wet the substrate (dirt) with warm water. Then put in the bottom of the habitat about 1-1/2 inches deep. Add the springtails and isopods to the substrate. I recommend just opening the containers and pushing them into the substrate so they can climb out and meander through the substrate as they acclimate. They will then soon multiply. Use only a few pinches per month of the springtail/isopod food. It’s very potent and too much can cause a problem. Add the cork bark , leaves moss and any other biodegradable stuff on the top of the substrate. Decorate with plants or accessories as you like. When putting in the Hygrometer, have the probe which reads temperature and humidity hang in the center of the habitat so it gets the best average reading for you. It may take a few days for the temp and humidity to balance out. The white mesh that is loose is a good idea to help the insects travel around like a canopy in the forest. Just hang it around to provide a highway for them to travel or hang on. The sponge plug for the lid is so you can add feeders without having to open the lid. This is helpful when in a hurry and don’t want things to escape.