I've been growing VFTs for "gosh" 34 years now and I've never used any sand in my soil mix...just good old 100% peat moss. I tried some sand mixes years ago which resulted in sick plants. I know, the sand was probably contaminted and/or alkaline. Thats why I stuck with plain peat moss all these years. Anyway, is there truly a difference in plant vitality when the proper sand is used? My plants have been pretty healthy without it. I've got two plants on my porch now with 5" leaves and quarter size traps that haven't seen a grain of sand in years. In all seriousness, it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks....does sand in the mix improve VFT growth and development? And, how about perlite as a substitute for sand? Keep in mind..not everyone has access to clean, non-alkaline sand.