This is a question that all cichlid owners come across at least once. Ideally, everyone would get as large of a tank as possible in order to maximize the display and amount of fish that you can store.
The physical dimensions of the tank will obviously depend on the size of the space that you decide to put the tank in. The actual location of the tank is based on personal preference, but you will likely want the tank somewhere that is easily visible so that you can enjoy your great set-up! One thing to take into consideration, though, is that keeping a tank by the window will potentially cause more algae growth within the tank which will call for extra cleaning.
Selecting a proper tank stand is another decision that will have to be made when selecting which tank to get. Because a full set-up tank can way 10 lbs/gallon, a common coffee table won’t work. Specialized tank stands are built to handle the high weight per square inch of an aquarium and come in metal or wood options so you can choose one that will look right in your space.
Cost is a major consideration when choosing what size tank to get. Tank prices can vary a lot, but for traditional sizes, I would recommend keeping an eye out at Petco, who regularly runs “$1/gallon” sales, meaning a 40-gallon breeder tank goes for just $40! The cost of the appropriately sized tank stand will also need to be evaluated when making this decision.
A larger tank also means that all of your equipment (filter, heater, air pump, hood) will need to be rated for the tank size and may require buying new equipment to accommodate a large amount of water. More substrate and decor will also be needed so all additional costs should be calculated to determine exactly what size tank you can afford.
Lastly, the size of your tank will determine what type of cichlid you can get. If you had a particular species in mind, then you should make sure that you can get the right size tank for the fish. If you get a tank that is too small for the species or the amount of fish that you plan to get then the fish will feel very stressed out and will not last very long in the tank.