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If you're growing hydroponically it doesn't really matter what your substrate is. I'd go with Carlos' recommendation of Shultz APS or get a cheap bag of pearlite at your local garden center to use as media. I doubt you'd have trouble growing any kind of crypt, except for the most sensitive and finicky species, in a true hydroponic setup.

Water levels aren't as much of an issue as long as you're not letting your roots dry out. I've had crypts grow well with the water 1/4" below the crown to 1/4" above the crown. If your container is tight and has a high humidity you should be fine either way. I feel good circulation and nutrient transport to the roots is more important in this case.

You can also grow crypts in a regular pot under humid conditions with daily/bi-daily watering.

I'll post pics of my emersed setup when I get home if I can get my FTP program to work properly.

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