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Unfortunately a 3ft long tank is very limiting for Malawian cichilds.

The Red Empress, many peacocks and Scieanochromis fryeri (the proper name for fish people call ahli in err) all get too big, and often aggressive for a 3ft tank. Pseudotropheus elegans "acei" also get too big for this sized tank.

Yellow Labs work pretty well though, so perhaps a group of one male, and three females, along with a Peacock trio, such as Maulana bicolour would work though. A single Synodontis is likely to hide all the time, so might not add much to the aquarium.
 
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