I have had a 50/50 success/failure with the dry bulbs you get at walmart.
The lily bulbs did better than the apon bulbs. I have a couple of lily bulbs that are awesome-grow like mad that I have propagated from-I love the look of the leaves floating at the surface. Then a couple of lily bulbs that sprout and thats it....lol....no leaves, just a few sprouts out the top.
I don't bury mine-I drop them in the tank and allow them to send their roots into the substrate-they don't seem to have that many roots anyway.
I have placed bulbs in water and sat them in a sunny window and got them to sprout faster-this seems to work best with the apon bulbs-but they don't like being moved and when I move them to the tank-it causes them to melt....
I can't find the pic of the lily bulb under water-but here is one from the top
Under water the leaves are red and once at the surface the top side is green speckled with red.