Might I suggest getting rid of the backbround and go for a solid color. Painting your bg on works great.
Shellies are really the ONLY africans that can fit in a tank that size. Glad to see you are trying to get rid of the Labs, as they really aren't appropriate for a tank that size.
Further, don't expect the fish to only dig where you leave open space. They dig where they please.
I would recomend trying some "smaller" plants. Your plants you have are a bit overpowering, and it just looks crowded. Something with smaller leaves, and a bit more "delicate" looking would be awesome.
Good start, none-the-less!