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Easiest way to work with this concept is to grow plants in pots (terra cotta works well) and place these pots on top of other pots that are turned up-side-down. Larger pots as stands lifts the plants closer to the light. Smaller pots, sitting on the bottom could hide the taller pots, if you use low light plants. These smaller pots in the front row are farther from the light.
This way the plants are in good soil (whatever substrate you choose) and are at the right height so the light reaches them.

There are other ways such as a raised planter area like you are describing. I have not seen them, but somehow supporting a box across the back of the tank can work.
Something like a turtle basking island is the basic concept. But for plants it will be heavier. I think this cannot hang from the side of the tank, but needs to be supported on legs or something.

How about this:
Put a few bricks in the tank and lay a rock across them (thin rock like slate or tile). Then put pots on it.
Or build a box out of thin rock (silicone or aquarium putty, or expanding foam may glue the pieces together). Sit this box on the bricks. Then fill this box with plant substrate. The void under the box is like a cave for the fish.

Another concept:
Use a light that is focused on a smaller area of the tank. Grow the highest light plants directly under this light. Then medium or lower light plants nearby. Areas with more typical lighting (too low for plants) could have rocks and driftwood with perhaps Anubias or Java Fern growing where the driftwood lifts it close enough to the low level of lighting.
 
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