to start, saltwater is expensive. ive heard people say your better off having the ultimate freshwater tank is money is an issue. a quality skimmer and lighting can run you $500+ alone which makes a tank one of the cheaper purchases. now keep in mind you'll also need powerheads, other pumps, a bucket of salt, RO/DI unit, a spare tank to make a DIY sump from, test kits, dosing suppliments, a refractometer, and a few other things which adds up fast. i dont want to scare you away but its an expensive hobby.
if saltwater really does interest you, i suggest doing some research ( as learning never hurt anybody, and reading doesnt cost anything
) and search in your area for a local reefing club.
as for cichlids, the only ones i like are angels, discus and blue rams. i wouldnt combine the three in the same tank either. ive never kept the discus or rams personally, or know much about them besides the needs of the discus is high but i appreciate their beauty. hope that helps some.