Thanks for the info. The lack of planted participation in Southern Indiana sure makes it tough to get my tank going though !
I think I am going to start with some crypts in the foreground and do a Emerson type start but not sure if I should fully cover the plants or just saturate the substrate. So any info would be helpful . :^)
No problem, hopefully you will be able to find something to get you going. Crypts do well emersed, but I have only grown the tissue cultured wendtii 'green' from petsmart. The growth is much faster with that one emersed for me. I believe that all of the crypt species can grow emersed though.
Anyway, keep the substrate saturated, but not to the point there is standing water or you may encounter cyanobacteria. Then just cover the top with saran wrap to keep the humidity up. Misting daily will help keep the humidity up too. You can establish a nice root system emersed, and you will only lose the leaves when the tank is flooded. Dwarf hairgrass also spreads well emersed, and the same goes for HC if you are looking for something else to grow at the same time.
Here's the root system from a two month old crypt I just submerged from my emersed tub. I have 3 more at the same size or bigger that can be split. The tank is 12 1/2" wide for reference.