Poor guy :(
Is there a lid on the tank? Bettas are great jumpers and don't always need a cat to help them escape ;)
Bettas can actually survive for hours out of water- sometimes there could be health issues afterwards, but for the most part if there were no injuries such as being scratched, missing scales or bitten.. he most likely will be fine in time.
In the wild when the rice patties are drained they will burrow under the mud and stay there til the patties fill back up- one of the reasons why myths came out about them living in puddles.. it's been known to find a betta in small puddles, and even hoof prints left by cows that have filled with rain water- the bettas thinking the water had returned throughout the field.
Go ahead and make sure there is no debris in the water after you replaced him, in case he had picked up anything off of the floor.
If you see no wounds or scale missing, then nothing is needed other then clean water and Stress Coat or Prime- either of those conditioners help promote slime coat health and reproduction and can help him get it back quicker.
He will eat once he calms down, and he isn't reacting as he normally does because of his experience.
Keep him warm, keep the lights in his tank dimmed to give him a stress free environment, make sure the water is clean and has Stress Coat or Prime, even Tetra AquaSafe has slime coat protection which would work.
Tomorrow see how he is doing.. turn on the lights, offer food. The next 24-48 hours will show how he fairs after his ordeal.
If you see wounds on him, cuts or missing scales go ahead and place him in 1 tsp per gallon of AQ salt, pre-dissolved, with the water conditioner and change it 100% daily for the next few days to make sure infection doesn't set in, in the wounds. Otherwise, I wouldn't do the AQ salt treatment unless needed, as it's added stress.
Last edited by Myates; 02-10-2012 at 12:56 PM.