae and cyano
/diatoms. None of that you want, and with the elevated nitrates that you want to see during the cycle, its just a recipe for disaster.
The cycle is complete when you can dose Ammonia to 4ppm and within 24 hrs both ammonia and nitrite levels hit 0. By then your nitrate will be quite high. A large water change or 2 and your ready to go
I have found Asternia stars to eat coralline algae, which I did not like at the beginning when I had little of it. Now, you don't notice it at all.
Collinista Snails are probably what you have as well. No problem there, they are a nighttime feeder and harmless.