Step one when dealing with the African cichlids is- --start with a very cynical mind about the info you may read!!! I find much of it is of little use as it is the same old story that was written back about mid 70's when we didn't know a lot about them. Keep an open mind on what you find and you can do a lot more with them.
Not all African cichlids fight, dig and eat algae. Some do, some don't so look at the specific one that you find rather than grouping them into one lump.
For your cichlid, you may be dealing with a real peacock or one which some lump into haps/peacocks as if they were the same. I recommend going to cichlid-forum. com to dig deeper into the ID. On a rescue fish, it may be a mixed or hybrid as they do cross breed quite easily.
But for plants and peacocks, there is a good chance it will dig when it becomes mature if there is a ripe female in the tank. He will dig in a chosen spot so the trick is to plant where he doesn't. This will take some time to find what he wants. In the meantime, increase the odds by trying to outguess the fish!
He may like an open spot 6X6" with some room to move around without other fish entering while he does his dance for the female. He will dig only on the bottom, not on top of rocks. So step one might be to fit your planting into spaces where it is too crowded to make a nest site as well as up off the floor. A plant with rocks stacked around the bottom so that the fish is not near the roots has a good chance. I find small plastic bathroom cups are easier to hide and big enough to do the tough plants that work best with cichlids. Think sword,crypts and not the small carpet stuff that pulls easy.
It can be done but all my pics are on another computer while I travel. Can't access them now.