Troy, I've got very good experience in keeping bristlenoses to reduce algae - not one of my tanks have any noticable amount of algae, and lights are on for about 12-14h per day on all my 5 tanks. I had plenty of algae in all tanks before bristlenoses were introduced. Now, my new (and somewhat pleasant) problem is selling the 130 or so bristlenose babies to my LFS...
tikval18: If you only have the lights on for a few hours per day, I'm surprised you get much algae - is the tank situated in sunlight by any chance?
I keep my bristlenoses with Boesman's rainbows, Rosy Barbs, Zebra danio's, Satanoperca Jurupari, other Pleco's, and lots of other fish. I haven't kept them with Tanganyikan cichlids, simply because I don't keep any Tanganyikan cichlids - However, I don't have to pay for mine, so I would probably drop a couple in if I did get some T. cichlids. Rams and apistogrammas are generally much less agressive than Tanganyikans, so they should be fine with the bristlenoses. If you wanted to keep Tanganyikans and for instance a bristlenose pleco, I'd say you need one that is in size-parity to the cichlids. That should make it survive. Give it lots of hiding spaces, of course [but then, you should have that for the cichlids anyways].
On Silver Dollars: All fish will grow to the size their genetics say they will grow to, assuming they are cared for properly - if you don't believe me, what size do you think you would have grown to if you were placed in a 3ft x 3ft x 3ft cube as a baby, and given sufficient food and got cleaned out properly at all times? Less than 3ft? No? Why would fish be any different?
It's certainly possible to stunt fish's growth in several ways, including not giving them enough food, or keeping them in conditions where the water quality is not good enough for them to grow properly [poor water quality is usually what happens when you keep large fish in a small tank].