Lighting through side wall?

   I have a 55 gallon tank and am thinking of adding some plants.  I'd like to 
start small in order to see how green my thumb is.  I thought I would get a few 
hardy plants (Java fern?  anything else?) and place them on one side of the 
tank.  Then, I would set up a bulb on that side of the tank and illuminate the 
plants through the end wall.  Is the glass on the side too much thicker than 
glass on the hood for this to light plants?
   Thanks for any help