Welcome to the hobby and the forums!
With cichlids it's the size of the tank that is important. Most cichlids will reach up to 6 inches long or larger and require at least a 55g tank. There are also a lot of stocking concerns when buying cichlids. Some species are incompatible with other species while again some are known as tank killers which can overnight flip a switch and turn into Jeffrey Dahmer and start killing all of your fish.
What type of cichlids did you end up buying?
I would also take a look at some of these links.
Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side - Aquarium Advice
Cookie Cutter - 55-gallons
(I have one of the less aggressive mbuna tanks)'
Also, what city do you live in? Go michigan!