Okay, I have received your e-mail off list and enrolled you in the Ocean Rider seahorse training program. You should already have received the first lessons by now.
With your outstanding background, I’m sure you’ll be successful as a seahorse keeper, Diane, and it is wonderful to have access to a fish veterinarian who works with seahorses. (Such Vets are rare jewels that are greatly prized by all seahorse fanciers.)
Your 45-gallon aquarium is a good choice for a seahorse setup. It has good height at 24 inches tall, which is very important for seahorses, as well as sufficient water volume to provide good stability and a comfortable margin for error. The recommended stocking density for large seahorses such as Mustangs or Sunbursts (Hippocampus erectus) is one pair per 10 gallons, so the 45-gallon aquarium system can easily accommodate two pairs of the Mustangs.
Yes, shipping to the Twin Cities area in December is usually not a problem at all. The normal winter weather in Minnesota is not an obstacle as long as there are no winter storms brewing at the time the seahorses are scheduled to ship. The only problem would arise if an Alberta clipper came roaring in or a blizzard unexpectedly shut down the Hubert H. Humphrey International Airport and delayed the seahorses en route. The seahorses are extremely well packaged for delivery and should arrive in excellent condition as long as there is no extreme weather that would shut down air traffic.
By the way, the Mall of America is an absolutely amazing place to visit and the associated aquarium is really top-notch!
Best of luck with your plans to make trained seahorses a part of your performance art, Diane!