Some people would say yes to this because they don't think the UG does as it should. My thoughts?
I use UGs in 4 out of 7 tanks. I like having the riser tubes for using power heads. I also think they do a good job of keeping the tank clean. I don't use just a UG though. In addition to the UG I have power filters on all the tanks. Why? Because I don't think you can have enough filtration. Especially with cichlids.
In our 55 cichlid tank we have the UG, power heads on either end, the ammo-carb heads for the UG and 2 power filters rated for 60g. We also are using large gravel. I went with the large gravel because I know how cichlids like to redecorate.
Are your cichlids only clearing one spot? You might want to put a large river rock, piece of wood, or just some flat slate in that spot.
I honestly would say leave the UG in the tank and just fix what the redecoraters mess up. Cichlids will be cichlids. Even our little Ram cichlids moved the gravel in the 14g. They wanted to spawn in one spot and didn't want to use any of the flat stones. Picky lil buggers.
Your cichlids are either just setting the tank up the way they want it or they could be making a spawn site. Males will clear out a spot even if there isn't a female around to egg them on.