Ive had it for a month. Yes you have to clean the filter out. You just take out the intake pump, the motor, and the impellar. and give it a scrub. Not too hard, also I am running sand so any filter will get pluged more quickly.
Also a note, I have the 10 gal. version on my 5 gal with moon in it. And his tail was getitng sucked up because he was hiding by it. So i had to put a nylon sock over it. It slowed the flow a little too.
Your betta in your avitar is so gorgeous. I am sorry as it appears he is no longer with you but I had to ask where you got him. I would assume he is a special betta? Where else do people get bettas besides the local pet store or Walmart?
I saw a site to order specialty bettas but they wanted you to buy two of them so you can breed them which I have no intention of doing.
I actually got him at petsmart! no joke! i saw him and thought of my old betta i had manny years back (VT blue/purple male) and begged my mom to let me get him she instantly said yes when she saw him and im very sad he is gone. to find ones like that you have to be very selective and not just jump at every pretty one you see, ( i know its hard to do) yes you can buy them online but you really gotta be prepared to take care of them if you want them to last. Sorry about this long post in a thread that has nothing to do with betta pics.