Another vote for Neo. brichardi. That pic looks vaguely familiar. LOL
Hi!😃For plants, I'd start with something simple like Elodea if it's legal where you are. It can grow in hard water like that and it can grow in the substrate or floating, so you don't have to worry if the cichlids dig them up. I have hard water too, but the pH usually dips some in the tank. If that's the pH in the running, cycled tank, plants aren't going to love it. Rift lake cichlids and CA cichlids accustomed to harder water usually don't have much plant life in their habitats.
TOTAL +1 to that!
And yes, I know that those Nature Tanks set up with that expansive vista of carpeted plants look just absolutely amazing.
It's Eye Candy!
View attachment 143107
I mean, outside of a little mowing or something now and then, what could be easier to maintain?
DO NOT BE FOOLED.
That aquarium set up with the low growing plants will be incredibly difficult to maintain. That is just about the highest expression of the Planted Aquarium you can imagine! And unfortunately, those things just don't exist without a dedicated CO2 injection system installed, to push those plants. Oh... and the water needed for those things? Will measure out at Neutral PH at 7.0 or slightly acidic.
Something the measured 9.0 PH of your natural source of tap water, certainly isn't!
So, you have a visit to the LFS coming up it seems? Great! But, there are a couple things it may be helpful to keep in mind before you truck on in....
1) The LFS is primarily in business to sell you fish. Yep. And of course you might be informed all kinds of wild things about what could work out - GREAT!!! - in your aquarium. Once again... DO NOT BE FOOLED. Stick with your plan and the research. Don't throw it away on an impulse and with reassurances from the LFS, that really just wants to sell you fish.
2) Patience. Do your research. Study those species you are considering. Make some decisions. And DON'T be rushed into purchasing something(s) you may truly regret later. And, if the friendly LFS doesn't have what your carefully researched and well thought out plan needs? Then look online! It's highly likely that some or even ALL of the Lake Tanganyikan Cichlid species I recommended to you won't be in that LFS. Or, as they sometimes say, "Wait For It".