Well good, I am glad you are aware tanks need to be cycled.
I also suggest you perhaps post the stock question in another sub-forum if you don't get the answers here. I am not at all sure about cichlids, if those are suitable for beginners? Plus knowing what fish you will stock can affect substrate selection, chemistry needs, etc.
As for tanks, again, I can't help, but I notice people mention the fluvals a lot.