In this study, various amounts of oxygen were added to the anaerobic phase of an anaerobic-aerobic sequencing batch reactor (SBR) receiving azo dye remazol brilliant violet 5R to mimic the input of oxygen into the anaerobic zones of biological textile wastewater treatment plants. The effect of oxygen on the anaerobic biodegradative capability of the mixed microbial culture for remazol brilliant violet 5R was investigated. To investigate the effect of oxygen on anaerobic azo dye biodegradation, the anaerobic phase of the SBR cultures were exposed to a very low limited amount of oxygen for various air flow rates. Initially, an air flow rate of 20 mL/min was applied, further on the air flow rate in the anaerobic phase was increased up to 40 mL/min. System performance was determined by monitoring chemical oxygen demand, color removal rate, activities of anaerobic (azo reductase) and aerobic enzymes (catechol 2,3-dioxygenase, catechol 1,2-dioxygenase). The results of percentage COD reduction at each stage were similar for all runs, giving an overall reduction of 96%. Anaerobic color removal efficiency and azo reductase activity of anaerobic microorganisms were adversely affected by the addition of oxygen. Color removal efficiencies of the anaerobic phases decreased from 80% down to 42 and 38% for the limited oxygen conditions of 20 mL/min and 40 mL/min, respectively. It was observed that the activity of catechol 2,3-dioxygenase and catechol 1,2-dioxygenase, involved in breakage of aromatic rings, increased after they are exposed to oxygen limited conditions compared to fully anaerobic conditions. It was also observed that catechol 1,2-dioxygenase enzyme activity increased by increasing the oxygen level on oxygen limited conditions in the anaerobic zone.