You can buy sphagnum peat for about $5 at Home Depot or Lowes. For now, stay away from Scott's brand peat, that comes in the small bags. Look for the big bags that they keep outside. LFS (long fibered sphagnum peat) is also at HD & Lowes, in small bags, for about $4. Sand can easily be found at pool supply places, sold as pool filter sand. Two things cause coloring in VFT's. One is that it is a cultivar with and the other is sunlight. Hard to say what a garden center is bringing in. I bought a tri of red VFT's one summer and by the time dormancy rolled around, they looked green again. After dormancy and getting them outside for direct sunlight, they never colored up again.