Sponge-associated bacteria play a critical role in sponge biology, metabolism and ecology, but how they interact with their host sponges and the role of these interactions are poorly understood. This study investigated the role of the interaction between the sponge Aplysilla rosea and its associated actinobacterium, Streptomyces ACT-52A, in modifying sponge microbial diversity, metabolite profile and bioactivity. A recently developed experimental approach that exposes sponges to bacteria of interest in a controlled aquarium system was improved by including the capture and analysis of secreted metabolites by the addition of an absorbent resin in the seawater. In a series of controlled aquaria, A. rosea was exposed to Streptomyces ACT-52A at 106 cfu/ml and monitored for up to 360 h. Shifts in microbial communities associated with the sponges occurred within 24 to 48 h after bacterial exposure and continued until 360 h, as revealed by TRFLP. The metabolite profiles of sponge tissues also changed substantially as the microbial community shifted. Control sponges (without added bacteria) and Streptomyces ACT-52A-exposed sponges released different metabolites into the seawater that was captured by the resin. The antibacterial activity of compounds collected from the seawater increased at 96 and 360 h of exposure for the treated sponges compared to the control group due to new compounds being produced and released. Increased antibacterial activity of metabolites from treated sponge tissue was observed only at 360 h, whereas that of control sponge tissue remained unchanged. The results demonstrate that the interaction between sponges and their associated bacteria plays an important role in regulating secondary metabolite production.