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There just happens to be a few folks around here with cichlids! Check in on the Hill Country Cichlid Club site and you will find a bunch. I'm kind of one of the Nothern end guys but Buda and South have a bunch.
http://www.hillcountrycichlidclub.com/

For decor, there are lots of personal choices. Mine run this way. For Africans, I like the lighter color of pool filter sand that I get at Leslie's pool supply. I'm sure there are many other supplies. I have a lot of limestone. It's cheap and handy to find laying around. If you are not really into the holey part of rocks, it is free for the picking. If you want the really primo holey rock, it may cost you!

For CA/SA I like the more natural look of natural colored sand. The pool filter sand is cleaner but less natural to my eye. I go with lots of driftwood picked up here and there. The lakes are a good place to find it free. Once it has drifted round for a few years and burned in the sun, it is good stuff.
 
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