Hey Nicole, come on back in, it's hot as blazes out there and humid too!
The picture of the solo button polyp is ok, but the color saturation is off. I don't really think it has to do with how you took the picture, though. Do you have photo editing software on your puter? See if you can play with the saturation to make the photo look like what you saw. and Yup, I use a tripod sometimes.
Like Cath said try using some photo editing software to bump up the saturation and do some color correcting and they would be top notch... Try paint shop pro, very user friendly... http://www.jasc.com/
I would try to take pics straight on to the glass, any angle will create distortions. You should use a tripod with slower shutter speeds but to tell the truth I rarely use one, my tank has alot of light tho...