Sorry for the length
First let me say it was hubby's tank & while he had guppys as a kid this was HIS first tank in 25+ years. I've had fish on & off for the last 35 years & prefer a tank that doesn't require constant tweaking to keep it running smoothly so no chemicals if at all possible & since I am on a well this means TDS
of ~300 from tap, PH ~7ish, Hard water that leaves deposits on everything. Currently I run 65g with Corys & Hoplos which will become a 100g with Hoplos & ??? and a 93g with Cory's & Guppys, a 65g with Mollys, asst Tetras, Amano shrimp, Upside Down Cats & Bumblebee Cats from which I'm removing the Mollys to the now empty 65g and adding 3 BNs to both tanks. There's also the 30g Neo shrimp tank which is becoming a 55g but it's shrimp only.
I think what turned me off cichlids was he chose what he liked with no research and as a result there was aggression & unhappy fish. His feeding habits are also a little heavy handed which just added to the general chaos. After losing everything except the Kribs he has now got a *lovely* mix of Kribs Platys & Swords which makes his tank *dance* the way HE likes. *I* do 60% or more water changes weekly on it & he does the canister when I nag him. I liked the initial look with the cichlids but the never ending die offs totally soured me to the point that a "no tweaking" tank is always my goal for MY tanks now. I may try my hand at plants eventually but no ferts or CO2
My only steadfast rule is that I am extra vigilant & I might tweak things a little for a week when a new arrival takes residence, until the newness is gone then they're on their own