Three 6-L submerged anaerobic membrane bioreactors (SAnMBRs) with solids retention times (SRTs) of 30, 60 and infinite days were setup for treating synthetic low-strength wastewater at hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of 12, 10 and 8 h. Total COD removal efficiencies higher than 97% were achieved at all operating conditions. Maximum biogas production rate was 0.056 L CH(4)/g MLVSS d at an infinite SRT. A shorter HRT or longer SRT increased biogas production due to increased organic loading rate or enhanced dominancy of methanogenics. A decrease in HRT enhanced growth of biomass and accumulation of soluble microbial products (SMP), which accelerated membrane fouling. A drop in carbohydrate to protein ratio also inversely affected fouling. At 12-h HRT, the effect of SRT on biomass concentration in SAnMBRs was negligible and membrane fouling was controlled by variant surface modification due to different SMP compositions, i.e., higher carbohydrate and protein concentrations in SMP at longer SRT resulted in higher membrane fouling rate. At 8 and 10-h HRTs, infinite SRT in SAnMBR caused highest MLSS and SMP concentrations, which sped up particle deposition and biocake/biofilm development. At longer SRT, lower extracellular polymeric substances reduced flocculation of particulates and particle sizes, further aggravated membrane fouling.