I'm going to take the advice of one of the veterans and start a thread on my tank to track it's progress. Right now, it's pretty pathetic.
The only live plants I have are two amazon swords (which are doing great, by the way....even growing) and two little grass-like plants that seem to be doing very well.
Here are the grass-like plants. I believe I've actually seen something like them in some of your tanks. In the photo above, you can see how the two aren't standing very erect (one on the left, one on the right), but have come to look very good in the week that I've had them.
I think this is new growth on one of the swords. I don't remember seeing it when I brought them home (the stem in the center).
Anyway, that's my tank....in it's current, pathetic condition. About the only thing I can't seem to get control of are diatoms. I'm fighting them right now. Just need to figure out why they're in my tank.....high phosphates or silicates...or both. Could be poor lighting. I don't have any test kits for them....so I don't know what the levels are. I've done two 40-50% water changes in the past week. Right now, it's the only way I know how to battle them....other than a toothbrush.
I have considered putting my large male Bristlenose in the tank. He'd clean this thing pretty much over night. It's just that I've had him for a few years and I don't want to lose him to the cichlids. I have 7 juvie Bristlenose in two of my growout tanks. I put two of them in the tank a couple weeks ago and the Mbuna instantly noticed them. I had to pull them within half an hour.