The effect of hydraulic retention time (HRT) and solid retention time (SRT) on the biodegradation of a synthetic wastewater containing nitrobenzene was investigated in a sequential anaerobic migrating blanket reactor (AMBR) and aerobic completely stirred tank reactor (CSTR) system. Reactor performance was evaluated at six different HRTs (1,1.5,2,2.5,3.5,5.19 and 10.38 days) and at six different SRTs (32,53,76,217,415 and 932 days). The influent COD and nitrobenzene concentration were kept constant at 3000 mg l(-1) and 60 mg l(-1) respectively, during continuous operation. The maximum COD removal efficiency was found to be 92% at a HRT of 10.38 days and a SRT of 932 days in AMBR reactor. However, nitrobenzene removal efficiencies were found to be 99.9% through all HRTs and SRTs in AMBR reactor. Most of the influent COD and nitrobenzene concentrations were removed in first compartment of AMBR. The total and methane gas production rates increased from 2760 ml day(-1) to 11760 ml day(-1) and from 1300 ml day(-1) to 3331 ml day(-1), respectively, as the HRT was decreased from 10.38 to I day in AMBR. However, methane percentage decreased from 47% to 28% with decreased HRTs and SRTs. The methanogens inhibition was observed at lower HRTs. pH values in the compartments and the effluent of AMBR was between optimum values. TVFA concentrations in effluent of AMBR were measured as zero until a HRT of 3.5 days. In the aerobic CSTR reactor, the COD removal efficiency decreased from 79% to 68% with decreased HRT from 6.79 to 0.67 days. It was found that the nitrobenzene transformed to aniline under anaerobic phase, and then the aniline mineralized in the oxidative stage, with efficiencies varying between 79% to 99.9 %, in anaerobic/aerobic reactor system.