If you are stocking with Mbuna? Don't do it! For those herbivorous types of algae grazing Cichlids, you'll be setting out an all-you-can-eat buffet for them! :lol:
Otherwise, for Tanganyikan Shellies, Julies, Compressiceps and other fish that don't look first at aquatic greenery as a source of food....
Plants will work great! Even in higher PH tanks, aquatic plants can and usually will, adapt to those conditions and thrive in the tank. Provide good plant growing lights, with high enough intensity and the correct spectrum, 5000K - 7000K is the best range for plants (6700 is considered the 'sweet spot by many).
I DO NOT advocate siting substrate growing plants in sand. But, If you stock with digging Cichlid species in the tank, that point may be mute anyway.
This thread may provide a lot of help in making decisions to keep plants in your aquarium,
To a significant extent, they will eat the plants. At least enough to make them look chewed and not attractive. Some have success with java fern and anubias and jungle val. Go big on the plants or go home. I get too much algae on the java fern and anubias to be successful, and I have not tried jungle val.