Walt started as a marine fish enthusiast way back in 1970 when technology was limited to an under gravel filter and air stones. When Walt first opened his Tonga collection station in 1989 he had already spent over 17 years in the business as a wholesaler in Los Angeles, California. By that time many advancements in the hobby made it possible to start thinking about keeping live corals in your tank as the "mini reef" revolution started to gain a foothold in the marine aquarium hobby.
In 1995 Walt and his wife Deborah decided to expand their little business to Fiji and have been there ever since. In 1998 Walt Smith International started experimenting with natural coral farming and live rock manufacturing making theirs the first commercial coral and rock farm in the world.