Air plants do best when you soak them in water. They take in all their nutrients through their leaves not through the roots. The roots serve only to attach the air plant to a host tree or rock or even the ground, nothing more.
Everyone always gets excited when they hear that their new air plants will eventually start to produce little baby air plants called "pups". The production of pups is the easiest way for air plant hobbyist and nurserymen alike to propagate their air plants.