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Optimal hours for lighting

I have my lights on a timer for 12 hours/day (6:00 am - 12:00 pm & 5:00
pm - 11:00 pm).  This allows me to enjoy my tank in the evening as well
as feed my fish twice a day.  I have noticed that my one plant (Mayaca
sellowiana) opens its leaves about 8:00 am, and closes them about 8:00
pm.  This does not seem to be affected if the lights are not turned off
from 12:00 - 5:00.  The question is:  is there optimum hours that I
should have my lights on?  Do they somehow know day/night?

Samir Makar